The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 28, 2013

Ashtabula shooting suspect makes initial court appearance

By SHELLEY TERRY - sterry@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — An Ashtabula man, who police suspect shot two men to death inside a Hiawatha Avenue home Monday night, has been charged with felony drug and weapons possession, authorities said Wednesday.

Edward “Booman” Smith, 27, of 1120 Alfred Drive, was nabbed at an eastside motel at 7 a.m. Tuesday and arrested by local law enforcement without incident, police said.

Police discovered cocaine, heroin and a weapon at the motel, according to police reports.

Arresting Smith was the culmination of nearly eight hours of police work, tracking down who witnesses at Hiawatha Avenue said shot and killed Elliott “Pacman” Dowdell, 32, of Cleveland, and seriously injured with a gunshot wound, Ledondre R. Raimey, 21, of Painesville, at about 11:25 p.m. Monday, according to police reports and the coroner’s office.

Dowdell was pronounced dead at the scene and Raimey died about an hour later in the emergency room at Ashtabula County Medical Center, according to the coroner’s report.

Smith has been held at the Justice Center, 110 W. 44th St., since his arrest.

On Wednesday afternoon, he appeared in an orange jail jumpsuit before Municipal Court Judge Alfred Camplese via video arraignment.

Beforehand, Assistant City Solicitor Lori Lamer said the murder investigation is on-going, but she was prepared to move forward with the drug charges on Wednesday before the court closed for the holiday.

Smith entered ‘no plea’ to the following charges: possession of drugs, a first-degree felony; possession of drugs, a second-degree felony, and having weapons while under disability, a third-degree felony, according to court records.

If convicted of all of the drug and weapons charges, Smith could be sentenced to up to a total of 23 years in prison and $45,000 in fines, Camplese said.

Smith also would have his driver’s license suspended for up to five years, the judge said.

Lamer asked Camplese to set a cash bail at a total of $325,000 because Smith’s past criminal record shows he fails to appear at scheduled court dates. In fact, a warrant was issued for his arrest in October on a previous felony involving a gun, she said.

Camplese set bond at $325,000 cash or surety.

Smith asked for a public defender to represent him.

Camplese said a preliminary hearing will be held in five to 10 days.

Smith is no stranger to law enforcement. He’s served time in prison on drug trafficking and weapons charges out of Cuyahoga County, Lamar said.

He also has been convicted of drug possession and conveyance of a weapon in a school zone in Ashtabula County, according to Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court records.