YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Jury selection began Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for a man accused of a shooting death last year downtown.
Johnny Serrano Jr., 24, of Campbell, is on trial before Judge Anthony Donofrio on a charge of murder for the Sept. 18, 2022, shooting death of Yarnell Green, 32, of Youngstown.
Serrano has been in the county jail since he turned himself in the day after Green was killed at West Federal and Hazel streets downtown.
Police said Green was shot after Serrano and Green argued in a downtown bar.
Police found a gun next to Green’s body, and when Serrano turned himself in to police, he gave them a gun, a previous attorney for Serrano has said.
Investigators will not say if the gun found next to Green belonged to him.
Serrano’s attorney, David Betras, filed a notice with the court saying his client would be arguing self-defense.
In a hearing before jurors were brought into the courtroom, Betras asked Judge Donofrio to bar prosecutors from using a Facebook post by Serrano roughly two days before the shooting where he brags about sneaking a gun into a bar.
Betras said the post will prejudice jurors against his client and that the post is not necessary because Serrano will likely testify that did bring a gun into the bar.
Assistant Prosecutor Martin Hume disagreed, saying that the post will show jurors the reckless state of mind Serrano had at the time of the shooting.
Hume also said Serrano later deleted the post, which he said is evidence of consciousness of guilt.
Judge Donofrio said he wanted to study the motion before ruling on it. He told the attorneys in the case not to mention the post during the trial until he has issued a ruling.