New charges for accused killer

WARREN – A Niles man already facing a murder charge was indicted Wednesday on a series of additional felonies linked to a deadly home invasion at a South Street residence in April.

A Trumbull County grand jury indicted Michael B. Settle, 26, of 528 Sherman Ave. S.E., on aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, felonious assault, having weapons while under disability and aggravated robbery charges. All of the counts include firearms specifications, which increases the penalty if convicted.

Settle is also charged with tampering with evidence.

He is being held at the Trumbull County Jail in lieu of a $1.5 million bond.

The charges against Settle are in connection to the April 6 break-in of a home at 918 South St. S.E. that ended with the death of a city man. Reports state that two masked men broke into the house, which was the home of 48-year-old Lisa Prater, shortly before 11:30 p.m., and shots were fired.

Prater was treated for bullet wounds in her arm and leg, while her friend, James Levels, 64, of Beal Street N.W., died of multiple gunshot wounds in the chest.

Levels’ death marked the city’s first homicide of the year and the first serious injury from gunfire in 2014.

Settle was the only person, as of Wednesday, arrested in connection with Levels’ death.

U.S. marshals on Monday picked Settle up on a parole violation. He had been sentenced to three years in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery and receiving stolen property in connection to the armed robbery of an Elm Road business earlier in the year.

Settle, of McDonald at the time, was shot in the chest March 19, 2013, while walking in Warren on Francis Avenue S.E. near Clarence Street S.E. He was treated at Trumbull Memorial Hospital.

Police received reports that same morning that two front plate glass windows had been shattered by gunshots at a Youngstown Road S.E. business. Police said then that they believed the windows were shot in the crossfire when Settle was wounded.

After Settle was taken into custody this week, Dan Deville, head of the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, said the arrest was “as uneventful as can be.”