The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 4, 2014

Fourth person charged in fatal shootings

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Staff Writer

JEFFERSON — An Ashtabula man was the fourth person charged following a Nov. 25 shooting at his Hiawatha Avenue home.

Rhamaud Hull, 34, was arraigned Monday morning before Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey on one count of tampering with evidence and one count of involuntary manslaughter for his involvement in the murders of Elliott “Pacman” Dowdell, 32, of Cleveland, and Ledondre R. Raimey, 21, of Painesville.

The two men were both shot around 11:25 p.m. Nov. 25 inside Hull’s residence, according to police reports. Dowdell was pronounced dead at the scene and Raimey died about an hour later at the emergency room of the Ashtabula County Medical Center.

Nineteen people, in addition to court staff and journalists, attended Monday’s five-minute arraignment hearing.

Hull was served with the indictment Feb. 26 and has been in jail on unrelated charges since then, according to court testimony Monday morning.

Hull’s attorney, Richard Perez, requested a $25,000 cash or 10 percent surety bond. He said Hull is a lifelong area resident who has showed up for all his court dates in the past.

“This is a very unusual charge that tampering with evidence caused the death of a person,” Perez said of the prosecution’s theory.

Ashtabula County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Harold Specht requested a $100,000 10 percent bond claiming that the evidence tampering led to the death of Raimey.

Specht said he could not comment any further on the evidence or legal theories regarding the charges filed.

Mackey went with Specht’s request, setting bond at $100,000.

The other three defendants in the Nov. 25 double murder are:

• Edward “Booman” Smith, 27, of 1120 Alfred Drive, Ashtabula was indicted on two counts of aggravated murder;

• Shaqualla Montgomery, 22, of Ashtabula, was indicted on one count of obstruction of justice, one count tampering with evidence and one count of involuntary manslaughter. She is being held on $100,000 cash or 10 percent surety bond, and

• Brianna R. Bernard, 19, of Ashtabula, was indicted on four counts of complicity to aggravated murder, with firearm specifications, and one count of complicity to aggravated burglary following the two shootings. She is being held on $600,000 cash or 10 percent surety bond.