YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The attorney for a man accused of a December shooting that killed a man and wounded three others is asking a judge in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to throw out an identification of her client by a witness.
In a motion filed Wednesday, attorney Lynn Maro told Judge John Durkin the identification should be thrown out because detectives did not conduct a proper photo lineup.
Maro represents Marquez Thomas, 25, who faces charges of aggravated murder and attempted murder for a Dec. 27 shooting at a Tyrell Avenue apartment complex that killed Joseph Addison, 42, and wounded three others. Also facing murder charges is his sister, C’Mone Thomas, 22. She was on the run for some time before she was arrested. Both are in the county jail.
Marquez Thomas has a Sept. 26 trial date. In her motion, Maro said detectives visited an inmate March 3 at the jail who said he had information on the shooting and asked if he would be able to go home. The detectives told the witness they could tell the judge in his case he was cooperating, the motion said.
First, detectives showed the witness still photos taken from surveillance video and the witness was able to identify the people, the motion said. The detectives then showed the witness a photo of Thomas and asked if that was him and the witness said it was.
Maro said the photo identification was improper because detectives only showed the witness one photo and the photo was not shown by a “blind administrator,” or a detective who has no ties to the case. She also said the process was suggestive because of comments the detectives made to the witness.
Ohio law governs how photo lineups should be conducted and because Maro contends the procedure was not followed along with the suggestive comments, the identification made by the witness should not be allowed to be introduced at trial.
Prosecutors have yet to file a response.