Prosecutors aren’t sure of motive after 2 convicted of Youngstown shooting death

Local News

Prosecutors said a key piece of evidence was extremely important in the jury's decision

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Prosecutors Monday said they were unsure of what led to the June 2018 shooting death of Brandon Wylie at a Plaza View Court apartment complex on Youngstown’s east side.

Two men — Brian Donlow, 25, and Stephon Hopkins, 22 — were each convicted Monday by a jury in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court of murder for the death of the 30-year-old, who was shot just after midnight June 19, 2018.

Jurors before Judge Anthony D’Apolito deliberated four-and-a-half hours over two days, including two-and-a-half hours Monday, before reaching their verdict.

Prosecutors relied on a video that captured the shooting of Wylie. They also said police found shell casings from two different guns at the crime scene.

Defense attorneys said the quality of the video was too poor to make out who was actually doing the shooting. Assistant Prosecutor Dawn Cantalamessa said the video was very important to the case and jurors watched it several times during their deliberations.

“This was a case caught on video, essentially,” Cantalamessa said. “We thought [the video] was very important.”

While the video was important to prosecutors to show who killed Wylie, they are still left wondering why. Cantalamessa and her partner on the case, Assistant Prosecutor Mike Yacovone, said they have no idea why Hopkins and Donlow killed Wylie.

“We don’t really know why it happened,” Cantalamessa said. “What we know is what we see on that video is what happened.”

A sentencing date has not been set yet for Donlow and Hopkins. The two are slated to go on trial in May for the November 18, 2018 shooting death of Christopher Jackson, 21, of Warren, and hurting another man.

Jackson was found shot to death in a car in a field on Bennington Avenue.

Also charged in Jackson’s death is Lorice Moore, 22.

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