Shooting preliminary hearing waived
By SHERRI L. SHAULIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
NILES -- Witnesses lined the halls outside municipal court Monday ready to testify but instead were sent home to await subpoenas to appear before the Trumbull County grand jury.
At least four people were on hand when 19-year-old Lucas W. Neff of Prospect Avenue N.W., Warren, waived his preliminary hearing and was bound over to the grand jury.
Neff faces four counts of felonious assault from a March 8 shooting. He is free on $30,000 bond.
According to police reports, Neff was sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle around 1:10 a.m. March 8 at Franklin and North Main streets with a female in the passenger seat and another male in the rear seat.
The car was stopped behind another vehicle, driven by 20-year-old Kellie L. Leach of East Margaret St., Niles. Leach had three passengers with her -- John G. Reeder, 18, of Royal Mall Drive, Niles; Ronessa Mackin, 18, of Bryson Street, Youngstown; and Danielle M. Miller, 19, also of Bryson Street.
Reports say Miller and Reeder were standing outside the car talking when Neff and his male passenger got out, argued briefly with those from Leach's vehicle, then returned to their car.
Police say Neff then fired five shots toward Leach's car from a handgun. The car was hit twice -- the left rear tire and the driver's-side mirror.
Leach drove away, leaving Reeder and Miller at the scene. She drove to Woodglen Avenue and called 911 for help. Reports say Leach suffered minor cuts to her hand when glass from the mirror struck her, but she refused treatment.
The male passenger from Neff's vehicle was not charged, but the female, 20-year-old Michelle R. Zahniser, of the same Warren address as Neff, was charged with complicity. Her preliminary hearing, also set for Monday, was continued to 9 a.m. June 27.