Man charged in East Cleveland killing appears in court

November 2, 2017

Man charged in East Cleveland killing appears in court

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio – A Euclid man who is charged in a deadly shooting that detectives ascribed to a drug-related robbery made his first appearance Thursday in municipal court.

Eric Wilson, 23, is charged with murder and aggravated robbery in the Oct. 26 killing of Jonathan Singletary in East Cleveland. The 45-year-old man was shot in his car on Orinoco Avenue at Manhattan Avenue, police said.

Judge William Dawson set Wilson’s bond at $1 million during his arraignment Thursday in East Cleveland Municipal Court. The case was bound over to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Detectives secured an arrest warrant for a second suspect but he is not yet in custody, police said Thursday afternoon.

Merlin T. Johnson, 22, is also charged with murder in the deadly shooting. Detectives have not determined whether Johnson or Wilson shot and killed Singletary, police said.

Investigators believe the shooting happened after a failed armed robbery. Wilson and Johnson were trying to steal from Singletary, who sold them marijuana, police said.

Officers were investigating a report of a man sleeping in his car when they found Singletary with a gunshot wound shortly after midnight Oct. 26, police said. Singletary died after paramedics took him to University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

Johnson was released from prison Oct. 3 after serving a four-year sentence at the Ross Correctional Institution in Chillicothe, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records show. He was sentenced to four years in prison in 2013 after pleading guilty to robbery and felonious assault charges in Cuyahoga County, records show.

Wilson’s criminal history includes previous convictions for robbery and grand theft, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court records show.

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