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Bryant murder case to take months

Accused of shooting Struthers boy, age 4

YOUNGSTOWN — The first death penalty case in Mahoning County in several years will occupy lots of time for its judge and attorneys over the next 10 months, possibly culminating in a trial Sept. 13, 2021.

Kimonie Bryant, 24, of Struthers, faces aggravated murder and other charges in the Sept. 21 shooting death of Rowan Sweeney, 4, in his Perry Street, Struthers, home.

Bryant also faces other charges in the shootings of four adults in the home that night. And a Youngstown teen, Brandon Crump, 17, has been charged in Mahoning County Juvenile Court with aggravated robbery with three gun specifications in the case.

Prosecutors will seek to have him tried as an adult in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

After a pretrial hearing last week in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in Bryant’s case, court officials listed pretrial hearings in the case every month between now and the September trial date.

They start with a 2 p.m. hearing Dec. 8 before Judge Anthony D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

The case was originally assigned to Judge John Durkin, but Durkin on Nov. 4 recused himself from the case. The filing does not give a reason for the change of judge.

Bryant is accused of shooting Andre McCoy, 20, and Yarnell Green Jr., 30, shortly after entering the home at about 2 a.m., then approaching the boy, who was on a couch with his mother, Alexis Schneider, 22. He was asleep when Bryant entered the home, prosecutors said, but it’s not known whether he was awake when he was shot.

Police have said Rowan’s mother covered Rowan and begged Bryant not to shoot him, but Bryant did. Bryant also is accused of shooting Schneider and Cassandra Marsicola.

Bryant’s charges make him eligible for the death penalty if he is convicted of aggravated murder and certain specifications. Because of that, Durkin appointed a second attorney, Lynn Maro, to represent Bryant. Attorney John Juhasz was appointed earlier to the Bryant defense team. Bryant remains in the Mahoning County jail without eligibility to make bond.

The last death penalty case in Mahoning County was that of Lance Hundley, who was sentenced to death in 2018 after he murdered disabled woman Erika Huff in her Youngstown home, tried to kill Huff’s mother and set them both on fire in November 2015.

The Ohio Supreme Court in July affirmed Huff’s conviction and sentence.

erunyan@tribtoday.com

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