November date set for murder trial

WARREN – A Nov. 12 jury trial date was set Thursday for a man accused of murdering Marco Dukes Sr., 32, of Warren in a downtown shootout two months ago.

Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice also scheduled an April 11 pretrial for Derrick ”Rizzi” Peete, 22, who has addresses in Detroit and on Webb Avenue S.W. in Warren.

Peete, represented by Youngstown attorney Heidi Hanni, remains in Trumbull County Jail in lieu of a $2.5 million bond. He is charged with aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault, all with firearm specifications, improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, and having weapons while under disability because of a prior felony conviction.

Also held in lieu of bond and facing similar charges is Dale A. Hatch, 25, also known as ”Black,” who is scheduled for a pre-trial Wednesday in front of another judge. He is represented by Youngstown attorney John Juhasz.

Detectives have described the Nov. 11 shooting as a ”major gun battle,” indicating that at least three people involved had high-powered weapons, and Dukes may have returned gunfire as he and an unarmed cousin were apparently ambushed behind a home on Elm Court.

Dukes was transported by a helicopter to a Cleveland hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His cousin, Larry Smith, 29, of Warren, was wounded and has since recovered from injuries.

Both stood on or near a rear stairway leading to home on Elm Court when gunfire broke out just before 10:30 a.m., according to police reports. Officers recovered nearly 50 shell casings from various weapons in a parking lot in that area.

Assistant county prosecutors Chris Becker and Gabe Wildman have declined to discuss evidence in the case.

Warren detectives are awaiting results of ballistics tests from forensic scientists with Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. Detective Michael Currington said investigators hope the tests can determine just what shots came from which weapon and which weapon actually murdered Dukes.