The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

August 31, 2013

John Drummond Jr. gets at least 20 years in prison for 1997 Ashtabula murder

JEFFERSON — John Drummond Jr. most likely will spend the rest of his life behind bars. He was sentenced Friday for kidnapping, shooting and killing Ronald “Maceo” Hull on Feb. 9, 1997.

Prosecutors say Drummond, 36, fired the fatal shot in Hull’s neck outside an Ashtabula apartment in an act of retaliation for Hull stealing a friend’s safe containing $10,000.

Earlier this year, Drummond and five other men were indicted in the murder case. The other suspects pleaded guilty to kidnapping charges and were sentenced to time behind bars, but Drummond was identified as the gunman by witnesses, specifically two of the other men.

Drummond never testified at his three-day trial, but before Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey handed down his sentence Friday morning, Drummond spoke up for the first time.

“I didn’t have a fair trial; the jury lost its way some place,” he said. “I didn’t kill Ronald Maceo Hull. I am innocent of these charges.”

Mackey then sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole until after 20 years served behind bars.

Drummond showed no emotion.

The victim’s mother, Ruth Hull, who wept through most of the trial, calmly addressed the court.

She thanked the Ohio Attorney General’s Special Prosecutors Brian Derkert and Paul Scarsella, and  Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Detective Taylor Cleveland for “doing an awesome job.”

She said she waited 16 years for this day, and throughout the years, she never gave up. She thanked her family for their support.

“I am at peace now and I have justice now,” Hull said. “It won’t bring my son back ... but I know he’s in heaven. I couldn’t have done all this without the support of my family.”

Drummond’s attorney, Marie Lane, said her client plans to file an appeal.

Recently, Drummond has had good luck with appeals.

Reportedly a member of a Youngstown gang, Drummond was convicted in 2004 for the murder of an infant in a drive-by shooting in Youngstown in 2003. He opened fire with an assault rifle on a house and the baby was hit in the head with a bullet, according to news reports.

Drummond was sentenced to death, but on Monday, an appeals court ruled he should get a new trial because the trial judge made a mistake.

1
Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted