Teen To Be Tried as Adult for Murders

Sixteen-year-old Kordel Moncreace of Steubenville will be tried as an adult for the Jan. 30 murder of two men.

Jefferson County Juvenile Judge Sam Kerr issued the ruling Thursday following an hour-long hearing. County Assistant Prosecutor Samuel Pate called four people to testify before Kerr but no law enforcement officers.

Steubenville police were called around 9:30 p.m. Jan. 30 to the Heritage Place Apartments, also known as the Market Square Apartments, after someone reported shots being fired. Ryan Toson, 21, and Otavius Wilson, 19, both of Steubenville, were killed in the shooting.

Kimberly Williams of Steubenville, the mother of Moncreace’s girlfriend, said she was at the Market Square apartment complex and heard gunshots on Jan. 30. A short time later, Williams said she was handed a cell phone and Moncreace was on the line. Williams said Moncreace told her to take his bookbag and throw it in the Ohio River. She instead threw it away. Williams testified that Moncreace also told her a mask was located in bushes in an alley near the apartments.

Williams said she went to the police station about 30 minutes later and told investigators about the call. She said police found the bookbag, which contained one bullet of the same caliber handgun police believe was used in the shooting. She also said the mask was recovered.

Williams testified she previously had seen Moncreace with a .44-caliber handgun. On cross-examination by defense attorney David Vukelic, Williams said Moncreace had a “conflict” at the apartment complex about three weeks prior to the shooting and was bragging about carrying the gun.

Shannon White of Steubenville testified Moncreace got into a car he was driving on the night of the shooting. He said Moncreace talked about shooting two individuals but he didn’t remember what Moncreace cited as the reason for the shooting.

White also said Moncreace told him he had disposed of the gun, which has not been recovered, and changed his clothes.

Moncreace was arrested by police around 2 a.m. on Jan. 31.

Jody Mercer of the Market Square Apartments testified she saw Moncreace in the hallway shortly before the shooting.

She said he was pacing back and forth and kept checking his pockets. She said she heard the outside door of the apartment building open and then heard the first shot.

Mercer on cross-examination said Moncreace didn’t appear nervous while in the hallway. After the shooting, she heard people scream outside and ran out but didn’t see Moncreace.

Kerr ordered Moncreace held on $500,000 bond on each of the murder charges. He said Moncreace will be held in the juvenile detention center throughout his trial in adult court.