Pair indicted on murder charges in Jefferson County

STEUBENVILLE – Two county residents were indicted on murder charges Wednesday by a Jefferson County grand jury that also handed down several secret indictments.

Jalontay Johnson, 16, of Steubenville was charged with murder for the July 25 fatal stabbing of Demitrius Thomas. Johnson was also charged with two counts of tampering with evidence.

In an unrelated case, 18-year old Dallas Crokie of Brilliant was indicted for the September stabbing and beating of Terry Shust. Crokie also was indicted on two counts of tampering with evidence.

Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said both cases were particularly violent crimes.

Hanlin said the grand jury took no action Wednesday after hearing testimony regarding a double fatal shooting in Wintersville in the early morning hours of Oct. 12.

Hanlin said she presented evidence from the incident that saw 70-year-old John Bowers of Evergreen Terrace in Wintersville and Michael Shepherd of 425 Eisenhower Road in Wintersville fatally shot.

According to a statement released by Wintersville Police Chief Ed Laman on Oct. 14, the Wintersville Police received a telephone call at 4:25 a.m. on Oct. 12 regarding two men arguing at the Shepherd residence at 425 Eisenhower Road.

“Officers found two male victims with gunshot wounds. The Wintersville Emergency Squad responded to the scene as well as Jefferson County Coroner Dr. Michael Scarpone, who pronounced both men dead at the scene,” Laman reported.

Johnson is accused of stabbing Demitrius Thomas in a Pleasant Heights alley on July 25,

He was bound over to the grand jury as an adult following a probably cause hearing in Juvenile Court.

Steubenville Police Detective John Lelless testified at the hearing Johnson went to the Steubenville Police station with his uncle the morning after the incident and gave a statement that he and Thomas were walking down the alley and Johnson began to stab Thomas.

“Johnson said he couldn’t remember how many times he stabbed the victim,” said Lelless.

Crokie is accused of stabbing Terry Shust 93 times in his upper torso, arms and the back of his neck and beating his head during a Sept. 15 encounter at the Cathedral Apartments on South Fifth Street.

“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department contacted our department shortly before 8 a.m. on Sept. 16 and said a man had arrived at the Justice Center saying he had killed a man and wanted to turn himself in. When I arrived at the Justice Center I saw Jefferson County Deputy Gary Slates standing outside of the Justice Center with the defendant who was hugging his girlfriend and his father. There was a bag that contained jeans and a T-shirt with blood on the clothing as well as a pair of scissors,” Steubenville Police Detective John Stasiulewicz testified during a Sept. 25 preliminary hearing in Steubenville Municipal Court.

John J. Greene, 31, 2825 county Road 55, Hammondsville, was named in a one count of felonious assault with a gun specification indictment for allegedly shooting a friend in the arm on Oct. 20.

Greene was arrested at the scene of the shooting after he allegedly fired a 12-gauge shotgun at Lee DiMaggio. DiMaggio was hit in the arm.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said alcohol was involved in the shooting incident.

The grand jury also issued indictments for:

Andrew W. Scott, 60, 3313 Overbrook Drive, Weirton on one count of gross sexual imposition.

Jeremiah W. Wade, 27, 635 Logan Ave. on two separate indictments including two counts of breaking and entering, two counts of theft and one count of receiving stolen property.

William D. Ross III, 18, 222 Edgar Ave., for assault on a police officer.

Montell L. Johnson, 20, 107 Gumps Lane, Wintersville for one count of receiving stolen property;

William E. Vandyke, 19, 842 Bantam Ridge Road, Wintersville for one count of burglary and one count of theft.

Justin A. Davis, 26, 185 Saline St., Irondale, on one count of sexual battery and two counts of sexual imposition.

Randall L. Fazio Jr., 20, 511 Euclid Ave., Toronto, on one count of felonious assault with a gun specification.

The grand jury met for more than nine hours without a break Wednesday to review 23 cases.

“This was a long day for the jurors. We had an unusually high number of cases that required a great deal of testimony,” stated Hanlin.