YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Campbell man who went on trial this week for a downtown shooting death last year pleaded guilty Thursday to reduced charges in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Johnny Serrano, 24, entered guilty pleas before Judge Anthony Donofrio to charges of involuntary manslaughter and being a felon in possession of a firearm for the Sept. 18, 2022, shooting death of Yarnell Green, 32.
Green was shot to death at about 1:40 a.m. at the corner of West Federal and Hazel Streets.
Serrano was in tears just before the judge entered the courtroom to take his plea.
Police said Green was shot after he and Serrano were kicked out of a downtown bar for arguing.
Prosecutors said in their opening statement Tuesday that Serrano waited for two and a half minutes behind a downtown building for Green and shot him with no warning. They said jurors would hear testimony from witnesses and see surveillance video that would prove the shooting was unprovoked.
Serrano’s attorney David Betras told jurors in his opening statement that Serrano shot Green in self-defense.
Betras said Serrano did wait for Green but he wanted to fight Green, not shoot him. He shot Green when Serrano saw Green reaching for a gun he had, Betras said.
Betras said he had witnesses who would testify that Green was pulling his gun when he was shot.
Police did find a gun next to Green’s body.
Sentencing will be at a later date. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 11 to 15 years in prison. Betras said he will argue for a lesser sentence.