Judge Seeks to Simplify Marchionda Case for Jurors

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Leading up to the corruption trial of downtown developer Dominic Marchionda and former city finance director David Bozanich, Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Maureen Sweeney acknowledges that the case is complex and jurors might find it difficult “to follow the intricacies” of the many indictments and could confuse which defendant allegedly committed which acts. 

“Therefore, it is the order of this Court that each party is to submit special proposed jury instructions/interrogatories, including, if appropriate citations, for the jury to follow and possibly complete,” Sweeney said in the order.

She will review the proposals then determine what will be presented to jurors.  

The judgment entry, dated Feb. 18 and filed Feb. 20, follows a five-day pre-trial hearing over motions to dismiss certain counts for duplicity or, “in the Alternative, to Compel the State to Elect Offenses Against which to proceed,” in the 101-count indictment. 

Marchionda, developer for NYO Property Group, and Bozanich were charged in a 101-count indictment in August 2018 and are scheduled to go on trial June 1. Former Mayor Charles Sammarone, who also was charged in the indictment, will go on trial separately March 16. 

In their motions, the defendants asserted that jurors “would possibly get confused as to which Defendant, if any, committed a crime and would convict the Defendant of a crime even if not unanimously convinced,” according to the entry. “The State argues that the offenses were part of a course of conduct and joinder is permitted,” it continued. 

Related coverage:

Feb. 21, 2020: Sweeney Upholds Use of Recording in Sammarone Trial
Jan. 31, 2020: Marchionda Pre-Trial Hearing to Continue Feb. 12
Jan. 28, 2020: Former Marchionda Attorney Testifies in Third Day of Pretrial
Jan. 24, 2020: At Hearing, Beshara Admits to $20K Payment to Bozanich
Sept. 10, 2019: Briya Pleads Guilty, Will Repay MS Consultants $200K
Oct. 5, 2018: B&B Amends Fraud Complaint Against Former President
Aug. 30, 2018: Sammarone, Bozanich Indicted in Marchionda Probe
Dec. 29, 2017: Prosecutors Add Details in Marchionda Case

Pictured: Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Maureen Sweeney listens to testimony during the third day of the pretrial on Jan. 28.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.