WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A teen entered a plea Wednesday in a Warren murder case and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
Shamar Askew, 19, pleaded guilty to an amended indictment charging him with two counts of murder, improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation and tampering with evidence.
Askew was initially charged as a juvenile for the February 28, 2021, murder of 89-year-old Ruth Lewis. Later, the case had been moved to Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, where Askew was tried as an adult.
Lewis was killed inside her home in the 3100 block of Starlite Street NW when she was shot, but she was not the intended target.
According to the woman who called 911, they were sitting in the living room planning a funeral for a family member when Lewis was hit by a bullet in the back.
Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker said Askew was a passenger in a vehicle that drove to Starlite Street NW and fired a gun into the house numerous times. Becker said Askew, who was 17 at the time, then got rid of the gun.
According to Becker, Warren Police Detective Mike Altiere was able to get a confession from Askew, who also wrote an apology letter to the victim’s family shortly after his arrest:
“I am truly sorry for what happened. I know it wrong what I did. I was scared for my family’s life and my life. I only wanted to scare off the mob…not this. After you keep getting robbed and beat up all the time, it builds up with stress …feel sick. I want to talk to family to let yall know it was not supposed to be like this at all. Vonnie-bro I’m sorry. I know you. You know me. I know you got a lot going on, but if there is any chance of me seeing you again, I promise I’m always there for you,” Askew wrote.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Lewis’ daughter addressed the court.
“I miss my mom every day, and so does the other people that are here, miss her. We are not a heartless family. This young man, I feel sorry for him. My heart goes out to him, because he is a young man,” said Patricia Mallory.
“I just pray for him that he understands what he’s done because what he’s done can never be undone.”
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Askew was taken to the Trumbull County Jail following his sentencing. As part of his sentence, Askew will have to register as a violent offender if he’s released from prison.