YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Prosecutors are opposing a motion to reduce the bond of a man whom a Mahoning County grand jury failed to indict for a Youngstown shooting death in February.
Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Trapp opposed 27-year-old Aaron Clinkscale’s request to reduce his $510,000 bond.
He originally received the bond in municipal court when he was charged with murder for the death of 29-year-old Ra’mon Cooper.
The grand jury refused to indict Clinkscale on murder charges for Cooper’s death, but they did hand down an indictment for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Police said Cooper and Clinkscale argued inside Club Savo on South Avenue and security made both men leave.
In the parking lot, police said they continued arguing and Cooper got a gun and fired several rounds at Clinkscale, who is not allowed to have a weapon because of prior felony convictions.
However, police said Clinkscale retrieved a gun from a car and returned fire, killing Cooper.
Grand jury proceedings are secret and it is not known why they failed to indict Clinkscale for murder, but prosecutors and police have both said that perhaps the grand jury thought Clinkscale was acting in self-defense.
At his arraignment last week, Clinkscale’s attorney, Tony Meranto, asked Common Pleas Judge Anthony D’Apolito to reduce his client’s bond because it was set at his municipal court arraignment for the murder charge, rather than the charge he was indicted on.
Judge D’Apolito said he would defer to the trial judge, Judge Anthony Donofrio, on the matter of bond.
The charge Clinkscale was indicted on is a third-degree felony that carries a maximum three-year prison sentence.
Trapp argued that the bond should stay the same because Clinkscale was involved in the confrontation that led to Cooper’s death and the fact he had immediate access to a gun even though he is barred from having one.
Trapp also said Clinkscale’s criminal record should also be taken into consideration; a 2014 conviction for felony assault and a 2017 conviction for trafficking in drugs.
Judge Donofrio is expected to rule on the motion at a later date.