The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 18, 2013

Three defendants sentenced in 1997 Ashtabula murder case

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — Three out of five men involved in the 1997 shooting death of an Ashtabula man were sentenced Tuesday.

Troy Jones of Youngstown, and Jawann Evans and George Church of Ashtabula appeared before Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey.

Police have said the men played a part in the death of Ronald “Maceo” Hull on Feb. 8, 1997 at a West 38th Street apartment. Money and drugs were the motive, police said.

All three men had originally been charged with aggravated murder and kidnapping, with firearms specifications, but they chose to plead guilty to the kidnapping charge in exchange for having the murder charges dropped. Church also had the firearms specifications dropped.

Mackey sentenced Jones and Evans to three years in prison, and Church was sentenced to two years, a court official said.

Stephen Boles of Ashtabula and Eric Weaver of Youngstown, who also pleaded guilty to kidnapping, are set for sentencing on July 30 and 29, respectively.

That leaves the sixth defendant, John Drummond Jr., who has been incarcerated on another, unrelated murder conviction since 2004, to go to trial.

He is charged with aggravated murder with two firearm specifications and kidnapping with two firearm specifications, according to court records.

 His trial is set for Aug. 21 in Mackey’s courtroom.