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Teen pleads not guilty to murder, tampering charges

WARREN — An 18-year-old city resident accused of two counts of murder, improperly discharging a a firearm into a habitation and tampering with evidence pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Monday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

Shamar Askew of Homewood Avenue was assigned a $500,000 bond. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Dec. 8 before Judge W. Wyatt McKay. Askew was assigned a public defender.

He is accused in the slaying of Ruth Lewis, 89, who was sitting in her wheelchair Feb. 28, in the living room of 3178 Starlite Drive when she was struck in the back with a bullet.

At the time of the shooting, Lewis was helping to plan her son’s funeral. The son had died of cardiac trouble a few days earlier.

According to Trumbull 911 recordings of phone calls, witnesses noted there were five to 10 gunshots heard.

Askew remains in the Trumbull County Juvenile Detention Center.

According to Warren police reports, it appeared the woman was shot through the window as someone fired at the house. The report did not give a reason for the shooting.

Lewis was overseeing five generations of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, her family said.

She and late husband Robert Lewis founded R&R BBQ, and she had the beauty shop Magic Mirror on Niles Road. She worked at Packard Electric for 15 years and had worked in construction.

If convicted of all charges connected to Lewis’ death, Askew could face a possible 30-years-to-life prison sentence with each firearm specification adding three years to the minimum total.

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