Man involved in 1988 murders to stay in prison until 2026
YOUNGSTOWN — The Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office successfully opposed parole for Guillum Chism during an Ohio Parole Board meeting Tuesday. Chism, 60, will have his next parole hearing in 2026.
On Sept. 22, 1988, Chism and three accomplices entered an apartment in the former Kimmel Brook housing project on the East Side, where they robbed three men at gunpoint, then shot all three, killing two, according to Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office. The victims were found in the apartment in varying states of nudity, while the third, Keith Crenshaw, survived, after Chism shot him in the face.
Chism and co-defendants Clinton Purdue, Gary Austin and Ira Bray were indicted on four counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of attempted aggravated murder, all with gun specifications.
Chism proceeded to a jury trial, where a jury found him guilty of two counts of aggravated robbery with gun specification and one count of attempted aggravated murder with a gun specification. Chism was sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison for each count of aggravated robbery and seven to 25 years for attempted aggravated murder.
Chism began serving his sentence in December 1989 and has remained incarcerated since then. Purdue and Bray are both still incarcerated for their roles in the attack.
Jennifer McLaughlin, chief of the criminal division of the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office said a review of Chism’s file showed that even though Chism has participated in numerous programs and activities in prison, his disciplinary history includes multiple contraband infractions and a violent altercation with another inmate on May 22, 2020.
McLaughlin wrote of Chism, “[w]hile his history in the ODRC does not appear unfavorable, it is his conduct as a free man that raises grave concern.” Chism participated in a home-invasion robbery that resulted in the deaths of two men, Victor Hardet and Jonathan Perry, McLaughlin stated. The crimes left Crenshaw with a life-changing permanent disability.
“Mr. Crenshaw testified at Chism’s trial that Chism pointed a gun at his face while Mr. Perry tried to explain that Mr. Crenshaw had nothing to do with this. This is not a case in which Chism was a passive participant. He shot a man in the face.”
While Chism now seeks parole and an opportunity to get on with his life outside of prison, McLaughlin argued that “Mr. Crenshaw will never be able to put this behind him and get on with his life.
“Mr. Crenshaw suffered traumatic brain injury when (Chism) fired a bullet into his head. He is blind and confined to a wheelchair, McLaughlin said.
Crenshaw “will never walk outside of his residence unencumbered by his wheelchair. He will never live without the need for caregivers. His speech and hearing are impaired. His life is forever changed because (Chism) pointed a gun in his face and pulled the trigger.”
McLaughlin said Chism “intended to kill, as evidenced by the jury’s verdict finding (Chism) guilty of attempted aggravated murder.” The parole board agreed, voting 7 to 3 in favor of denying parole.