WARREN — A Warren man stood calmly as a Trumbull County judge on Thursday read a nine-count indictment that included death penalty level specifications in the murder of 34-year-old James Chapman.
Chapman was found shot dead early April 2 at a Lehner Street address in SW.
The death penalty case against Cashon Robin Williams, 29, is the third such case to be filed in Trumbull County since late last year — something Assistant District Attorney Christopher Baker said he had not seen in 25 years in the county.
Williams was charged in a Trumbull County grand jury special report with two counts of aggravated first degree murder; and one count each for attempted murder, felonious assault, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, possession of weapons while disabled, receiving stolen property, and assault of a peace officer. The first six counts bore the specifications of aggravating circumstances, repeat violent offender, and commission of the offense with the use of a firearm.
Aggravating circumstances carry the death penalty for targeting two or more people and committing other felonies in premeditated murder, according to court officials.
Williams is a repeat violent offender, according to court records, because he was twice convicted of aggravated assault — once in 2017 and again in 2019 — in Trumbull County. He was also tried for the crime of aggravated robbery when he was a juvenile.
Rice said he would give Williams one week to hire his attorney. If he does not, at a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. on April 13, the judge will appoint certified homicide attorneys to represent Williams. Meanwhile, Williams is being held in the Trumbull County Jail without bond.
Warren police arrested Williams shortly after Chapman died Sunday morning of a gunshot wound, and Marina Lee Moore, 23, of Warren, was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds to the body and other injuries consistent with being beaten and/or beating. gun, according to an affidavit written by Warren detectives.
The man with long dreadlocks, known as Williams, was trying to put Moore, who was covered in blood, into the back of a car when officers arrived to investigate a call made at the Liner Avenue address.
The man fled and dropped a firearm, identified as a 9mm Springfield XD-S, which was reported stolen during a robbery in Fowler Township in January, according to the affidavit.
The driver of the car in which Williams was trying to put Moore was later identified as a 33-year-old woman, Warren. Meanwhile, Williams fled to the back of the 600 block from Lehner and was eventually arrested in a heavily wooded area.
Moore identified Williams as her kidnapper and shooter, and the statement was recorded on an officer’s body camera, according to the affidavit.
Moore stated that when Williams forced her into the back seat of a car, she grabbed his gun and fought him for gun control.
She takes control of the gun after Williams flees and the officers arrive.
Chapman’s body was discovered outside the front door of 690 Lene r. He was lying on his back and had no pulse. The affidavit stated that Chapman died as a result of at least one gunshot wound.
Other witnesses at Lehner’s headquarters told officers they were asleep when they heard a knock on the house and someone screaming mosques (Chapman). Meet the man who knocks on windows “Rudy” Which the affidavit said was Williams’ surname. Shortly afterwards, residents heard gunshots and called 911.
Officers recovered many cartridge casings at firing positions and at home. Also recovered was a second firearm, a SCCY 9mm CPX-2, which was found under the driver’s seat of the car where Moore was struggling with Williams.
other capital cases
Williams is the fifth person charged with capital offenses in the past nine months.
Three Youngstown residents — Zachary W. Gord, 23, Brendan Davidock, 28, and Patricia Zarlengo, 27 — have been charged with the January 19 arson attack of Chassidy Broadstone, a sophomore at Warren G. Harding High School. Gord, whose trial is scheduled for February 2024, is being held on a $500,000 bond, while Daviduke and Zarlengo are in jail without bail.
Dominic M. Harvey, 23, of Hillsdale Drive NW, Hero, is charged with first degree murder in the fatal July 2024 shooting of Gotton Lee Jr., 23, in front of the popular Warren restaurant. Harvey, whose trial is scheduled for Aug. 21, is also being held without bail in the Trumbull County Jail.
Attorney General Dennis Watkins said it was the first time since the reintroduction of the death penalty in Ohio in the early 1980s that five death penalty cases had been processed within nine months in Trumbull County. Watkins said he remembers five death row cases in the mid-1990s over the course of two years.
“This shows the way society works. We’ve reiterated that violent criminals are given a chance to get parole and let them out and continue their victimization to the public,” Watkins said.
Baker said he applauded the great job of the Warren detectives in the Williams case, getting an indictment within four days.
“That’s why we have a police force and court system — to protect our community,” Becker said.