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Published: Tuesday, 11/18/2003

4th suspect on trial for slaying on Vance St.

A trial began yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for the last of four men charged in the shooting death last year of L.C. Pittman.

Judge William Skow will determine whether Earnest L. Peals, 26, of 508 North Hawley St., is guilty or innocent of kidnapping and murder in the Dec. 1 shooting of Mr. Pittman.

Mr. Peals, who lived in the same apartment building as Mr. Pittman, waived his right to a jury trial. Mr. Pittman, 38, was found shot in the head and chest about 5:15 a.m. in the 900 block of Vance Street, several blocks from his home.

Three others charged in Pittman's death - Dario Williamson, 26, of 1339 Hamilton St.; Kevin T. Jordan, 24, of 817 Sheridan St.; and Michael A. Peals, 23, of 1222 Lincoln Ave., have been convicted for their roles in the murder.

Williamson and Jordan pleaded guilty Sept. 26 to kidnapping and will be sentenced Dec. 4 by Judge Skow. Michael Peals, the brother of Earnest Peals, pleaded guilty Oct. 10 to murder and kidnapping. He will be sentenced Thursday.

Williamson and Jordan told Judge Skow that they were with the Peals at an after-hours club when Earnest Peals got a call from his girlfriend who told him that two men robbed her in his apartment.

They testified they returned to the apartment, confronted Mr. Pittman, who they believed was involved in the robbery, and forced him into a vehicle to take them to the persons responsible.

Jordan and Williamson gave somewhat different accounts of the shooting, but both men said Mr. Pittman was shot by the Peals.

Jordan said Michael Peals shot Mr. Pittman three times while the victim was in the back seat of the car.

He said Mr. Pittman stumbled outside the vehicle, where he was shot by Earnest Peals.

Williamson testified that Michael Peals shot Mr. Pittman while he was in the car, and Earnest Peals shot him after he got out of the vehicle.

He said Michael Peals took the gun from his brother and fired several more shots into Mr. Pittman.

Michael Peals is expected to testify when the trial resumes today.

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