Testimony begins in 2016 murder case

Staff report


Testimony began Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in a 2016 murder case.

Kimani Hodges, 21, is on trial for the February 2016 shooting death of Jason Fonesca outside Fonseca’s Ayers Street home.

Hodges had gone on trial in January 2017, but that case was halted shortly after it began and a mistrial was declared because of the testimony of a witness.

Visiting Judge H.F. Inderlied Jr. is hearing the case. Opening statements and testimony started after jurors were selected Monday morning.

A co-defendant, Angel Bell, 21, had her case dismissed by prosecutors the day after the mistrial was declared last year.

Prosecutors and police have said Fonesca was killed in a dispute over a car.

Detectives believe Fonseca was feuding with Bell and Hodges over a car he sold to Bell. Detectives said Bell wrecked the car and Fonseca took the keys after it was wrecked.

The two were upset and went to Fonseca’s house at least once before he was shot and killed about 3 p.m. Feb. 17 in the middle of the street in front of witnesses as he was outside his Ayers Street home.

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