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Cleveland's Year of Violence Begins to Play Out in Trials

Dominique Lennon

One of the men charged in a series of shootings in Cleveland last year whose victims included five children is set for trial this week.  

The then 19-year-old Dominique Lennon is accused of opening fire on a crowd on the east side of Cleveland last August. Police say his intended targets were members of the Buckeye Boys street gang, but he also hit and wounded a 13-year-old boy who had been walking nearby.  Lennon was arrested a month later and faces charges of felonious assault.

Lennon’s is one of the first of the trials of young men arrested in a string of shootings that made last year one of the deadliest in Cleveland in recent history. In all, 120 people died in homicides – up 15 percent from the year before.

Among those killed in just two months last fall were four children: 15-year-old Tyler Sheron, 5-year-old Ramon "Dink" Burnett, 5-month-old Aavielle Wakefield and 3-year-old Major Howard. Just last week, police charged Aaron Dunning with aggravated murder in the shooting of Howard as the toddler sat in a parked car. They’re still looking for another man, Donnell Lindsey.