Several indicted by area grand jury
STEUBENVILLE – A man wanted in connection with shootings at the Heritage Place apartments and a Dillonvale-area man charged with robbing a grandmother at knifepoint for prescription drugs were among the individuals indicted Wednesday by the Jefferson County grand jury.
Tajh M. Jackson, 23, of Steubenville was indicted on two counts of felonious assault, each with a firearm specification, and having a weapon under disability.
Three people were shot at the apartments on June 9, including a father and his 5-year-old son who were bystanders, Steubenville Police reported. The father, Guillermo Hernandez, 35, of 815 Market St. was taken to Trinity Medical Center West, where he was treated and released for bullet shrapnel, and the son, Cruzito Hernandez, was transported to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. The son, who was struck with a bullet, also was later released from the hospital, police reported.
The intended victim of the shooting, Torrance Lyda, 21, of Steubenville was hit multiple times with bullets and flown by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital. He has since returned to Steubenville.
Police reported at least 10 shots were fired.
The car, a yellow Chevrolet Cavalier, that police believe Jackson was in after the shooting was found at a house on Valley Glen Road in the Goulds area about three hours after the shootings.
Jackson remains on the loose.
Charles L. Zonker Jr., 41, of 156 township Road 1102, Dillonvale, was indicted on single counts of aggravated robbery, theft and felonious assault.
The county prosecutor’s office reported Zonker on May 12 went to a home in Dillonvale and told a girl to get inside the house, while he was brandishing a knife. Once inside, he forced the grandmother to give him prescription medicine and cash, the prosecutor’s office reported.
Louis Mowder, 27, of Terrace Avenue was indicted on two counts of drug trafficking, one with a forfeiture and juvenile specification, two counts of drug possession and one count of having a weapon under disability following a raid by the county drug task force on May 7 at 358 Terrace Ave.
Police and the drug task force reported cocaine, heroin and a firearm were seized during the raid.
Michael S. Hawthorne, 32, of Wayne Township Road 31, Parlett, was indicted by the grand jury on charges of failure to comply with the order of a police office and receiving stolen property in connection with an alleged crime spree the weekend of April 19-21.
Hawthorne is a suspect in six burglaries in Jefferson and Harrison counties during that weekend.
Hawthorne was arrested by Steubenville Police around 6 a.m. on April 21 after he was seen by a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy at the front door to Family Dollar, 240 N. Seventh St.
Hawthorne was driving a city water department van, which was reported stolen sometime prior to April 19 from the filtration plant on University Boulevard, according to police and the sheriff’s department. Hawthorne wrecked the van on Highland Avenue and took off running before he was caught in the fenced area around the Polish Athletic Club at 433 N. Seventh St., the sheriff’s department reported.
The burglaries began during the morning on April 19 when Woods Grocery in Hopedale was broken into when the city water department van was used to smash into the front door. Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said security video at the store showed the city water department van there. The Country Store in Hopedale and the Loading Zone in Bloomingdale also were burglarized on April 19. Abdalla said security video at the Loading Zone showed the city water department van there.
Then, in the morning of April 20, the Dollar General on state Route 43, Wintersville, the Sportsman’s Trading Post at 501 Cadiz Road, Wintersville and Smith Oil on state Route 43, Wintersville, all were broken into. Abdalla said seven handguns were stolen from the Sportsman’s Trading Post. He said all three burglaries happened within 25 minutes.
All the burglaries happened when either the glass door or a window was broken. Cigarettes were taken from several of the businesses, Abdalla said.
County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said the receiving stolen property charge is in connection with the stolen water department van. She said the other cases against Hawthorne will be presented to a later grand jury.
Brittany M. Moore, 23, of Pittsburgh was indicted by the grand jury on a charge of drug possession in connection with a case in which shots were fired on May 4.
Mychal L. Matthews, 24, of Pittsburgh was indicted on one count of felonious assault, with a firearm specification and a specification the shots were fired from a vehicle, in connection with an incident around 5:30 a.m. on May 4.
A Steubenville man was trying to see his children at a home at 442 S. Sixth St. entered the home after seeing drugs inside, Steubenville Police reported. The man got into an altercation with Matthews. Matthews went outside to his vehicle and got a handgun and began firing shots at the man, police reported.
Moore and Cherelle Feaster, 22, of 442 S. Sixth St. got into Matthews’ vehicle, with two 2-year-old children, police reported. Matthews then began chasing the man and was firing shots out the passenger window, police reported. The man being chased was in contact with police and gave a description of Matthews’ vehicle.
Officers searched the surrounding area and stopped the car in the 100 block of South Eighth Street. Drugs and a handgun were found inside, police reported. Moore and Feaster each were arrested at the time.
Charges against Feaster were later dismissed in municipal court.