North Side murder trial resumes

YOUNGSTOWN — Another eyewitness to the Sept. 29, 2022, shooting death of Jacob Moore, 21, on New York Avenue on the city’s North Side testified Tuesday in the aggravated murder trial of Mekhi Venable; however, he was not a willing witness.

A prosecution filing last week asked Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to issue a material-witness warrant for the man after he failed to show up to testify last week, when the trial originally was scheduled to begin.

The filing states that on the night of the killing, Youngstown police spoke with the man, “who provided important information regarding the shooting.”

Since the man did not show up for trial, the filing asked that the man be picked up on the warrant and kept in the Mahoning County jail to ensure that he would be available to testify.

Venable, 20, is accused of shooting Moore during an argument that was witnessed by several people, including friends and relatives of Moore.

The first witness of the case was a woman who was on New York Avenue with Moore and two other men just before the shooting took place.

She testified that Moore usually carried a gun on him, but she saw him hand off his gun to one of the two other males before he approached Venable’s car.

Moore then waited for Venable to “get out of the car.” But Venable did not get out of the car. When an assistant prosecutor asked her what happened next, she got emotional and said, “Pretty much he pulls his gun out and shot him,” she said of Venable.

Prosecutors said Moore was unarmed, but Venable’s attorney, John Juhasz, said Moore did have a gun and that Venable was acting in self defense.

In addition to the eye witness, three Youngstown police officers testified Tuesday, including a patrol officer who testified to what people, cars, blood stains and guns were left behind on New York Avenue when he arrived. Another patrol officer testified to seeing a car outside of St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital that was used to drive Moore there after he was shot. A crime scene officer testified to the items he photographed and collected on New York Avenue.

The trial resumes this morning, as the prosecution wraps up its case and the defense gets to present witnesses.

Have an interesting news story? Email Ed Runyan at erunyan@vindy.com.


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