Trial date set for man facing murder for bar shooting


Luke L. Caviness Jr., 39, of Elm Road in Howland is set for trial Jan. 7 on murder, three counts of felonious assault and one of possession of a firearm in a liquor-permit premises in the June 11 shooting death of city man Clayton Bender, 23, of behind a Niles tavern.

Following a pretrial hearing today in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, officials said the case is going to trial. There are no more hearings planned.

Caviness appears to have no prior criminal record and has indicated he has six children.

Caviness is accused of shooting Bender as Bender sat in the back seat of a Cadillac parked behind Madden's Bar and Grill on Youngstown Road.

Police believe Bender and two other people had recently left a private gathering in the bar that was held to memorialize a man who was murdered several months earlier in Warren.

They also believe Caviness and others with him may have also just come from the bar. Police believe there was a physical altercation between the two groups before gunfire erupted.

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