Mahoning grand jury indicts Pa. man charged with rapes


By JUSTIN DENNIS

and Samantha Phillips

news@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A Mahoning County grand jury indicted a man charged with serial rapes and two others charged with killing infants.

Shawn Wendling, 37, faces two felony counts of rape, two felony counts of kidnapping, a felony count of aggravated robbery and a felony count of felonious assault.

The Thursday indictment of Wendling, of Hillsville, Pa., lists a 26th Street, Canton, address for him.

He is accused of raping and robbing a 30-year-old female jogger in Poland Township Park on Sept. 4, according to the indictment.

A monthslong investigation included DNA testing that linked Wendling to two similar attacks along the Berlin Lake Trail in Deerfield in Portage County earlier this year, as well as two attacks in Stark County on June 14 and July 4.

Wendling has been charged with one of the two Deerfield attacks.

He remains in the Portage County jail on a $1 million bond after his arrest Sept. 7 by Poland Township police on U.S. Route 224.

Christian A. Sumpter, 24, of North Roanoke Avenue, Austintown, faces one count of aggravated murder, two counts of murder – all unclassified felonies – and a felony count of endangering children.

According to 911 reports, Sumpter’s daughter, 4-month-old Adaleah Sumpter, fell and struck her head while in Sumpter’s care Sept. 2.

Though initial reports suggested Sumpter was tossing the girl playfully then lost control and dropped her, Austintown police investigated suspicions the infant was dropped on purpose and the murder indictment says the same.

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the girl died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Sumpter remains in the Mahoning County jail on a $150,000 bond after his arrest and arraignment on an unrelated felonious-assault charge.

Marc Flora of Campbell, 29, faces two counts of aggravated murder and one count of murder in connection with the stabbing death of his 1-year-old daughter, Jane.

Jane was killed Aug. 18, according to a police report. Flora called police to his home on Penhale Avenue and reported he blacked out and his child was dead.

When officers arrived, Flora was covered in blood and the baby was on the changing table with a wound to her neck. A bloody hunting knife was discovered on the floor nearby.

The first aggravated-murder count states Flora caused the death of his daughter with prior calculation, although he initially told police he blacked out and didn’t know what happened. The second aggravated-murder count was filed because the victim was under the age of 13.

Bond was set at $500,000 for Flora on Aug. 18 in Campbell Municipal Court. He remains in the county jail.

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