Hearing held for juvenile suspect in 4-year-old Struthers boy’s murder case

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Attorneys are waiting for additional information from phone records

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Attorneys in the case of a juvenile accused of committing a robbery where a 4-year-old Struthers boy was killed in September told a juvenile court magistrate Thursday they are awaiting cellphone and internet records in the case.

Attorneys are awaiting Facebook and Instagram posts as well as records for Brandon Crump, 17, of Youngstown, who is charged with aggravated robbery with a firearm specification during the shooting that took the life of Rowan Sweeney, 4, and wounded four others.

Sweeney was killed Sept. 21 during what police said was a robbery in a Struthers home. Crump is not charged with the boy’s murder or shooting anyone else. Kimonie Bryant, 24, is charged with aggravated murder for Sweeney’s death as well as other charges for the wounding of the others at the home.

Police said Sweeney was killed during a robbery of Yarnell Green, one of the victims who had just received a stimulus check. That is the person Crump is accused of robbing.

Crump was not arrested until a few weeks later at a home on the East Side of Youngstown. Investigators said he was one of three people who tried to escape juvenile detention Nov. 15 at the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center, but he got caught in razor wire. He was arraigned Wednesday before Magistrate Karen Romano Melone on charges of escape and assault. His attorney, Jeffrey Kurtz, entered pleas of denial for his client at the arraignment, the juvenile equivalent of not guilty.

Thursday’s hearing was conducted before Magistrate Melone via conference call. Kurtz said he was wondering what evidence authorities have against his client because he was starting to say that neither the indictment or affidavits in the case were clear enough that his client was involved.

Before he could get any further, however, Juvenile Prosecutor Anissa Modarelli said she did not want to talk about that aspect of the case on the record because two reporters were present. She suggested Kurtz call her after the hearing.

A hearing will be held Jan. 11 before Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick. Prosecutors are expected to ask for Crump’s case to be bound over to common pleas court.

Rowan Brandon Sweeney obituary

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