Man who waited 10 years to be sentenced for Youngstown murder now indicted on gun charge

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Paul Brown's case in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court had three different lawyers and three mistrials

Paul Brown murder trial, Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A man whose Youngstown murder case took almost 10 years to be resolved was indicted this week on a gun charge in federal court.

Paul Brown, 41, was indicted in the U.S. Northern District Court Of Ohio on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Court records do not say if Brown is in custody. The indictment was issued Wednesday.

Brown is accused of having a .380-caliber pistol on April 21 or 22 of this year. The indictment does not give specifics of the case other than that Brown had a gun.

Brown is not allowed to have a gun because of an assault conviction in 1998 in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and a conviction on Dec. 19, 2018, on a charge of involuntary manslaughter stemming from a 2009 charge of aggravated murder.

Brown had also served a federal sentence for a January 2005 conviction on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The murder charge was for the death of the May 2009 shooting death of Ashten Jackson, 17. Jackson was missing for several days before his body was found in a field on the East Side.

Brown had been in custody in one form or another since 2010 for the murder as well as the federal gun charge before he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter last December. The sentence he received was essentially time served.

Brown was accused of killing Jackson sometime around May 24, 2009. Prosecutors said the two were participating in a robbery planned by a third man. Jackson’s body was found on May 30, 2009 in a field on the East Side, near where the robbery was to take place.

In 2012, a mistrial was declared because of a police report and a video that defense counsel did not have. In 2013, the murder charge was briefly dismissed when a defense lawyer claimed police tampered with Brown’s cellphone.

A judge reinstated the charge, however, because testimony at a hearing showed there was no tampering.

In June 2015, the case was again declared a mistrial because of a video that prosecutors wanted to play that the defense had never seen before the trial. Brown’s former attorney appealed to the 7th District Court of Appeals, saying the case should be thrown out because Brown’s double-jeopardy rights were being violated, but the court ruled against Brown.

In September 2018, a mistrial was also declared after Brown said he wanted to fire his second court-appointed lawyer on the case. A team from the state public defender’s office was appointed to represent him, and they were able to hammer out the plea agreement, which Brown had previously turned down.

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