Two women are expected to testify as eyewitnesses in the shooting death of 32-year-old Todd Rae Walker.
Isaiah “Izzy” Angry, 30, formerly of Linesville, Crawford County, is standing trial this week accused of shooting a gun three times that killed Walker the morning of March 21, 2019, in a West Side house. The final bullet, which went through Walker’s hand and into his forehead, was the fatal shot, according to a police witness in court Monday.
Opening statements were presented Monday in the courtroom of Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge J. Craig Cox. District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa is prosecuting the case against court-appointed defense attorney John Bongivengo and Angry, who is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, prohibited possession of a firearm, simple assault and two counts of recklessly endangering another person.
The killing occurred during the early morning hours when three other people were in the known drug house at 103 N. Lee Ave. The house was owned by Robert Williams, who is now deceased, according to Lamancusa’s opening statement. Angry was said to have been staying in an upstairs bedroom.
The two female witnesses told police Angry, whose nickname is “Izzy,” shot Walker and ran out a back door.
Union Township police officer Scott Petroff testified Monday how he heard the information on his radio and he heard the description of the suspect. He said he found him after a driver of a gold van told him that a man who was all muddy and coming out of the woods had asked him for a ride to the West Side Mini Mart. Petroff said he followed the van to Boston Avenue and saw Angry sitting on the edge of the road looking exhausted and out of breath with his feet out. He said he ran toward him with his hand on his holster, and Angry put his hands out as he was arrested.
Cpl. Fred Buswell, the New Castle police detective on the case, started off testimony in the case Monday after opening statements by Lamancusa and court-appointed defense attorney John Bongivengo. He provided details about how the investigation was conducted, including that Angry’s hands were dusted for gunpowder. When he was arrested, he was soaked and muddy, but with clean hands. Lamancusa read a state police crime lab that noted there was gunfire residue on Angry’s hands.
Bongivengo said in his opening he intends to prove that the witnesses’ stories changed throughout the investigation and “they were lying.”
According to Lamancusa’s scenario, Taylor Quear and Marie Baehr were in the house when the shooting occurred, went to an upstairs bedroom and called the police. Quear was reluctant to get involved in the case, he said, but little by little, she gave up information to the police, he told the jury.
He told the jury Angry walked into the kitchen, raised his arm and fired a black handgun. The first shot was in the shoulder and the second shot hit Walker directly in the chest, Lamancusa said. “But Mr. Angry still was not finished. He pulled the trigger one more time.”
That was the bullet that hit his hand, then entered his forehead and Todd Walker died on the floor, he said. Quear was celebrating her birthday and wanted to go to the house to have a party, Lamancusa said. “She knew Angry, because when she was 16, he was walking home and he approached her.”
They had a relationship, Lamancusa said. The two of them went upstairs into a locked bedroom where Angry was staying, and they had a physical encounter that night, he told the jury.
Lamancusa said about an hour before Walker died, Angry accused Quear of stealing some of the drugs they had at the house. A while later, Walker apologized to her and said, “I’m sorry, my bad, I found it.”
That argument was over, but the argument with Angry’s girl set him off, Lamancusa said, and Angry said to Walker, “You pay.”
Walker stayed in the kitchen and was cutting up drugs and Baehr was talking to him, and Quear was in the dining room nearby when Angry walked in through a side entrance and fired three shots at Walker, Lamancusa said.
Buswell testified Quear opened up with her statement to the police after he assured her he didn’t care about what drug activity went on on the house that night and that he was investigating a homicide.
He said three 9-millimeter shells were found in the house, and there was evidence of drug cutting on the counter above where Walker died, and the knife with suspected drug residue, later determined by a crime lab to have cocaine in it, was propped against him on the floor.
Angry is in the Lawrence County jail without bond. He also is facing charges in a separate case that involves his reportedly having struck a Lawrence County jail corrections officer after he was incarcerated for the homicide. The incident, which occurred in July 2019, is reported to have occurred while guards were moving Angry to a restricted housing unit at the jail.
The guard who was the victim in that case told police that as he grabbed Angry’s right arm to handcuff him, Angry swung at him with his left arm and punched him in the eye. He told police he fell and hit his head on the floor, causing his vision to become temporarily blurry, according to a criminal complaint against Angry. He is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment and is awaiting trial or plea in that incident.
All suspects are considered to be innocent until proven guilty or adjudicated in a court of law.