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Bond set for suspect in Youngstown road rage shooting

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Bond was set Friday at $50,000 for a Bonnie Brae Avenue man accused of wounding two people in a road rage shooting.

The bond was set despite protests by Leslie Burke III, 22, that he is innocent of the two counts of felonious assault he was arraigned on in municipal court before Visiting Judge David Fuhry.

Burke was picked up U.S. Marshals Thursday at his home. He is accused of wounding two men Aug. 21 in the 2500 block of Glenwood Avenue in what police term a road rage shooting.

Warrants were filed against him Oct. 1.

At one point during his arraignment via video hookup from the Mahoning County jail, Burke said, “I have no idea what’s going on.”

Walter Ritchie, the attorney who advises defendants during the arraignment process, told Judge Fuhry Burke is adamant he is innocent.

“He’s a little bit upset that he’s charged with these offenses,” Ritchie said.

When Judge Fuhry said there were two victims, Burke cried, “What?”

When Burke was told to have no contact with the two victims should he post bond, he said, “I don’t even know these people.”

“Then you should have no problem not contacting them if you don’t know who they are,” Judge Fuhry said.

Burke had been free on $8,000 bail posted after he was arraigned May 7 in municipal court on charges of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle and obstructing official business.

Those charges stem from a May 5 arrest at 12:50 p.m. at Center Street and Poland Avenue when officers in the Neighborhood Response Unit tried to pull him over for an improper turn.

Burke failed to stop and led officers on a chase that ended when he drove through a yard in the 800 block of Compton Lane, according to police. Reports said he jumped out of the car and was carrying a gun.

Burke was ordered several times to drop the gun and did so as he was running. He was caught in a nearby yard after he threw it away, reports said.

Reports said the gun thrown away was a .40-caliber handgun, and when officers retraced the path where Burke ran, they found a .45-caliber handgun.

A grand jury indicted Burke on June 3 on two counts of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, failure to comply and obstructing official business.

His bond was continued when he was arraigned in common pleas court June 15. He is set for a Feb. 22 trial on those charges, according to common pleas court records.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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