WARREN - A jury took one hour Wednesday to find a 21-year-old local man guilty of a seven-count indictment that spells out how he broke into a Warren family's home at gunpoint, robbed them, had them drive him to an ATM machine to get more money, then took their car.
''I'm just relieved this is over. It's been hard on myself and my son. We want to put this behind us now,'' said Reiko Williamson, who, along with her son Bryce Humphrey, were threatened by Taylor Ervin-Williams until they ran away from the gunman at the Hot Dog Shoppe.
''We will continue to pray for him though,'' said Williamson's daughter, BreeAnn Humphrey, who hugged her mother in the courthouse hallway.
Ervin-Williams showed little emotion as Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Rice read a lengthy verdict that includes firearm specification that could add to the prison time.
Rice set sentencing for at 9 a.m. Jan. 15.
Ervin-Williams was found guilty on charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and two counts of kidnapping - all with three-year mandatory firearm specifications. He also was convicted on charges of tampering with evidence, failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, and having weapons while under disability since indictments point out that he was previously convicted of a burglary in 2011, making it illegal for him to have a handgun.
Tribune Chronicle photo / R. Michael Semple
Defendant Taylor Ervin-Williams, right, is escorted by Trumbull sheriff’s Deputy Dominic Massary from Trumbull County Jail back to court on Wednesday.
According to testimony during the trial this week, Ervin-Williams took $40 after breaking into Williamson's home on Charles Street S.E. on Feb. 22.
Then Bryce Humphrey and his mother were forced to drive Ervin-Williams to the Seven Seventeen Credit Union ATM near the Hot Dog Shoppe, 740 W. Market St. Once there, the gunman got about $300 from Reiko Williamson's account.
The victims eventually ran away and called police, leaving Ervin-Williams with their car, police said.
Officers spotted the stolen car near the Charles Street home and chased it through the downtown area, before Ervin-Williams jumped out of the car near the intersection of Belmont and Prospect Street N.W., Trumbull County assistant prosecutor Chris Becker said.
Officers tracked Ervin-Williams to his home at 354 Belmont, where they said he entered and managed to sneak into an adjoining apartment at 352 Belmont.
Becker praised Williamson and her son, calling them very credible victims who testified perfectly despite going through a horrible ordeal.
Becker also lauded Warren police officers who chased down Ervin-Williamson in the stolen car and tracked him down at the home on Belmont.
''The road guys at Warren P.D. did a great job on this,'' he said.
Becker told jurors during his closing Wednesday to not be confused over a toy pistol found near where Ervin-Williams was pretending to sleep.
He used a state forensic crime scientist, Lynda Eveleth, to testify how she found Ervin-Williams' DNA, along with an unknown person's DNA, on a real loaded revolver that Ervin-Williams threw out of the car in a vacant lot near the intersection of Elm Road and Washington Street N.E.