CLEVELAND (AP) — The stepmother of a young man convicted of aggravated murder and other charges in a triple homicide at a suburban barbershop said his first stay in a juvenile detention facility changed him.
Douglas Shine Jr.’s stepmother testified Wednesday as the sentencing phase of his trial got underway in Cleveland, where jurors will decide whether to recommend the death penalty.
Cleveland.com (http://bit.ly/2fXtpYf ) reports that Stinner Shine told jurors that her 21-year-old stepson went into a youth facility in Hudson as a vibrant and smiley 10-year-old boy but came out a guarded young man with no trust in others.
“He’d still smile, but there was something gone,” Stinner Shine said. “He grew up too fast.”
A psychologist who examined Douglas Shine Jr. and reviewed hundreds of pages of school, jail, prison and social services records also testified Wednesday.
Psychologist Robert Kaplan said Shine had no clear role model growing up. Shine’s mother spent four months in jail when he was 6 months old and frequently abused him, Kaplan said.
Kaplan said Shine first went to juvenile detention center when he was 10 on a burglary charge and was pressured to join a street gang when he was 14 and transferred to a youth prison.
No one ever followed through on recommendations from psychologists at jails, juvenile courts and schools that Shine go to therapy or counseling and be enrolled in specialized education programs, Kaplan said.
“You’re dealing with large systems, bureaucracies where people fall through the cracks,” said Kaplan, who was scheduled to continue his testimony Thursday.
Shine was convicted Nov. 4 of opening fire inside a Warrensville Heights barbershop in February 2015, killing the owner, an employee and a customer. The jury also convicted Shine of conspiring to kill a witness.
If jurors recommend the death penalty, a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge will decide whether to impose that sentence or give Shine life in prison with no chance of parole.