YOUNGSTOWN - Jurors began deliberating Tuesday after attorneys presented closing arguments in a murder case from September 2011.
Before closing arguments, defense attorney Gus Theofilos presented a string of witnesses to try and establish an alibi for his client, 27-year-old Donovan Miller of Cambridge Street.
Miller is accused of the Sept. 22, 2011, murder of 22-year-old Quest Wagoner at a 1139 Inverness Ave. home on the South Side. Wagoner was shot once in the head and may have been asleep when he was killed.
Prosecutors say Wagoner was killed in a dispute involving a drug deal.
A jury was seated in the case Friday before Mahoning County Common Pleas Court Judge Lou D'Apolito. They were sent home late Tuesday afternoon without returning a verdict. They are expected to resume deliberations today.
On Monday, the lead investigator on the case, Detective Sgt. Rick Spotleson, said neighbors had spotted a vehicle, a 1995 Chevrolet Tahoe, in Wagoner's drive around the time they think he was shot, which was 11 a.m.
Tuesday, Miller's mother, Sonia Miller, testified that her son had come to her house about 11 a.m. the day Wagoner was killed and asked to borrow her car, which does not look like a Tahoe. She said her son left with her vehicle about 11:10 a.m. that day and had it with him all day.
She admitted under cross examination from assistant prosecutor Martin Desmond that she never told police or prosecutors about her son taking her car, although she did say she told Theofilos right away.
Also called was Bianca Mostella, who was living in Liberty at the time and said Miller was at her apartment twice to visit her boyfriend the morning of the murder, first about 10:30 a.m. later about 12:45 p.m. when he wasn't there the first time.
She said she remembers the date because her boyfriend, Antony Ross, had a traffic court date in Warren Municipal Court. However, Desmond had court documents that showed Ross' court date was actually the day before.
Ross took the stand and said he went to court the day before the murder and then went back the next day because he had to pay fines and court costs.
Two employees from a Wilson Avenue auto wrecking yard also testified that Miller was in their business buying a part for his truck about noon the day of the murder and they had a receipt to prove it.