Teen facing murder receives new lawyer

Accused of shooting 15-year-old girl

YOUNGSTOWN — Danyo R. Sellers, 17, attended a hearing Monday in his murder case in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, even though his lawyer, Michael Scala, had notified Judge Anthony D’Apolito’s staff earlier Monday that he was withdrawing from the case.

After a conversation between D’Apolito and Sellers’ mother, the hearing was closed as the judge’s staff waited for replacement attorney, Aaron Meikle, to arrive.

Sellers is one of two males charged in the April 15, 2023, shooting death of Amya Monserrat, 15, outside of a Southern Boulevard tavern in Youngstown. Sellers was indicted Dec. 28 on charges of murder, felonious assault and involuntary manslaughter, each with three gun specifications, and one count of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.

Sellers remains in the custody of the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center detention facility. However, it’s likely he will be transferred to the adult-level Mahoning County jail after he turns 18 in November, the judge said.

Judge Theresa Dellick transferred Sellers’ case to adult court after holding a probable-cause hearing in December.

If Sellers is convicted of murder, he could get a life prison sentence. Three specifications allege Sellers committed a drive-by shooting, which could add five years to Sellers’ sentence if he is convicted. Sellers was 16 at the time of the killing.

During the hearing in juvenile court, Sellers’ co-defendant, Saun Peterson, 21, testified he was the driver of the dark blue Mercedes Benz that drove around Martha’s Boulevard Bar and Grille several times the night of the killing and that Sellers was in the front passenger seat.

Peterson said he saw people in the crowd outside of the tavern with guns when he drove past and said Sellers fired a gun over the top of the Mercedes toward the crowd, which was on the driver’s side of the car.

Peterson pleaded guilty earlier in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to involuntary manslaughter and other charges in the episode. Prosecutors are recommending that Peterson get 10 to 12.5 years in prison when he is sentenced.

Police have said the killing involved two groups of people shooting at each other over a conflict and that Amya was hit by a “stray bullet.”

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


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