One of two suspects in South Lakeview murder pleads guilty

By Joe Gorman


One of two suspects in the Oct. 18 murder of a South Lakeview Avenue man pleaded guilty Friday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery and a firearm specification.

Prosecutors are recommending that James Perry, 19, of East Lucius Avenue, receive a prison sentence of 13 years provided he cooperates against his co-defendant, Jesse Stewart, also 19.

The two are charged with the slaying of Evan Amos, 22, who police say was shot and killed after he answered a knock on the side door of his home about 11:30 p.m.

Police said the pair were trying to rob Amos. Investigators will not say what the two were looking for, but they did say the pair were at the home specifically to rob Amos.

Judge Lou A. D’Apolito accepted the plea.

Assistant Prosecutor Dawn Cantalamessa told the judge that Perry gave a statement to prosecutors before he went in to court to enter his plea, and that prosecutors were satisfied with his statement.

Stewart’s trial is scheduled to begin June 18.

Patrol officers on the midnight shift were able to catch Perry and Stewart just minutes after Amos was killed.

Reports said Patrolman Joe Wess was one of several officers called to the home in the 100 block of South Lakeview for the shooting. He got a description of two men wearing dark clothing running through several yards after Evans was shot.

Wess checked behind the Circle K at Mahoning and Belle Vista avenues and spotted a man later identified as Stewart who matched the description of one of the shooters.

Wess asked Stewart what he was doing, and Stewart said he was relieving himself behind the store.

Because Stewart matched the description of one of the suspects and also because he was in an out-of-the-way place, Wess detained him.

Wess then pulled out of the Circle K and saw another man, later identified as Perry, standing in front of a flower shop and sweating profusely and breathing hard. Perry also was detained, and the two were taken to the detective bureau.

They were arrested after questioning by detectives, who found the weapon used in the killing the next morning in a nearby yard.

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