Woman denies slaying
WARREN – A teenager from Warren pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a murder charge, and an elderly man from Niles, who had resembled Santa Claus, appeared for his arraignment with a clean-shaven appearance.
Both pleaded not guilty during their court appearances on unrelated charges.
Lakeisha Bell, 19, remained in Trumbull County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond pending a pre-trial Oct. 2 before Judge W. Wyatt McKay.
Bell, who was indicted last week, is accused of fatally shooting her best friend Aug. 2 at Perkins Park.
Bell faces charges of murder with a firearms specification and involuntary manslaughter with a firearms specifications. It’s possible for Bell to be convicted of both charges even though there is only one victim.
Bell can be sentenced on only one of the charges.
She also was indicted on charges of having a weapon under disability, carrying a concealed weapon and tampering with evidence.
She is accused of fatally shooting McKayla Hopkins, 18, of Howland during a celebration of Bell’s 19th birthday in a pavilion near the Community Amphitheatre.
Investigators originally said they believed the shooting was accidental. A witness said Bell was showing the gun to those at the party and the gun went off. Bell’s August arrested came while she was free on $20,000 bond facing two charges of aggravated drug trafficking.
In the unrelated case, William Brock, 65, of Niles, also remains held on $100,000 bond.
The clean-shaven Brock, who was formerly known as ”Santa” to kids in his neighborhood, was scheduled for a pre-trial this morning before Judge Ronald Rice.
A prosecutor said Wednesday he expects to ask the judge for an increased bond of $1 million.
Brock also was indicted last week on 35 charges of possessing and creating child pornography allegedly found on his computer.
Brock, of 832 Mason St., faces 16 counts of second-degree felony pandering sexually oriented matter and 19 counts of fourth-degree felony pandering.
The second-degree felony counts carry the potential of up to eight years in prison each and accuse Brock of creating, recording, photographing, filming, developing, reproducing or publishing the material involving minors engaging in sexual activity. The 16 allegations having different dates in 2012 also contain specific dates of known minor victims, including some of the area and some involving bestiality.
The 19 fourth-degree felonies that have maximum penalties of up to 18 months only accuse Brock of possessing the sexual material that was found on his computer by forensic investigators.
Federal, state and local law enforcement officials raided Brock’s residence July 19 looking for child pornography and confiscating the computer.
A woman Brock knows, Connie Ramirez, 43, was also charged with rape, gross sexual imposition, pandering obscenity involving a minor and pandering sexually explicit matter involving a minor.