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A man described by prosecutors as one of the area’s most prolific drug dealers and his accused hitman in four murders will be incarcerated until their case is finalized.
DeWaylyn Colvin, 31, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison in March following a lengthy investigation into Colvin’s drug ring, pleaded not guilty to charges that he ordered four people to be killed during the last two years.
Another man who authorities allege committed the murders at Colvin’s request, Michael L. Austin, 19, of Youngstown, also pleaded not guilty to four murder charges and other crimes.
Colvin and Austin were indicted last week for the murder of Ryan K. Slade, 20, and Keara McCullough, 19, on Sept. 19, while the two were driving on Benford Lane near Warwick Avenue.
They had been indicted before on charges in a double homicide.
Police said Colvin committed the murders to solidify his position as a top heroin dealer.
Police said Slade was a low-level marijuana dealer but McCullough was a “completely innocent victim.”
Family members said McCullough was a Chaney High School graduate and worked at VXI Global Solutions call center.
Police said Colvin ordered Slade’s murder because Slade slapped one of Colvin’s friend’s girlfriend.
Slade was shot in 2010 and was involved in a large fight in 2011.
Records said on May 10, 2010, Slade was shot in the stomach and hip behind Taft Elementary School. He told officers he heard gunfire, realized he was shot and drove to a friend’s home in the 500 block of E. Avondale Avenue.
Police found him bleeding in his car. Witnesses said three men approached Slade and fired shots, then fled.
Colvin, Austin, and Hakeem D. Henderson, 21, of Salem and California, were indicted in April for killing two people in November in what police termed “assassinations.”
All three face life in prison for killing Adam Christian, 23, and Raymond Hayes, 20, on Nov. 13 and Nov. 15, respectively. Investigators said Colvin ordered the duo murdered. Colvin then ordered Hayes to be murdered following the assassinations because Hayes was telling too many people about the killings.
Hayes “was fallout because, we were getting information and have witnesses who said that (Hayes” started talking about the Christian homicide, so they had to silence him,” said Det. Pat Kelly.
Both Christian and Hayes were killed and left in fields on the city’s East Side. Christian was found dead in a field in the 1400 block of Woodcrest Avenue.
Hayes was found three days later by a motorist on Gerwig Avenue and Knapp Street. Police found 11 shell casings around his body and believed he was brought to the sparsely populated area to be murdered.
During Colvin’s sentencing hearing in the drug trafficking case, St. Dominic Pastor Fr. Greg Maturi said Colvin gave information that ultimately helped investigators find who killed 80-year-old Angeline Fimognari. Police originally charged Jamar Houser, who was eventually cleared.
Police said they found Duane Colvin, 32, killed Fimognari during a robbery attempt after they exhumed his body and matched a handprint found by investigators. Duane Colvin was fatally shot Sept. 24. His body was found in a field on Ferndale Avenue and the murder is unsolved.
DeWaylyn Colvin was sentenced to six years in prison in 2005 after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the killing of Eric Martinez, 16, who was fatally shot in the driveway of a Josephine Street home. Colvin showed up at the hospital about an hour later with five gunshot wounds.
Austin also is facing charges for trying to kill Deray Johnson on Dec. 23, 2012. Austin, who was convicted in 2009 of aggravated burglary as a juvenile, was charged with having a weapons as a felon.