Man indicted in 2021 Canton shooting after charges dismissed against another

·4 min read

CANTON – Charges have been dismissed against a man who was accused in 2021 in a city shooting. The next day, a Stark County grand jury issued a secret indictment against another suspect.

Christopher Cortez Lucius was taken into custody Wednesday by Canton Police and officials with the U.S. Marshals Office.

Prosecutors on June 8 dismissed charges against Daniel Pride, whom the Northern Ohio Fugitive Task Force had identified in a March 2021 shooting of a man during a custody dispute at a city home.

On March 22, 2021, an alert was released that designated Pride as their Fugitive of the Week and offering a cash reward for information leading to his arrest.

Pride was taken into custody at the Canton Police Department the next day. Canton Police said Pride had claimed he wasn't at the home at the time of the incident, instead saying he was at Walther's Cafe in Canton.

Canton Police obtained a search warrant in April 2021 to seize a digital video recorder at Walther's, 1836 Maple St. NE in Canton. Police filed documents with the court in late February that said they had obtained the DVR.

Pride later was cleared based on evidence submitted to Canton Police.

Lucius was arrested at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday at his grandmother's house on Maryland Avenue SW. Lucius faces several charges, including attempted aggravated murder with a firearm, according to the arrest report. The report says Lucius did not resist arrest.

Lucius, 33, whose alias is listed as "Punkin Punkin," is being held at the Stark County Jail on bond of $1 million. He is scheduled to be arraigned July 8 in Stark County Common Pleas Court.

Manranzano Grimes also is charged in the shooting.

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Serious charges

The indictment charges Lucius with attempted aggravated murder with a firearm specification and a repeat violent offender specification; attempted murder with the same two specifications; felonious assault with the specifications; and two counts of having weapons while under disability.

Grimes is the co-defendant in the case and was indicted last year. Prosecutors say Grimes took part in the attack on a man who had showed up to pick up his daughter. Grimes, 32, of Canton, lived with the girl's mother.

A grand jury in May 2021 indicted Grimes for felonious assault with a firearm specification and two counts of having weapons while under disability. He was released on a bond of $250,000 with the help of a bail bondsman.

Grimes has pleaded not guilty.

Due to an apparent conflict with the Stark County Prosecutor's office with one of the involved parties that's not clear, the Ohio Attorney General's office has been acting as a special prosecutor in the case.

Dispute over picking up child escalated

In July 2021, the attorney general's office filed a bill of particulars on what prosecutors believed took place:

On March 5, 2021, a man went to Heritage Christian School to pick up his daughter, which he had done in the past around noon. But school personnel would not permit him to pick her up because the mother's child had instructed them not to release the girl to her father.

The mother was driving home from work in New Philadelphia. After speaking with the mother on the phone, the father drove to the mother's home on Fairmount Boulevard NE, where Grimes also lived.

The mother and father arrived at the same time.

Grimes had a gun, which he wasn't allowed to possess due to prior criminal convictions. The report says Grimes dropped the gun and began to fight with the father.

Another man then arrived at the home as the pair were fighting, and shot the father three times in the chest. The report says the shooter then drove away.

It says the mother then handed Grimes' gun back to Grimes. The report says Grimes then pistol-whipped the father three times in the head as he lay on the ground. The mother then told Grimes to leave, which he reportedly did.

The father was brought to Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital. He survived the shooting.

Prosecutors said Grimes was arrested in a local hotel on March 23, 2021. He was with the girl's mother.

Grimes was indicted for the March 5, 2021 attack.

On June 8, Senior Ohio Attorney General Daniel Kasaris filed a motion to dismiss the charge of felonious assault against Pride.

The motion, without revealing details, cited further investigation by the Canton Police, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the special prosecution unit of the Ohio Attorney General's office. It also cited "the discovery of previously unreviewed evidence, some of which was submitted by Mr. Pride himself and/or people representing Mr. Pride."

Motion to dismiss charge of... by Robert Wang

Stark County Common Pleas Judge Frank Forchione approved dismissal of the charge. Pride's attorney Eugene O'Byrne could not be reached for comment Friday.

It's not clear if Lucius has an attorney.

Kasaris referred questions to the Ohio Attorney General's Office. And a spokeswoman said they would need time to gather more specifics of what happened.

Reach Robert at robert.wang@cantonrep.com. On Twitter: @rwangREP.

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Police, U.S. marshals arrest suspect in March 2021 shooting