Testimony heard in fatal stabbings, shooting

STEUBENVILLE -The Jefferson County grand jury heard testimony Wednesday in two stabbing cases and a shooting outside Unionport.

Sasha M. Simms, 29, of 1242 Wellesley Ave. was indicted on one count of misdemeanor negligent homicide in connection with the Oct. 27 stabbing death of Edward Dehart, 30, of Mingo Junction in the chest during a dispute at her home.

Dehart was transported to Trinity Medical Center West where he was pronounced dead.

City Police reported the department was called 14 times to the home this year because of domestic disputes between the couple.

Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said Dehart had refused to leave the home during the dispute on Oct. 27. A friend had stepped between the couple when Dehart smacked Simms in the head, Hanlin said. Simms had a knife in her hand and reached around the friend and swung the knife at Dehart, Hanlin said. Hanlin said Simms didn’t even realize Dehart was stabbed in the chest area.

“It was very close to a self-defense case,” Hanlin said.

The grand jury again heard evidence in the case of Dallas M. Crokie, 19, of Brilliant, who last month was indicted on a charge of murder in connection with the Sept. 15 stabbing death of Terry Shust, 40, of Steubenville. Crokie was also indicted on two counts of tampering with evidence.

Crokie is accused of stabbing 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.

Hanlin said the grand jury amended the original indictment from murder to manslaughter.

Hanlin said additional forensic evidence showed the stabbing was done in a sudden fit of rage as opposed to premeditated murder. The murder charge carries a 15-years-to-life sentence while the manslaughter charge calls for a three to 11 year sentence.

Crokie turned himself into the county sheriff’s department. The sheriff’s department called City Police to investigate the city stabbing.

Rockwell S. Good, 73, of 208 Buckeye Drive, Bloomingdale, was indicted by the grand jury on one count of felonious assault in connection with a Sept. 25 shooting.

John Hartsouk, 36, was at a house he owns on county Road 39B when he had an altercation with two men – Randy Ewing, 52, and Good, 73, according to the sheriff’s department.

There were conflicting statements given as to what led up to the shooting.

Ewing and Good said Hartsouk came at them and assaulted Ewing and then went after Good, who fired the shots, said Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla.

Hartsouk is claiming Ewing and Good came at him, Abdalla said.

Hartsouk was shot in the arm and abdomen. He was able to drive himself to the Unionport fire department, where he was transported to the county airport to be taken by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital.

Brian K. Boone, 49, of Imperial, Pa., was indicted on one count of importuning after he allegedly traveled to Jefferson County to have sexual relations with a 13-year old boy on Oct. 6.

Abdalla said Boone contacted the 13-year-old a week prior to his arrest, and the teen immediately told his father who brought him to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

“I interviewed the boy and then talked to Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents who were here on another case. They offered their technical expertise and a BCI agent started playing the role of the 13-year-old. The Pennsylvania man contacted the teen again and then traveled to Jefferson County (Oct. 6) where he was met by my deputies, BCI agents and FBI agents,” Abdalla said.

The grand jury also returned the following indictments:

Duane E. Harris, 28, of Apartment A, 719 Market St., two counts of possession of drugs and one count of drug trafficking in one case and four counts of drug possession and three counts of drug trafficking in another case.

Christopher J. Yanda, 19, of 105 Montwell Drive, Mingo Junction, single counts of theft and burglary.

Cierra A. Grant, 23, of 732 N. Sixth St., single counts of misdemeanor assault and theft.

Codey T. Francis, 21, of 109 township Road 381, Steubenville, two counts of burglary and single counts of theft, tampering with evidence and obstructing official business.

Steven C. West, 24, of 724 Kendall Ave., two counts complicity to burglary and one count of obstructing official business.

Dustin S. Schockow, 21, of 3953 county Road 16, Rayland, two counts complicity to burglary and one count of obstructing official business.

Robert King, 44, of Apartment D6, 720 N. Seventh St., one count of failure to comply with the order of a police officer. King was involved in a high-speed chase in the city on Oct. 14 after a shoplifting incident at Wal-Mart.

David A. Hawthorne, 35, of 732 N. Sixth St., single counts of theft and receiving stolen property.

Matthew J. Sanders, 40, of 155 Stardust Drive, Wintersville, one count of theft.

Shawn A. Rood, 28, of 32 Debbie Lane, Toronto, four counts of breaking and entering, three counts of criminal damaging, one count of felony theft and two counts of misdemeanor theft and Dustin L. Phelps, 30, of 6662 state Route 213, Toronto, four counts of breaking and entering, three counts of criminal damaging and two counts of misdemeanor theft.

The pair were arrested after an investigation by the county sheriff’s department and Steubenville and Toronto police in connection with a series of break-ins.

Kevin L. Stringer, 51, of 2826 Cleveland Ave., misdemeanor assault.

Gorakh Nath, 53, of 249 S. Eighth St., single counts of misdemeanor theft, felony illegal use of state benefits and misdemeanor count of misuse of a credit card.

Alouvise Harris, 27, of 1113 Clair Ave., two counts of drug possession and one count of tampering with evidence.

The grand jury did not return an indictment against Derek Smith, 47, of 144 Wildon Ave., who was bound over to the county grand jury on three counts of drug possession and one count of having a weapon under disability.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety raided Club 106, owned by Smith, on South Street on May 25 while investigating illegal sales of liquor. Agents and city officers found a gun and drugs in Smith’s office.

Hanlin said video surveillance inside the club showed numerous people entering and leaving Smith’s office prior to the raid. She said there was no proof the gun or drugs belonged to Smith.

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