Prosecutor’s oppose reduction of murder suspect’s bond

By Joe Gorman


Prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court opposing a bond reduction for a man accused of killing the mother of his children.

Prosecutors are asking Judge Anthony Donofrio to deny a motion by Kyle Rice, 29, seeking a reduction of his bond of $1 million on a charge of aggravated murder.

Rice has had that bond since he was arraigned in municipal court in the Feb. 9 shooting death of Danekua Bankston, 28.

Rice was arrested shortly after Bankston was shot at her Oregon Avenue apartment on the West Side. She died a few days after the shooting at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

Rice’s attorney, Ed Hartwig, filed a motion April 26 asking for a bond reduction, saying his client has a minimal criminal record and is not a flight risk because he has lived in Youngs-town his entire life, as well as his family, and he has strong ties to the community.

Assistant Prosecutor Steve Yacovone answered that no reduction is warranted because of the severity of the crime. The charge carries a possible life sentence, which is plenty of motive for someone to flee, Yacovone wrote.

Yacovone wrote the evidence shows Rice shot Bankston in front of their children and her sister. Also, witness testimony and cellphone evidence places Rice at the scene of murder, Yacovone wrote.

The shooting came after an argument between Bankston and Rice, and Rice shot her several times, Yacovone wrote. Rice left with the murder weapon but did leave his phone next to the victim, Yacovone wrote.

A hearing date on the request has not been yet.

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