Inmate is indicted in 2nd slaying

A man who was sentenced to death for the drive-by killing of a Youngstown baby in 2003 is a suspect in a 1997 homicide in Ashtabula.

The Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that it issued six arrest warrants in the Feb. 9, 1997, murder of Ronald ”Maceo” Hull.

Three of the suspects in the murder, Troy Jones, Eric Weaver and 35-year-old John Drummond are from Youngstown. The other suspects are Stephen Boles, George Church and Jawann M. Evans. All but Evans are in custody.

Detective Lt. Terry Moisio of the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office said Hull’s death was over drugs and money and that investigators built their case largely on reinterviewing key witnesses.

”Most all the players were still around,” Moisio said.

One player who wasn’t hard to find was Drummond, who is prison for the March 4, 2003, shooting death of 3-month-old Jiyen Dent on Rutledge Avenue in the Lincoln Knolls area of the East Side. Dent was in a swing inside his parents home when he was struck in the head by a round from an AK-47 type assault rifle.

Reports at the time said Drummond was feared in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred and that he was upset that Dent’s family, who came from the South Side, moved to the neighborhood. Later, prosecutors said Drummond was upset because the baby’s father knew someone from another gang, although the father had no known gang affiliations.

Drummond was sentenced to death by former Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge Maureen Cronin after he was found guilty of aggravated murder.

Drummond appealed his conviction and sentence, and both were overturned by a federal judge because of Cronin’s decision to close the courtroom for part of the trial as a witness testified. The state is appealing the decision to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Drummond is in prison awaiting the outcome of that appeal.

Drummond had lost a leg from a previous shooting and sports a tattoo that says, ”Y-Town criminal.”

At this point in the case, Moisio said investigators are not ready to release who they think was the triggerman in Hull’s death.

Hull was found dead on Feb. 9, 1997, with several gunshot wounds in the area of 1017 W. 38th St. in Ashtabula.

Moisio said that two of the detectives who helped on the case, Taylor Cleveland and Sean Ward, were working for Ashtabula police at the time Hull was killed. Moisio also said the state Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation’s cold case initiative also helped them get enough evidence to issue warrants.

Anyone with information on Evans’ wherabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 440-576-0055 or the United States Marshals Tip Line at 866-4 Wanted. A cash reward is available leading to Evans’ arrest.

Those indicted will be arraigned in common pleas court.