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Falls man pleads in murder case

Was accused in Thanksgiving Day shooting of woman

WARREN — An 82-year-old Newton Falls man accused in a Thanksgiving Day 2020 homicide pleaded guilty to reduced charges Monday ahead of a scheduled jury trial.

Richard D. Stevenson, 609 Ridge Road, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, with a firearm specification, a first-degree felony. He is set to be sentenced 1:30 p.m. Aug. 23 in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court by Judge Ronald J. Rice.

Stevenson had been slated to be tried before a jury Monday for charges of murder and felonious assault stemming from the Nov. 26, 2020, death of 31-year-old Salena L. Jones. At the time of the shooting, Stevenson, who was living on Front Street in Warren, had called 911 saying he shot a woman who was inside his house and she ran outside afterward.

He claimed Jones was the same woman who had robbed him the Saturday prior to the shooting, according to a 911 report. In the robbery report, Stevenson told police a woman jumped on him, punched him in the face, ripped the buttons off his shirt and took a $10 bill from his pocket.

A caller reporting the Thanksgiving day shooting said neighbors heard someone frantically knocking on the front door before running to the back, where they found Jones. Another caller to Trumbull County 911 described the shooter as “an old white man.”

Jones died shortly after Warren police responded to the 1700 block of Front Street. The Trumbull County Coroner’s Office ruled that cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest. Jones was the 16th city homicide of 2020.

Stevenson was arraigned in common pleas court in January of this year after his case was bound over from Warren Municipal Court. He pleaded not guilty to charges, posted his $100,000 bond shortly after and was placed on house arrest.

Stevenson’s bond was revoked Monday and he was booked into the Trumbull County jail, where he will remain as he awaits sentencing.

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