YPD makes arrests in one of two homicides

By Joe Gorman



City police have made a pair of arrests in one of two overnight homicides on the East Side.

Police arrested Earl Charity, 32, and Juan Phillips, 34, in the shooting death of a man about 11:30 p.m. Monday on Wilson Avenue.

Detectives are still looking for suspects in the fatal shooting of a man who was found about 12:05 a.m. Tuesday on Plazaview Court.

The deaths give the city six homicides for 2018. In 2017, Youngstown had 26 homicides and eight at this point last year.

Police Chief Robin Lees said the homicides are not related.

Police deferred to the Mahoning County Coroner’s office to release the names of the victims, but as of late Tuesday afternoon, it had not and did not return a message seeking their identities.

Lees said officers on patrol about 11:30 p.m. Monday heard gunfire on Wilson Avenue and went to investigate. When they arrived, they saw a man running away. Police caught him after a brief foot chase, Lees said. Another person there, Lees said, was also taken into custody.

Those two were identified as Charity and Phillips, who are both charged with aggravated murder. Lees said police also found weapons at the garage as well. The victim was killed inside the garage, Lees said.

Charity and Phillips are expected to have their arraignment hearing today in municipal court. They are in the Mahoning County jail.

Charity served a six-year sentence on a manslaughter charge for the shooting death of Darrick Hall, 23, who was killed Oct. 4, 2009, at North and Arlington avenues on the North Side.

Charity was not sentenced until March 2015, however, because former Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court dismissed the case, ruling Charity’s speedy-trial rights were violated. Prosecutors appealed to the 7th District Court of Appeals, which reversed the decision.

Charity entered a plea to the manslaughter charge, and served his sentence concurrently with a seven-year sentence he received for shooting at a house in March 2010 on Springdale Avenue on the East Side. In that case, he pleaded guilty to two counts of felonious assault, being a felon in possession of a firearm and improper discharge of a firearm at or into a habitation.

Vindicator files show Phillips was wounded in the arm and chest in 2015 during a shooting on Elliot Lane on the East Side and has been arrested before for carrying a concealed weapon.

Police have not released much information on the Plazaview shooting. Detectives were viewing video from the apartment complex Tuesday.

Lees said because of the close proximity of both calls, South Side police cars had to go to Plazaview because most of the East Side cars were securing the crime scene on Wilson Avenue for detectives.

A second set of detectives and a detective supervisor were also called out to Plazaview to handle that case, Lees said.

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