US Marshals arrest Andre McCoy Jr.
Andre McCoy Jr. has been at large since just after Rowan’s killing
YOUNGSTOWN — Members of the U.S. Marshal’s Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Andre McCoy Jr., 22, early Saturday in the killing of 4-year-old Rowan Sweeney.
McCoy was located in a house on Parkhill Drive not far from the county’s Oakhill office building on the South Side of Youngstown. Authorities have been looking for McCoy for more than two years, according to a task force news release.
McCoy was indicted in the case March 25, 2021. McCoy was shot and seriously injured in the Sept. 21, 2020, episode that resulted in Rowan being killed in a home on Perry Street in Struthers in what police believe was a robbery. After McCoy left the hospital, he disappeared.
McCoy is charged with aggravated murder, attempted murder, felonious assault and aggravated burglary, all with gun specifications. It’s not known how soon McCoy might have his first hearing before a judge.
Also charged with aggravated murder in the case is Kimonie Bryant, 26. Another co-defendant, Brandon Crump Jr., 19, is charged with being part of the robbery, but his case recently was sent back to Mahoning County Juvenile Court with regard to Rowan’s killing.
“Our task force never stopped looking for justice for Rowan Sweeney,” U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott of the Northern District of Ohio said in a news release. “Today that justice comes in the form of the last suspect arrested for the violent, tragic and needless death of a little boy.”
The murder cases against Bryant and Crump have proceeded slowly over the last couple of years, with extended delays in setting a trial date for Bryant or Crump because of the length of time it took to get the DNA evidence from the case analyzed and the large amount of evidence involved.
Bryant’s attorneys succeeded in getting the DNA tested at a facility that would allow his expert witness to view the testing, but the results of the testing have not been revealed. Judge Anthony D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court has imposed a gag order in the case, preventing the parties from discussing evidence outside of hearings and filings.
Most of the charges against Crump also were sent back to Mahoning County Juvenile Court in recent months so that Judge Theresa Dellick can hold a probable cause hearing on charges such as aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder before the charges can be transferred to the adult-level common pleas court.
Authorities have not given much detail on the circumstances surrounding McCoy’s disappearance, only saying McCoy was too badly injured for police to interview him, and he was expected to die from the injuries he suffered Sept. 21, 2020. But he later “left the hospital” and had not been located.
Authorities have offered rewards for information leading to McCoy’s arrest and issued multiple news releases asking for the public’s help in finding him.
McCoy was among four adults who were in the Perry Street home at the time Rowan was killed. All four adults were shot when a man came into the home through the front door wearing a red hooded sweatshirt with the jacket strings pulled tight around his face.
The man ordered McCoy, who had come to the residence with a woman, to give him his valuables, then fired two shots into McCoy, who was sitting on a couch, according to testimony in juvenile court from a Struthers police officer.
The man then shot another man, Yarnell Green, who was on another couch, then shot the other woman, who was on a wooden chair. Then the man shot Rowan as he slept, despite the pleas of his mother, Alexis Schneider, not to hurt him. Schneider also was shot.
Green was killed in a September shooting outside of a downtown Youngstown night spot. Johnny Serrano Jr., 23, of Campbell and Struthers, was indicted in early November on charges of aggravated murder, murder, involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault, each with a specification of using a firearm in commission of the crimes. Serrano also was indicted on having weapons while not allowed and illegal possession of a firearm in liquor permit premises.
Police later obtained cellphone records showing the location of phones associated with Bryant and Crump at various times before and after the shootings, which were reported to police at 1:52 a.m. The records suggest that Bryant and Crump were together before and after the shootings and that Bryant and McCoy were texting each other prior to the shootings.