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Murder defendant competent to stand trial, judge rules

YOUNGSTOWN – The man accused in the Aug. 24, 2021, double homicide on Salt Springs Road has been ruled competent to stand trial after a third round of psychological tests.

At a hearing today before Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge John Durkin, both sides in the case against Jabrae L. Perry, 45, stipulated to the report of psychologist Dr. Robert K Devies of the Summit Psychological Associates Inc. which ruled that the defendant was sane and understood the consequences of his actions.

Judge Durkin said the clock on Perry’s progress toward a jury trial has restarted. Perry, who is incarcerated in Mahoning County jail, would have to be tried within 90 days, according to Ohio law, unless the defendant waives his right to a speedy trial. A date for another pre-trial has not been set in the case.

The defendant remains in Mahoning County jail pending the posting of a $500,000 bond.

Perry is charged with one count of aggravated murder, one count of complicity to commit aggravated murder, having weapons while under disability, tampering with evidence and grand theft. The charges could reach death-penalty level. He is accused of causing the deaths of Ayanna Mills, 49, and her son, Brandon Bell, 28.

They were found shot in a home in the 1200 block of Salt Springs. Mills was dead at the scene. Bell was taken to St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, where he later died.

Several days after the bodies were found, members of the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team located Perry in Columbus after investigators gained information that Perry was hiding in a home on Chelford Road there. He was arrested without incident.

For more on this story, read Tuesday’s Vindicator.

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