WARREN – A former local man arrested in Texas and charged with aggravated murder in the Oct. 26 shooting death of a Warren man pleaded not guilty Thursday and remained in jail in lieu of $3 million bond.
Tashawn Walker, 26, who was indicted Wednesday by a Trumbull County grand jury, also faces a firearm specification that carries a mandatory three years in prison.
Besides the murder charge, Walker was indicted on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
The aggravated murder charge is not considered a capital case, but carries a penalty of at least 20 years to life in prison or life behind bars with no chance of parole.
Walker was scheduled for a pretrial Nov. 25 before Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos was assigned the case. He appeared Thursday for his arraignment before Judge W. Wyatt McKay.
Walker, who was living in Baytown, Texas, is accused of fatally shooting Richard C. Rollison IV, 24, at the Sunoco service station on West Market Street one week after his brother, Taemarr Walker, was killed in a confrontation with police near Palmyra and Risher roads.
Security outside the courthouse and inside McKay’s courtroom was beefed up for the brief court appearance attended by family members of Rollison and Walker.
Warren police issued an arrest warrant for Tashawn Walker the same day Rollison was gunned down. Rollison can be heard identifying him as the shooter on a police dashboard camera recording.
U.S. Marshals said they arrested Tashawn Walker ”without incident” on Oct. 28 at a home in Baytown, Texas. During the arrest, two firearms and a box of ammunition were seized as potential evidence.
Warren police traveled to Houston to escort him to Warren after he waived extradition there.
Officials said Walker apparently traveled from Texas to Warren to attend Taemarr Walker’s Oct. 26 funeral.
Tashawn Walker and another relative have been named in connection with an Oct. 26 shooting at the J&L Lounge in Warren Township after they allegedly accused guests at a party there of celebrating Taemarr Walker’s death. No one has been charged in that incident.
Police allege Tashawn Walker left the J&L Lounge early the morning of Oct. 26 and headed into Warren, where he came into contact with Rollison outside the gas station and shot Rollison six times.
A friend who was with Rollison drove his car away from the scene and authorities found it abandoned a short time later.
Tensions have been high in the city after the shootings. Officials confirmed there have been threats made against city police officers and other individuals on social media sites. The Ohio State Highway Patrol, at the request of Warren police, increased patrols in the city and at one point called in troopers from several posts including Lisbon, Canfield, and Ashtabula to help with the effort.
Meanwhile, the State Bureau of Identification and Investigation is investigating the shooting that killed Taemarr Walker.