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Mahoning grand jury praises work of assistant prosecutor

YOUNGSTOWN — The grand jury that handed up indictments for the past 3 1/2 months in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court gave good marks to the assistant prosecutor who presented the cases to the grand jury for his “preparation, organization and presentation of complex cases.”

The grand jury foreman wrote in a memo last week that Mahoning County Assistant Prosecutor Mike Yacovone’s “presentation of complex cases was nothing short of remarkable.”

Under Ohio law, a grand jury is required to visit the county jail every three months to examine its condition and to inquire into how prisoners are treated there. The grand jury is required to report on these matters in writing.

The grand jury foreman did report on the condition of the jail, saying it was “free of obvious maintenance issues that could create safety concerns for the prisoners or the sheriff’s personnel.”

But his report went further than that, commenting on Yacovone’s performance in carrying out his duties and also offering suggestions for improvement in the technology employed by witnesses who testified in the criminal cases the the grand jury reviewed.

The memo noted that police officers who testified provided “handouts of evidence,” but the grand jury “in unison felt that in this day and age, more updated measures could enhance the officers’ presentations — particularly with recordings and photographs.

“We would recommend this as an improvement deserving of additional funding for the common pleas court and prosecutors office to implement,” the memo stated.

An attempt to ask the grand jury foreman for more information on the matter was unsuccessful.

Under Ohio law, the proceedings of a grand jury are conducted in secrecy. The prosecutor’s office provides an attorney to present evidence to the members of the grand jury, and witnesses are called to testify. No attorney representing an accused person is present.

The grand jury deliberates apart from the prosecutor and issues a determination of whether any person has been indicted or not indicted. A report of indictments and people not indicted is then released to the public.

The grand jury indicted the following people:

•David Stinson, 35, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, escape;

•Dominique Lucky, 31, North Canfield Road, escape;

• Nicholas J. Pupino, 82, Clingan Road, unlawful securities practices, theft from a person in a protected class and forgery;

•Roderick L. Lewis Jr., 29, Stewart Drive NW, Warren, passing bad checks and theft;

•Jeremy M. Voytko, 25, North St. Clair Street, Girard, failure to stop after an accident;

•Jenna Fricker, 23, Stadler Avenue, obstructing justice;

•John M. Smith, 57, Mahoning County Justice Center, escape;

•Shane M. Waites, 28, Trumbull County jail, escape;

•Marcus Williams, 31, Mahoning County Justice Center, aggravated drug possession, having weapons under disability and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle;

•Denzel N. Case, 25, Colby Avenue, trespass into a habitation and violating a protection order;

•Teejay Johnson, 29, Mahoning County Justice Center, failure to register;

•Alexander W. Godoy, 30, Canfield Road, felonious assault with a firearm specification, aggravated assault with a firearm specification and illegal possession of a firearm in a liquor permit premises;

•Lisa L. D’Altorio, 39, South Heights Avenue, theft and misuse of credit cards;

•Raymond P. Breese, 29, Westminster Avenue, Austintown, cocaine possession;

•Kevin W. Wiles, 39, East Myrtle Avenue, tampering with evidence, aggravated drug possession with a specification of money forfeiture and drug possession with a secification of money forfeiture;

•Antwon A. Pete, 30, East Avondale Avenue, cocaine possession, having weapons under disability, tampering with evidence, drug possession and illegal use or posession of drug paraphernalia;

•Carl P. Venable Jr., 39, East Avondale Avenue, cocaine trafficking, cocaine possession, drug possession and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia;

•Charles Lynch, 42, Mahoning County Justice Center, two counts of having weapons under disability, cocaine trafficking with a specification of money forfeiture, cocaine possession with a specification of money forfeiture, drug possession with a specification of money forfeiture and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia with a specification of money forfeiture;

•Brandy S. Hornbuckle, 40, Boardman Canfield Road, Boardman, two counts of operating a motor vehicle under the influence;

•Sean P. Conroy, 38, Mahoning County Justice Center, telecommunications fraud, two counts of theft and one count of petty theft;

•Mark W. Wiles, 55, Mahoning County Justice Center, identity fraud and grand theft;

•Reynaldo Hernandez, 19, Cambridge Avenue, improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle;

•Jose L. Castro Jr., 20, Cleveland Street, improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle and carrying a concealed weapon;

•Kevin W. Wiles, 39, East Myrtle Avenue, two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of misuse of credit cards;

•Nicholas A. Lewis, 27, Madera Avenue, four counts of receiving stolen property, one count of misuse of credit cards and one count of obstructing official business;

•Christopher M. Braun, 29, South Schenley Avenue, heroin possession;

•Lori L. Weaver, 53, Rebecca Avenue, Hubbard, theft;

•Heather M. Medved, 49, Staats Drive, operating a motor vehicle bearing an invalid license plate or indentification mark and complicity;

•Sharon A. Goff, 38, Mahoning County Justice Center, two counts of selling, purchasing, distributing or delivering dangerous drugs, and single counts of possessing drug abuse instruments and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia;

The grand jury refused to indict the following people:

•Ciara Smith, 32, Lakewood Avenue, patient abuse;

•A. Margo Hailstock, 49, Pine Hollow Boulevard, Hermitage, Pa., patient abuse;

•Hunter A. James, 20, Lowell Avenue, cocaine possession;

•Bertram Davis II, 32, Mahoning County Justice Center, domestic violence;

•Patrick Phelan, 36, Cherry Hill Avenue, violation of a protection order; and

•Raymond Ingram, 40, Market Street, fentanyl possession.

erunyan@tribtoday.com

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