YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A visiting judge Friday said it was reasonable to assume a man charged with a shooting earlier this month on Walden Court had a gun and threatened to use it.
Visiting Judge David Fuhry made those remarks in municipal court as he agreed to bind over two charges of felonious assault as well as counts of domestic violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm to a Mahoning County grand jury against Wayne Martin, 40.
Martin is charged with a shooting July 21 on Walden Court that wounded man in the leg. Judge Fuhry made his decision after a preliminary hearing where three witnesses, including the man who was shot, said they never saw Martin with a gun or shoot a gun.
In fact, the victim, Walter Korengay denied, when asked by an assistant city prosecutor, that he told police that his friend, Martin, accidentally shot him when they arrived.
“I never said that, and I remember it clear as day,” said Korengay, who was testifying from a wheelchair. “I never said that.”
Korengay testified that someone else, who he didn’t know, fired the shot that wounded him.
“He started firing like crazy, and I guess I caught one,” he testified.
Sisters Nai’rah and Nai’zah Kelly testified that they were at the Walden Court home of Martin because Nai’rah Kelly had to get some things out of the house because she was breaking up with Martin.
Korengay testified that Martin asked him to make sure the women did not damage the house, but Nai’zah Kelly kicked in a door when no one answered.
At some point, someone put Martin on speakerphone, and he threatened to “spray” the house with bullets if the sisters didn’t leave.
“He said he would come over and shoot all of us,” Nai’zah Kelly testified.
A few minutes later, Martin did show up and both sisters testified that they ran. Nai’rah Kelly said that Martin was holding something black in his hand that she thought was a gun, but after a few days, she decided it wasn’t a gun but probably a cell phone.
“As of now, I don’t think it was a gun,” she testified. “I think it was a cell phone.”
Nai’zah Kelly said she never saw Martin with a gun, but she ran nevertheless when he showed up. When asked why, she said she ran because she had seen Martin with a gun before and because of what he said on speakerphone.
Defense attorney Tom Zena told Judge Fuhry the case should not be bound over. Zena said none of the witnesses who testified said they saw Martin with a gun, let alone shooting a gun.
But Judge Fuhry said that based on the statements witnesses made to police initially and the statement Martin made on speaker, it was reasonable for police and prosecutors to infer a crime was committed.