13 charged in death of Youngstown teen

YOUNGSTOWN – A juvenile is facing two counts of murder, and 12 others, including nine adults and three other juveniles, are charged with related crimes stemming from the shooting death of a teenager Sunday night.

A Mahoning County grand jury Thursday secretly indicted three women and six men in the shooting death of 17-year-old Shawn Cortez. Eight of the nine adults have been arrested and are being held at Mahoning County Jail, jail records indicate. The name of the ninth adult will be released when he is arrested.

Charges also have been filed against four juveniles, whom police have not named.

The juveniles include a 17-year-old, charged with two counts of murder, felonious assault, aggravated riot, involuntary manslaughter and a firearm charge in juvenile court. Three other juveniles are also facing charges of aggravated riot and involuntary manslaughter.

The charges include aggravated riot, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, having weapons under disability and obstructing justice. One adult suspect, 19-year-old Dejon Jenkins, is facing a charge of complicity in the murder of Cortez.

Police Chief Robin Lees noted during a press conference Friday that the city will pursue all suspects involved in violent crimes and not just the person directly responsible for the shooting.

“We will not focus on the trigger man. Everyone associated will be prosecuted,” Lees said.

Cortez was shot about 6 p.m. Sunday on Winona Avenue during what investigators called an arranged fight. Detectives said an altercation at a house party the previous night led to the fight, which involved 30 people.

Police said multiple shots were fired during the incident and several shell casings were found in the area.

Mahoning County Assistant Prosecutor Marty Desmond, who is handling the case, said during the press conference that not only did adults stand by and watch the fight escalate, they egged it on. The entire scene was captured on cell phone video that they said will not be released because of the violent images.

“They are disturbing to say the least, a shock to the conscious,” Desmond said. “It is too much to release at this time.”

Cortez was rushed to St. Elizabeth Health Center in a private vehicle, but was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Youngstown Mayor John McNally said he expected all those charged to be in police custody by the end of Friday.