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The man who was found dead inside a burned out car Tuesday in Lordstown was released from prison in October after spending four years there for trying to rob a Warren Township drug dealer who fatally shot his partner.
Trumbull County Coroner Humphrey Germanuik said the man found in the car is Michael Anderson, 23, whose last known address was 7th Street in Warren Township.
Germaniuk has not yet ruled on how Anderson died or if he was murdered.
Police said a passerby called 911 after noticing the car on fire on an access road to a cell phone tower off Industrial Trace Road.
The death is being treated as a homicide and is being investigated by the state fire marshal, Lordstown police and the Trumbull County Homicide Task Force.
Anderson, according to a search of county records, was convicted of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court in 2009.
Anderson was sentenced to serve four years in prison, three for the robbery and burglary and one for using a gun during the home invasion.
Lordstown Police Chief Brent Milhoan said Friday Anderson was released from prison Oct. 16. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections said he was on parole after being released.
Warren Township Lt. Don Bishop, who investigated the 2008 case, said Anderson and Delsean Peterman, 18, of Youngstown, tried to rob Garland Boone, 25, in July 2008 at a Bet Mar Mobile Home Park home on Highland Avenue S.W.
Bishop said Anderson and Peterman met Boone the day before through a mutual acquaintance and planned to rob him.
Anderson and Peterman, both masked, forced their way into Boone’s home and beat him with a gun in front of his wife and children, Bishop said. The duo knocked Boone to the ground near his table. Boone, who had taped a gun to the underside of the table, grabbed the gun and fired a shot, striking Peterman in the stomach, Bishop said.
Bishop said the two fled to the Hampshire House apartments before they realized Peterman was shot.
Milhoan said investigators are chasing leads, including if the Anderson was killed in retaliation, but are still trying to determine the circumstances that led to Anderson’s death.
Bishop said he saw Anderson as recently as last week since the Adult Parole Authority uses the Warren Township Police Department to meet with parolees.
“I don’t know what he was involved with after he got out of prison, but it sure seems like the way this went this down that he crossed someone, probably over drugs,” Bishop said.