Warren woman charged in connection to teen shooting found guilty of lesser charges

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A judge found a Warren woman accused of taking part in a Youngstown shooting where a 13-year-old girl was wounded guilty of lesser charges.

Judge John Durkin found Jana Cox, 25, of Warren, guilty of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony and obstructing justice, a fifth-degree felony following a two-day bench trial in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Cox, however, was found not guilty on second-degree felony charges of complicity to commit felonious assault and complicity to the improper discharge of a firearm into a habitation.

Cox is set to be sentenced at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 16.

Police said it was her SUV that 16-year-old Desean Wilkerson was riding in when Wilkerson fired several shots about 2 a.m. March 31 at a home in the 800 block of East Avondale Avenue on the south side.

A 13-year-old girl was shot in the leg.

About 20 shots were fired at the home.

Driving the SUV was Xavier Hile, 16, and Cox was riding in the back. Police pulled it over shortly after the shooting on a South Avenue entrance ramp to Interstate 680 north and found a .40-caliber handgun and several shell casings. A 40-caliber handgun was used in the shooting.

The SUV was pulled over because it matched the description of the vehicle used in the shooting.

Hile and Wilkerson, both of Niles, were charged as juveniles. Wilkerson testified for the prosecution in the trial.

Cox’s attorney, Mark Lavelle, argued his client should be found not guilty of complicity because she had no idea a shooting would take place.

Assistant Prosecutor Joe Maxin said Cox was found guilty of improper handling because the gun used in the shooting was found in her SUV and she was in the SUV when it was found.

Cox faces a minimum sentence of three years in prison. She is being held without bond in the county jail awaiting her sentencing.

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