Sentencing delayed for convicted killers of 4-year-old Rowan Sweeney

YOUNGSTOWN — Sentencing hearings that were scheduled Tuesday and today for two of the three chief defendants in the 2020 killing of 4-year-old Rowan Sweeney are going to be reset, court officials said.

Mahoning County Prosecutor Gina DeGenova said a motion to postpone the sentencing for the third defendant in the case, Kimonie Bryant, 27, had a “domino effect” in postponing the sentences for his two co-defendants.

DeGenova noted that there is a gag order in the case, but because defendant Kimonie Bryant breached his plea agreement, the parties have to “address” that before Andre McCoy Jr., 24, can be sentenced.

She said Brandon Crump Jr.’s sentencing hearing is being delayed because his attorney requested an expert witness to address the fact that Crump was a juvenile at the time of the offenses and the effect that could have on his prison sentence.

She noted that the most recent continuance in Bryant’s case was the “13th time defense counsel has asked” to postpone hearings in his case.


McCoy was set for sentencing Tuesday morning, but that is being “reset,” according to the judge’s office. A new sentencing date was being discussed, said Ryan Kadel, Judge Anthony D’Apolito’s bailiff.

There have been no filings in McCoy’s case since last August to indicate the reason for his sentencing hearing being postponed, according to the docket in his case.

Crump’s sentencing date was set for today, but a “continuance” was granted in that case, Kadel said. There is no filing that explains the reason for the continuance being requested, he said.

McCoy and Crump are facing life prison sentences.


On March 21, D’Apolito sustained a motion by Crump’s attorney, Lou DeFabio, to hire an expert witness on matters such as chronological age of a defendant at the time of the offense and that age’s hallmark features, including intellectual capacity, immaturity, impetuosity and a failure to appreciate risks and consequences; and the family home environment of the defendant at the time of the offenses,” according to a DeFabio filing.

The expert also will look at the defendant’s “inability to control his surroundings, a history of trauma regarding the defendant and his school and special-education history; and the way familial and peer pressures may have impacted the defendant’s conduct.”

DeFabio asked for an expert witness to be appointed to assist DeFabio in compiling such information and offering testimony related to Crump’s youth and other factors. Crump is 21 now and was 17 at the time of the offense.

Crump was convicted at trial in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on all 16 charges he faced, including the aggravated murder of Rowan, and attempted murder and felonious assault of four adults, following a nearly-two-week jury trial.

Prosecutors have said Crump faces a sentence of up to 30 years to life in prison with parole eligibility after 25 years.

About 1:50 a.m. Sept. 21, 2020, Crump “burst through the front door of 111 Perry Street in Struthers and unloaded a .45-caliber handgun on the five people in the home’s living room,” Mahoning County Prosecutor Gina DeGenova stated in a press release after Crump was convicted. Four adults, including Rowan’s mother, Alexis Schneider, sustained gunshot wounds.

Among the key pieces of evidence in the trial was locational data for the cellphones of Crump and Bryant showing that they were together in the area of the home on Perry Street during the time of the homicide.

Bryant, who entered a guilty plea in the case, was going to be sentenced April 17, but he was not sentenced that day.

Instead, the parties discussed the status of the case privately with D’Apolito. Bryant currently has no sentencing date, but he has a “hearing” set for June 28 and another one set for July 2. Presumably the hearings relate to Bryant’s alleged breach of his plea agreement.

Recently, a county prosecutor’s office filing in the Bryant case revealed the allegation that Bryant lied about a couple of things in connection to the plea agreement he reached, according to prosecutors.

The filing advised the judge and the defense that prosecutors want to recommend that Bryant get more than the 20-years-to-life sentence recommendation that Bryant was promised at the time of his plea.

Bryant did not testify for the prosecution in Crump’s trial because of the lie, the filing stated.

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


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