YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Mahoning County juvenile court magistrate Monday denied bond for a suspect in the shooting death of a 15-year-old girl at a birthday party.
Magistrate Karen Romano Melone entered pleas of denial — the juvenile equivalent of not guilty — for the 16-year-old boy, who is charged with murder for the April 15 shooting death of Amya Monserrat at a 3503 Southern Blvd. restaurant.
The suspect is also charged with three counts of attempted murder.
WKBN is not naming the suspect unless his case is moved to adult court.
Monserrat, 15, who was a student at Valley Christian School, was killed in a shooting at about 10:40 p.m. at the restaurant as a birthday party was ending.
There were confrontations at the party earlier in the evening before the groups traded gunfire when the party ended. Monserrat was shot in the parking lot and was placed in a car to be driven to the hospital when officers arrived and found her.
Police performed first aid on her until an ambulance crew took her to St. Elizabeth Health Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Police pored over hundreds of hours of surveillance and body cam video during their investigation. The suspect turned himself in Friday evening.
Police said there are more suspects and more arrests are possible.
Juvenile Prosecutor Annisa Modarelli said there is a chance she will not seek to have the suspect’s case bound over to adult court, depending on how cases with other defendants play out.
All four of the charges carry a firearm specification and a drive-by-shooting specification, which means someone was firing a gun from a car. That specification carries a five-year sentence.
Modarelli said the specifications alone on the charges can make the defendant serve a sentence of “juvenile life,” or staying in the custody of the Department of Youth Services until he is 21.
Of the two attempted murder victims, two are 16 and the other is an adult. Although they were shot at, no one else was hit.
Modarelli said she will also seek a Serious Youthful Offender status for the defendant. Under that designation, if his case remains in juvenile court, he will receive both a juvenile sentence and an adult sentence.
If he misbehaves while in the custody of DYS, he can then serve a sentence in an adult prison. A hearing would have to be held before that sentence can be imposed.