YOUNGSTOWN - Jacqueline Repchic said she still remembers the sounds the bullets made when her car was shot up and her husband killed.
Testifying in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Tuesday in the trial of Kevin Agee, one of two men accused of wounding her and killing her 75-year-old husband, Thomas, Jacqueline told jurors how her husband picked her up from a job at St. Dominic's Church, and they were driving home on Southern Boulevard near East Philadelphia Avenue to get ready for a wedding.
''I heard something hitting the car, like a ping, and I turned around said said to Tom, 'I think somebody is shooting at us,''' the 75-year-old woman told jurors.
The defense table hears the testimony of Jacqueline Repchic
A jury of seven men and five women was picked Monday before Judge Maureen Sweeney to hear the case against Agee, 27, of Garfield Street, who is charged with aggravated murder and felonious assault in the murder of Thomas Repchic and the wounding of his wife on Sept. 25, 2010, on the South Side.
Jacqueline Repchic was wheeled into court on a wheelchair by her grandson, Thomas McBride. She lost one of her feet because of the shooting.
She testified that her husband failed to answer and she grabbed the steering wheel so the car would not travel through the busy Market Street / Southern Boulevard intersection, and guided it into a bench. She said she tried to get out of the car but fell down because her foot had been nearly shot off. That was the first time she knew she was also hit, she testified.
Tribune Chronicle / Joe Gorman
Kevin Agee, right, talks Tuesday with his defense attorneys, Rhys Cartwright-Jones, left, and James Gentile, just before his capital murder trial starts in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
''When I did that (fell), it was because I didn't have a foot,'' she testified.
Police say the Repchics' car matched a car driven by people feuding with Agee and another suspect, Aubrey Toney, 31, of West Judson Avenue. Police say the killing was a case of mistaken identity. If Agee is found guilty, he could face the death penalty. Toney goes on trial in October.
Assistant prosecutor Rob Andrews told jurors, ''There came a time in a cruel twist of fate when Thomas Repchic and his wife drove by East Philadelphia Avenue, and that's when shots were fired.''
Defense attorney Rhys Cartwright-Jones said in his opening statement that Agee was in the SUV Toney borrowed from his cousin when he spotted the car he thought belonged to a rival but he did not know Toney planned on shooting anyone.
''Kevin Agee is a witness to a horrible crime but Kevin Agee is not responsible,'' Cartwright-Jones said.
Cartwright-Jones said his client and Toney were looking for a marijuana dealer so they could smoke some of the drug while watching an Ohio State game when the Repchics' car was spotted. Witnesses in the area identified Toney as being in the passenger's seat, Cartwright-Jones said.
''Much of what we'll hear from the state's witnesses supports that Kevin Agee had no knowledge of any impending shooting,'' Cartwright-Jones said.
Youngstown Patrolman Dave Wilson was the first officer to respond after a gunshot sensor in his cruiser detected six to 12 gunshots in the area. He said Thomas Repchic was slumped over the steering wheel, dead from a gunshot wound to the chest, and his wife was bleeding heavily.
''I could see all the blood from her,'' Wilson testified, sometimes haltingly. ''She kept asking for her husband, 'Is he all right? Is he all right?''' Wilson testified.
Andrews said it took detectives a couple of days to put the case together. He said Agee lied in an initial interview to police and he also cautioned jurors that Agee is on trial, not Toney, but he made no doubt that he holds both men responsible for the crime.
''They're both cold-hearted killers,'' Andrews said.
The trial continues today.