$1M bond set in killing

Youngstown man charged in '22 shooting at gas station

YOUNGSTOWN — Bond was set at $1 million Tuesday when Zachary S. Bair, 33, was arraigned in Youngstown Municipal Court in the Dec. 22, 2022, shooting death of Devin Bell at the Shell gas station at South and Samuel avenues on the South Side.

Magistrate Megan Brundege acknowledged that no plea was required during the hearing and approved the recommendation of James Vivo, assistant city prosecutor, who said the reason for the high bond was because of the “severity of the charge.” Bair is charged with murder.

Bair will now have a preliminary hearing to determine whether the charge will be bound over to a county grand jury.

An arrest warrant was issued for Bair on May 17, and he was arrested Friday at a business on Industrial Road in the city. If convicted, Bair could get 15 years to life in prison. He had a Youngstown address in a 2016 criminal case, according to court records.


Police said two men wearing all black and ski masks ran from the scene of the 2:24 a.m. shooting and fled down Samuel Avenue. When police arrived, they found Bell in the driver’s seat of a Chevrolet Cruze backed into a parking spot near the entrance to the building.

Windows on the car were shattered, and bullet shell casings were found on the ground nearby, as well as one on the windshield.

Police sent their K-9 into the area where the suspects fled, and it led to the discovery of a handgun with an “extended magazine” and a knife. Ambulance personnel declared Bell dead at the scene.

A co-defendant, Akeem M. Hargrove, 31, of Parkcliffe Avenue, is charged with aggravated murder with a gun specification and murder in the killing and is set for trial Sept. 9.

Hargrove sought suppression of evidence in the case last year, but Judge Anthony D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court denied the motion Feb. 27.

Hargrove also sought to suppress statements he made to two Youngstown police detectives Dec. 27, 2022, according to court documents. However, D’Apolito ruled that Hargrove “knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived the Miranda warning that was provided prior to his statements to the detectives and that he understood his right to remain silent but waived that right.”

Hargrove pleaded guilty to one count of improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle in a separate case Oct. 30, 2022, according to the ruling. Judge Anthony Donofrio of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court sentenced Hargrove to two years of probation in that case. It included 10 days in the Mahoning County jail.

On Dec. 26, 2022, Hargrove reported to the Mahoning County jail to serve his 10-day jail sentence. The next day, Youngstown detectives interviewed Hargrove at the jail regarding the homicide, the ruling states.

Have an interesting story? Contact Ed Runyan by email at erunyan@vindy.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today