Case files: Standoff suspects

Kevin Johns

Kevin Johns, 24, of Cincinnati, was sentenced to 28 years behind bars on April 15 for raping a local woman and kidnapping another woman about a year ago. He is in Trumbull County Jail awaiting transport to the state prison system after a jury convicted him.

Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan called Johns a ”career-type criminal” who had to be ”put away.”

Logan handed down consecutive and maximum sentences, including two three-year firearm specifications for a total of six years. In addition, Johns got 11 years for rape; eight years for kidnapping and three years for having weapons under disability. Johns also was labeled a Tier III sex offender, requiring him to register his whereabouts with authorities every 90 days for the rest of his life when he gets out of prison.

The jury in March found Johns guilty of a lesser version of kidnapping the driver of the car. He was found not guilty of kidnapping the passenger but guilty of raping her.

The jury also found Johns not guilty of robbing the victims of their cell phones. But he was convicted of possessing weapons under disability since he has a criminal record and served three years in prison for robbery and assaulting a police officer in Hamilton County.

It was in prison that Johns met Taemarr Walker, 24, of Warren, and was visiting him when he met both women. Johns said he and Walker went with both women to an Austintown motel and had sex, except Johns couldn’t remember the name of the motel and couldn’t produce any receipts.

It was a way of explaining the DNA match between the defendant and a piece of clothing inside the car that had traces of his semen on it.

Walker was unavailable to serve as a witness in his behalf since he was killed Oct. 19 in a confrontation with a Warren police officer.

The women testified that they were picking up Walker to go shopping with them and Walker told them over the phone to pull to the back of his home. It was there they encountered Johns, who forced them to drive around at gunpoint, according to their testimony.

Johns later ordered the driver to stop and get out of the car and remain outside by a fence while he raped the passenger in a driveway.

David Martin

David Martin, 29, who has had addresses in Cleveland and Akron, faces the death penalty on capital murder charges stemming from the murder and robbery of a 21-year-old man at a home on Oak Circle S.W.

A prosecutor asked that Martin be shackled for his murder trial, saying the accused had blurted out a threat heard by corrections officers in the Trumbull County Jail.

Martin told a corrections officer, “When I go to trial, I’m going to grab the first gun I can when I have a chance to. I’m not going to death row!” assistant Trumbull County prosecutor Chris Becker, who is handling the case, states in his motion.

An inner-jail report from the end of March cautioned, “All officers need to use extreme caution when dealing with (Martin) due to the nature of his charges and for the safety and security of the staff and facility.”

Martin is accused of killing 21-year-old Jeremy Cole and wounding Melissa Putnam, 29, on Sept. 27, 2012. Cole was shot in the head and Putnam, 29, was shot in the hand. The bullet traveled through her hand and into her neck, but she recovered from her injuries after four days in the hospital.

Cole and Putnam were both tied up and placed in different rooms at the home during the apparent robbery. Martin allegedly made Putnam tie up Cole at gunpoint, then Martin tied up Putnam. She said her face was covered with a towel as both were robbed.

Martin faces aggravated murder charge and the aggravated circumstances. He also faces firearms specifications on counts of aggravated robbery, kidnapping and a repeat violent offender specification, having weapons while under disability, receiving stolen property because it is alleged he used a stolen gun, and tampering with evidence because he tried to burn his clothes.

A trial that was supposed to be staged earlier this year was pushed back to allow Martin to undergo psychiatric tests on his competency.

Jury selection in David Martin’s trial was to begin April 9. However, Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan agreed to the competency test during a brief, closed hearing earlier this month. The trial is now scheduled for Aug. 27 with a status conference set for May 20.

Richard Ware

Richard Ware, 27, with a last known address on North Leavitt Road, is in Trumbull County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bond with three aggravated robbery cases pending in Common Pleas Court in front of three different judges, according to court records and Tribune Chronicle archives.

One of the cases includes an additional charge of felonious assault since Ware is accused of robbing an elderly man who was beaten with his own cane Dec. 11 on Monroe Street N.W. Ware faces a pre-trial in that case in front of Judge Andrew Logan on May 20.

Ware is also accused of robbing a man on Warren’s portion of the bike trail Dec. 4 and using a handgun in the process. Ware faces a pre-trial in front of Judge Peter Kontos on Monday.

Ware is accused of riding a bike of his own during Dec. 17 robbery of a local pharmacy. Witnesses told Warren police a man used a knife to hold up a clerk at the CVS Pharmacy, 620 East Market St.

Police viewed security video before going to a home on Chestnut Street N.E., finding the bike and Ware hiding in a bedroom closet. He’s been in custody since that time and faces a pre-trial in the drugstore robbery May 8 in front of Judge Ronald Rice.

Ware, according to court records, was placed on five years probation July 6, 2010, after being convicted of possession of cocaine and illegal conveyance of drugs onto grounds of a detention facility. That probation was violated after Ware was convicted of robbery and sentenced to a year in prison on another charge of robbery July 28, 2011.

Records also show Ware was not indicted by a Trumbull County grand jury when he was bound over on a robbery charge in 2006 and an aggravated robbery charge and aggravated burglary charge in 2009.