2nd day of testimony in off-campus YSU shooting trial - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

2nd day of testimony in off-campus YSU shooting trial


AKRON, Ohio - A second day of testimony in the murder trial of 20-year-old Jamelle Jackson of Youngstown.

Investigators accuse him of being one of the gunmen in the off-campus mass shooting that killed Youngstown State University senior Jamail Johnson and injured 11 others.

The case is being heard by a jury in Akron after Mahoning County Judge John Durkin granted a request for a change of venue due to extensive pretrial publicity in the case.

Jackson is charged with one count of murder and 11 counts of felonious assault in the February 6th, 2011 murder of the YSU student, and the wounding of 11 others at the off-campus fraternity party.

The first Youngstown police officers to respond to the scene testified about the mass chaos they encountered upon arriving.

Officer James Rowley says there were approximately 80 to 90 young people running from the home at 55 Indiana Avenue. That's on Youngstown's north side just a few blocks from campus.

"People were screaming ‘I've been shot.' Ambulances showed up. People were laying on the ground, and people were getting carried to their cars," Officer Rowley said.

Surviving victims also took the witness stand to tell jurors what they remember, including 21-year-old business student Jaleesa Moore.

Moore says after a second fight broke out at the party several of the people involved in the fight were escorted out of the party, and shortly after that gunfire erupted.

"There was like guys knocking over girls to get out, so I didn't want to fall. So I reached my arm up to the door to keep my balance so no one would knock me down, and that's when the pain shot up my arm. You could look down and see all the blood dripping from my arm. I didn't realize I had also been shot in my left side until I was at the hospital," Moore said.

YSU student Jordan Wagner also suffered two gunshot wounds. He testified that he heard at least 13 gunshots, possibly from two weapons.

Wagner said, "I see somebody digging in their pants and pull out a gun."

Wagner said that's what he witnessed inside the party shortly after the second fight broke out. But he also heard gunfire outside shortly after seeing the weapon. He couldn't identify the person by name that he saw holding the gun, only saying they were dressed in a black t-shirt and red hat.

Testimony is expected to last at least through Tuesday of next week.

It's unclear if the Akron jury will see defendant Jamelle Jackson take the witness stand in his own defense. But prosecutors plan to call at least 30 witnesses and they say the evidence will allegedly put Jackson at the crime scene and a gun in his hand.

Jackson is among the last of the six defendants to go on trial.

Columbus Jones, Jr., who faced the same charges as Jackson, has already been convicted by a Mahoning County jury in Johnson's murder and the wounding of 11 others. Jones was sentenced to 92 years in prison.

Several other defendants in the case have pled guilty in connection with their role in the crimes.

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