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Plaza View apartments murder trial resumes today

YOUNGSTOWN — The aggravated murder trial of Brian Donlow Jr. and Stephon Hopkins completed its second day of testimony Thursday with jurors watching a surveillance video showing a male shooting in the direction of Brandon Wylie.

The video is grainy and not clear enough to allow jurors to identify the male or the other man who was present with him, defense attorneys have said. But prosecutors said the video will enable jurors to establish certain facts.

Wylie was shot to death late June 18, 2018, outside of the Plaza View apartments on the East Side. Donlow, 25, and Hopkins, 23, were later charged with aggravated murder, murder, and being a felon in possession of a firearm — and could each get a life prison sentence if convicted.

Doug Bobovnyik, a retired Youngstown police detective, was on the witness stand when the trial adjourned for the day Thursday. Cross-examination will lead off testimony when the trial resumes at 9 a.m. today.

Early Thursday, jurors heard testimony from a forensic scientist with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, who testified regarding a handgun and bullet casings found at the scene near Wylie’s body and two bullets recovered from his body.

Dylan Matt testified that he was given eight 9 mm shell casings to analyze and six .45-caliber cartridges.

He said his examination indicated the handgun was operable, that all of the 9 mm casings came from the same gun, and all of the .45-caliber casings came from the same gun.

He believed that the source of the 9 mm casings was a High Point brand gun. He could not tell what type of gun the other casings were from.

He said based on the size of the bullets recovered, they more likely came from the 9 mm shell casings.

He testified that he did not know what caliber of gun fired the bullets found in Wylie’s body, but they did not come from the gun that was recovered near the body.

Two women testified Wednesday at the trial that Hopkins was with them at the apartment complex a short time before the shooting. One of the women also said Donlow was with them.

erunyan@tribtoday.com

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