YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Video from the interview of a suspect in the 2021 shooting death of a woman at an Austintown apartment complex shows him calmly telling detectives he fired the fatal shots.
Additionally, body camera footage from a township police officer also captures one side of the conversation when Steven Green, 25, talks on the phone to a detective who was interviewing a witness in an ambulance that responded to the Oct. 8, 2021, shooting death of Ashley Lockhart, 25, who is also the mother of his child.
Lockhart was shot and killed outside the Compass West apartment complex. Green turned himself into police shortly after and has been in the Mahoning County Jail since his arraignment.
The videos were played Monday during a suppression hearing before Judge Anthony D’Apolito in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Green’s attorney, Mark Lavelle, wants to have Green’s statements to police suppressed because he claims his client was not coherent enough to waive his rights.
The first video played in court is footage from a police body camera showing Austintown Police Lt. Jordan Yacovone interviewing a witness to the shooting in an ambulance. The witness told Yacovone that Green had called her several times and she was ignoring the calls, but when he called while they were in the ambulance, Yacovone testified that he was excited because it was his chance to talk to Green.
“When he did call, I was kind of thrilled at that point because I wanted to talk to him so I had her give me the phone,” Yacovone testified.
Only one side of the conversation can be heard, but Yacovone can be heard imploring Green to talk to him in person. Yacovone offers to meet him somewhere if he does not want to come to the township police station.
At one point in the video, Yacovone listens and then says, “Maybe. Maybe not. I can’t make any promises. I have one side of the story, and I want to get yours. I’m not going to lie to you.”
“Right now, it doesn’t look good. You made some mistakes, and I know you regret it.”
Yacovone says that if Green does not want to meet, he can still make his case.
“If you want to keep doing what you’re doing, that’s fine, because there’s a lot of evidence here,” Yacovone tells him.
Green gives Yacovone an address in Youngstown, and Yacovone says he will meet Green there.
“It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t sound good, but once again I need your cooperation,” Yacovone tells him.
Under direct examination from Assistant Prosecutor Rob Andrews, Yacovone said he could detect no signs over the phone that Green was incoherent.
“His speech was clear,” Yacovone said. “He was very articulate.”
The second video was in an interview room at the township police department after Green ultimately agreed to drive himself there. Before he can begin, Yacovone and Detective Sgt. Brian McGlynn explain Green’s rights to him and ask him if he wants to sign a form saying he understands his rights, and he signed a form acknowledging that.
Green appears calm and speaks in a clear voice throughout the interview, telling detectives matter-of-factly that he had been arguing with Lockhart because he claimed she would not let Green see their daughter.
“It kind of bothers me,” Green tells the detectives. “I’m trying to be in my daughter’s life.”
Green tells the detectives he drove to Compass West, met Lockhart outside and says calmly, “I shot her.”
He does not know how many times he fired but he did say in response to a question that the gun he used had a full 15-round magazine. After prompting from Yacovone, who says he does not want a child to find the gun he used, Green tells the detectives where he threw the gun away in Niles.
Green also quietly wrote out a statement.
Judge D’Apolito said he will watch a third video with Green being interviewed and another three videos taken by police related to the case before he makes his decision.