Guilty verdict handed down in gunfight trial

STEUBENVILLE – Anthony “Cadillac” Elmore, 29, of Steubenville was found guilty of felonious assault, with a firearm specification, and having a weapon as a convicted drug offender following a one-day trial on Thursday before Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr.

Elmore was one of three people charged in connection with a gun fight in the 800 block of South Street on Sept. 3.

William D. Ross III, 19, of Steubenville was sentenced by Bruzzese in January to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a felonious assault charge, with a firearm specification, in connection with the gun fight.

Torrance Lyda, 41, of Steubenville is set to stand trial on charges of felonious assault, with a firearm specification, and having a weapon as a convicted felon in the same case.

Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said Elmore and Ross were standing on a porch on Jefferson Street on Sept. 3 when Lyda and a group of males walked by. Looks were exchanged between Elmore, Ross and Lyda.

Elmore and Ross believed it to be disrespect and devised a plan to hide in a wooded area on South Street and ambush Lyda. Hanlin said the plan was to wait until Lyda walked by, count to five and open fire but Ross tripped in the woods and Lyda heard it. Ross and Elmore then began firing guns, with Lyda pulling out a gun and returning fire, she said. Ross was hit by a bullet in the upper leg, Hanlin said.

City Police responded to the gunfire but everyone involved had fled.

Hanlin said Ross was found hiding in the attic of a city house two days later. Ross was interviewed by a police detective. Ross initially said he was alone but then said he was with Elmore during the shooting, Hanlin said.

Spent bullet casings were found in the woods on South Street, along with a 9mm handgun, Hanlin said.

Elmore was interviewed by a police detective, and Elmore admitted to the plan to ambush Lyda. Elmore said he threw a gun to the ground when a neighbor saw him after the shots were fired, Hanlin said.

Elmore’s defense attorney, Travis Collins, said there was an identity problem with the case as to who fired shots.

“Who was responsible (for the shots) will be up to you to determine,” Collins told the jury.

Collins said a police detective told Ross DNA would be found on the gun but a state crime lab was unable to get fingerprints or DNA off the weapon.

Collins said Ross tried to “pin everything” on Elmore but Ross ended up pleading guilty in the case.

The jury deliberated about 25 minutes before returning with the guilty verdict against Elmore.

Sentencing is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Monday before Bruzzese.