WARREN - The final defendant in a five-way conspiracy was sentenced Thursday to 18 years for his involvement in a 2009 Liberty murder that claimed the lives of a mother and daughter.
James Christian, 23, of Youngstown, told Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice he was sorry for his part in the double murder before the judge handed down the sentence that was worked out between assistant prosecutors and Christian's attorney.
Christian had pleaded guilty earlier to complicity to two counts of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated burglary with firearm specifications and tampering with evidence.
Last month, 39-year-old Melvin Turner - the triggerman in the case - was sentenced to 19 years behind bars.
On Nov. 15, 2009, Turner, Christian and Marquese Floyd, 28, of Youngstown, entered the 3022 Northgate Drive home of Wilneice Green, 28, and her daughter, Ja'Brayasia Green, 13, where both females were later found shot to death.
It was almost two years ago that Floyd pleaded guilty to two counts of complicity to involuntary manslaughter, aggravated burglary with firearm specifications and tampering with evidence.
Floyd was sentenced to 22 years in prison and could have shaved that sentence to 21 years, but was never able to furnish Liberty detectives with the assault rifle used as the murder weapon, which, along with other evidence, is presumed to be in McKelvey Lake in Youngstown.
Appollonia Baker, 28, who drove the group to the home, was recently sentenced to six years in prison after cutting a plea deal about three years ago. She pleaded guilty to complicity to involuntary manslaughter, complicity to aggravated burglary and tampering with evidence. She, like the others, also agreed to take polygraph exams to confirm her role in the crime.
Denise Jackson, 28, was given a 13-year prison sentence under terms of her deal.
Christian, though, was one of the gunmen in the murder plot that investigators believe targeted the now-deceased Semmie Shorter, 38, who eluded the attack that night.
According to a police report, Shorter was accused of molesting a young female relative of Jackson's in the home on the morning of Nov. 15, 2009. Jackson, according to a court affidavit, spoke to members of the conspiracy, telling them that Shorter needed to "pay for what he did."
Wilneice and Ja'Brayasia were shot in the attack. According to a court affidavit, Turner, using the assault rifle, was the triggerman in each murder. Wilneice had apparently pleaded for the lives of her children before being shot. Ja'Brayasia, according to the affidavit, attempted to run out the door. Turner allegedly told Christian to shoot her, but Christian did not. Turner pushed the girl to the floor and shot her, the affidavit alleges.
Shorter, according to the Mahoning County Coroner's Office, died in March 2010 after shooting himself in the head in Youngstown.