YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Mahoning County assistant prosecutor Friday said a plea offer has been made to the last of three people accused in the September 2020 shooting death of a 4-year-old Struthers boy.
Mike Yacovone said during a pretrial hearing before Judge Anthony D’Apolito in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for Andre McCoy, 22, that he has yet to hear back from McCoy’s lawyer on the matter.
Yacovone did not divulge in open court what the offer was.
A trial date of Sept. 5 was set for McCoy after Judge D’Apolito asked the attorneys in the case to set a date and do everything they can to make sure the case can go forward then.
Sweeney was killed during what police say was a home invasion robbery at the Perry Street home of his mother in Struthers. Police said the robbers were looking for cash that the mother’s boyfriend had from a stimulus check.
McCoy could face the death penalty if convicted of aggravated murder for Sweeny’s death.
Also facing the death penalty for Sweeney’s death, if convicted, is Kimonie Bryant, 25. He turned himself in hours after the shooting and has been in the county jail since then. He was indicted in October 2020. McCoy was indicted in March 2021 in a superseding indictment.
Indicted at the same time as McCoy was Brandon Crump, 19. However, his aggravated murder charges have been sent back to juvenile court because those charges were never heard by a juvenile court judge. He is not eligible for the death penalty because he was a juvenile at the time the crimes were committed.
Crump’s hearing to determine if the case should be bound over to common pleas court is slated for Wednesday.
McCoy was shot in the head during the robbery and at one time was thought to be close to death. Prosecutors have not said if he was shot on purpose or if it was an accident.
The case has taken a long time to make its way through the court docket because of litigation over DNA testing in the case at a private lab and also because Crump’s case had to be sent back to juvenile court.
Prosecutors said they needed the DNA tests to be completed to determine who would be tried first in the case, while attorneys for Bryant wanted an expert to observe the testing in person, however, a lab that would allow that to take place could not be found.
Bryant’s case is tentatively set for Sept. 11, but that will almost certainly have to be moved if McCoy’s case goes forward.