Walmart shooting video played for jurors
By Joe Gorman
Jurors in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court saw a video of a man shot Oct. 30 in the parking lot of Walmart in Austintown.
Jurors on Tuesday also heard from the first detective on the scene, who relayed a witness’ story to him about how the shooting occurred.
That testimony first took place with jurors not present in the courtroom for the trial of Terrance Craig, 26, who faces a charge of felonious assault in the shooting.
Austintown police Detective Sgt. Jordan Yacovone would eventually walk jurors through the video and also testified as to what the witness, Cindy Williams, told him.
Williams was not able to testify because she cannot be found. Prosecutors wanted Judge John M. Durkin to allow her statement to Yacovone immediately after the shooting to be admitted into evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule.
Hearsay is an out-of-court statement, made in court, to prove the truth of the matter asserted.
Defense lawyer Walter Madison, however, objected, and during a hearing out of the jury’s presence, he asked Yacovone about Williams’ demeanor when he questioned her. Yacavone said she was “very chatty, very talkative.”
Yacavone testified he was called to the store on Mahoning Avenue shortly after a shooting call went out and was told that Williams was a witness.
He decided to take her back to the police department, a short distance away, to question her.
That interview was on video, and Judge Durkin also watched the video. Afterward, the judge allowed Yacovone to tell jurors what Williams said. Madison renewed his objection when jurors returned to the courtroom.
Yacavone told jurors Williams had met the male victim online a week before the shooting. The victim came from Columbus the night before the shooting, and they spent the night together. In the morning of Oct. 30, the victim drove Williams to work and gave her a $20 bill for lunch.
Williams went inside to get change, and when she retuned to the car, she saw Craig get out of a car and she backed away as Craig fired at the victim.
Surveillance video from the parking lot captures the shooting, and that was shown to the jurors.