Cuyahoga County

Jury convicts Damon Peterson on Murder Charges




December 17, 2013

Cleveland – A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court jury today found Damon Peterson guilty of two Aggravated Murders for his role in a string of armed robberies in September and October of 2012, County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced.

Besides two counts of Aggravated Murder, the jury in Judge Kathleen Sutula’s courtroom found Peterson guilty of four counts of Murder, five counts of Aggravated Robbery, three counts each of Kidnapping and Felonious Assault and one count each of Theft and Having Weapons Under Disability.

Peterson, 27, of Cleveland, faces a possible sentence of life without the possibility of parole for each Aggravated Murder count plus an additional 87 years. Judge Sutula plans to sentence Peterson on Thursday, December 19.

During the trial that began on December 4, evidence showed that Peterson and four co-defendants participated in a series of robberies of gas stations and convenience stores last year. He was the getaway driver during robberies on September 21, 2012 and September 25, 2012. During the second hold-up, at the Ya-Ya Market, Duane Jacobs was fatally shot by one of Peterson’s co-defendants.

On October 19, 2012, Peterson himself was the shooter, killing Sean Stewart during a robbery at Union Beverage Liquor Store in Cleveland.

All of Peterson’s co-defendants entered guilty pleas before trial and testified against him.

The State of Ohio was represented by Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Mahmoud Awadallah and Andrew Santoli. The investigation that tracked down Peterson and his confederates involved the Cleveland Police Department’s Homicide Unit, the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Garfield Heights Police and Police Officers from Cleveland’s Second, Fourth and Fifth Districts.

"This case exemplifies what can happen when local and federal resources work together toward a common resolution," said Santoli.

"Mr. Peterson showed absolutely no remorse for the victims or their families, but today they can take comfort because he has been held responsible for his crimes against our community,’’ said Awadallah.

Contact: Joseph Frolik, Director of Communications and Public Policy. Phone: (216) 443-7488 or Cell: (216) 640-6186

Download a PDF of this release