Gang member on trial for 1997 murder

A former Youngstown gang member and convicted murderer will stand trial Wednesday for murdering a man in Ashtabula.

Lincoln Knolls Crips convicted murderer John Drummond, who was removed from death row in 2011 and is awaiting appeal, is scheduled to stand trial Wednesday in Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court on charges of aggravated murder and kidnapping. A felonious assault charge was dropped because the statute of limitations expired.

Drummond and five others were charged in January with the Feb. 8, 1997 kidnapping and murder of Ronald Hull in an Ashtabula apartment on West 38th Street over drugs and money.

All five pleaded guilty to kidnapping charges. Troy Jones, of Youngstown, and Jawann Evans, of Ashtabula, were both sentenced to three years prison and former Ashtabula residents Eric Weaver and George Church were sentenced to two years in prison.

The sixth man, Jawann Evans, of Ashtabula, was sentenced to three years probation.

Drummond was convicted in 2004 for fatally shooting 3-month-old Jiyen Dent Jr. during a March 24, 2003 gang shooting. He was convicted of aggravated murder, attempted murder, two counts of attempting to cause bodily harm with a deadly weapon, firing a gun into a home and having a gun as a felon.

Dent was in a swing inside his parent’s home when Drummond opened fire on the home with an assault rifle, killing Dent with a bullet to his head.

He was sentenced to death and his convictions were upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court. U.S. District Court Judge Sara Lioi ordered a new trial in 2011 because the trial judge, disgraced judge Maureen Cronin, unlawfully closed her courtroom during the trial because gang members were intimidating witnesses.

Cronin was eventually convicted of taking an $18,000 loan from a Youngstown business owner and was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison.

There were altercations between spectators during the trial and Cronin ordered everyone leave the entire building while James “Cricket” Rozenbald testified because he was scared of retaliation.

Lioi’s ruling is being challenged. Arguments were heard by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Appeals Court in April and no decision has been made.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

1 thought on “Gang member on trial for 1997 murder

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s