Woman plans to plead guilty in murder case

Accused of being the driver in double homicide in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN — A Mahoning County grand jury indicted 14 people Thursday, but a person bound over to the grand jury months ago is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges next week without being indicted.

Courtney Hall, 30, of Akron was bound over to the grand jury March 27 on complicity to aggravated murder in the Feb. 29 shooting deaths of Sierra Morris, 25, and her father, Leroy Morris, 58, in their West Judson Avenue home.

Prosecutors say Hall drove John W. Bruner III, 31, with whom Hall lived, to the Morris home and dropped him off. She then went to a nearby store and waited.

After Bruner killed the Morrises, he got back in the car with Hall and they returned to their home in Akron.

Bruner pleaded guilty Aug. 26 to murder and other charges before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and received an agreed-upon sentence of 41 years to life in prison. Bruner is a Warren native.

Hall has been in the Mahoning County jail since her March 17 arrest. Court records indicate she is expected to enter a guilty plea to unspecified charges at 1 p.m. Wednesday before Judge John Durkin.

Instead of her charges going before the grand jury, she is expected to plead guilty to a prosecutor’s bill of information, which is a way for a defendant to conclude a case without the grand jury process.

The grand jury indicted the following people Thursday:

• William R. Ice, 38, of Pizor Road, Jackson Center, Pa., felonious assault, failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, importuning and possessing criminal tools.

• Benjamin M. Peters, 28, of the Mahoning County jail, burglary, domestic violence and criminal damaging or endangering;

• Willie B. Richardson Jr., 34, of Auburn Drive, Boardman, unauthorized use of a vehicle;

• Timothy Malarick, 61, of Spring Drive, Struthers, two counts of operating a vehicle under the influence with a specification of additional prison term for certain repeat OVI offenders; operating a motor vehicle under the influence with specifications for prior misdemeanor OVI offenses; and aggravated drug possession;

• William J. Barnes Jr., 61, of the Mahoning County jail, felonious assault and domestic violence;

• Lee M. Jones, 36, Ninth Street, Struthers, failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle and obstructing official business;

• Clarence Williams Jr., 37, of Parkcliff Avenue, being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon;

• Travis A. Swinehart, 26, of state Route 164, Leetonia, aggravated drug possession;

• Michael D. Lohr, 60, of the Mahoning County jail, aggravated burglary, felonious assault, domestic violence, assault, obstructing official business and aggravated menacing;

• Sergio R. Rivera, 36, of Blackburn Street, Campbell, theft and obstructing official business;

• James B. Black Jr., 37, of Plazaview Court, carrying a concealed weapon and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer;

• Mark E. Lariccia, 58, of Colby Avenue, two counts of cruelty to companion animals;

• Jeremy R. Tuttle, 32, of the Southern Ohio Correctional Institution in Lucasville, assault.



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