Juvenile charged in stabbing death

STEUBENVILLE – Jalontay Johnson, 16, of Steubenville, who has been charged with murder in the stabbing death of another teen on Thursday evening, was ordered Monday by Jefferson County Juvenile Judge Sam Kerr to be held in the county’s detention center until a probable cause hearing.

Johnson was charged Monday with murder in the stabbing death of Demitrius Thomas, 17, in an alley in the rear of the 300 block of Lawson Avenue around 10:44 p.m. Thursday.

County Assistant Prosecutor Samuel Pate said Johnson’s case automatically will be turned over to adult court if Kerr determines there is probable cause that Johnson stabbed the other teen. Murder cases involving juveniles 16 years old or older are automatically bound over to adult court in Ohio.

An attorney also will have to be appointed to represent Johnson.

A probable cause hearing has not been scheduled.

Officers were called about an altercation and found Thomas unresponsive, police reported. Officers attempted first aid while Ambulance Service Inc. was being called. Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police reported Thomas was stabbed several times about the head, neck and chest area.

A witness, who called police, reported hearing an altercation and the victim yelling. The witness told police where the suspect ran.

Another person told police they saw a male running near Murphy Field in the area of Union Avenue, without a shirt. Officers searched the area and found bloody clothes and shoes in a bag in a garbage can in the 400 block of Union Avenue.

Johnson walked into the police station around 6:30 a.m. Friday with family members and cooperated with detectives, said City Police Chief William McCafferty.

Details of what led up to the stabbing have not been released.

(Law can be contacted at mlaw@heraldstaronline.com.)