Corpse Found in a Freezer in Youngstown
USA — July 6, 2018
Youngstown resident Arturo Novoa has been charged with murder and abuse of a corpse in the death of Shannon Elizabeth Graves.
Graves was found in a freezer last July in a Campbell home belonging to a friend of Novoa’s.
A new prosecutor from the state attorney general’s office responded that he will need some to get familiar with the case before proceeding.
Defense attorneys have also requested time to have an expert witness examine the case and then turn those findings over to the prosecution.
A co-defendant, Katrina Layton, 34, also of Youngstown, pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. She is now free on bail.
Graves’ family members have complained that they were kept in the dark about developments in the case, including Layton’s plea.
Novoa is now in Mahoning County jail, insisting on his right to a speedy trial.
“I have been in the county jail for almost a year now,” said Novoa, who was wearing thick glasses and carrying a handful of documents as he was led into court. “Every time I come into court, everyone tells me to shut down.”
Novoa feels that his case should have been heard already, and yet it seems as if nothing is moving forward. Judge D’Apolito responded that the delay is necessary because his attorneys need time to prepare his defense.
Judge D’Apolito then set the trial date for Oct. 22.
Dan Kasaris, senior assistant attorney general, will be prosecuting the case for the county.
After court, Graves’ sister and father, Debbie DePaul and Ron DePaul, said they were pleased that Kasaris is taking over the case and that the appointment is helping with the difficult waiting period.
“I’m a little excited we sort of started over in a sense,” Debbie DePaul said. “We have a new set of eyes on the case.”
There is still no information available on the motivation for the crime.