A man has been charged in the death of a woman gunned down while walking her dog in a city park on the west side of Cleveland more than four years ago.
Cuyahoga County prosecutors last week announced a grand jury indictment of 22-year-old DaJuan Evans in the January 2019 murder of 58-year-old Sheila Wallace in McGowan Park. He is charged with aggravated murder and two counts each of murder and felonious assault.
“Sheila Wallace was not and will not be forgotten,” Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said in a statement. “Her horrendous murder shook the Bellaire-Puritas community to the core and my thoughts and prayers remain with the victim’s family.”
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Prosecutors said video evidence shows a man they identified as Evans, who was 18 at the time, and another male crossing paths with the victim. Then, prosecutors alleged, “Evans stopped, turned around, and fired four shots,” striking her in the head and chest. The two males then fled.
Prosecutors said DNA evidence, a ballistics link to another shooting, witness testimony and video evidence linked Evans to the slaying of Wallace, who worked as a medical administrative assistant at the Cleveland Clinic.
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Court documents indicate that Evans is being held in lieu of $1 million bond. Messages seeking comment were sent Sunday to his defense attorneys.
Cleveland.com reported that Evans is serving a five-year sentence in an unrelated robbery case and is scheduled for release in June 2024. A judge earlier this year denied Evans’ request for release two years early.
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His public defender said in the motion for release that his client had gotten a high school diploma and planned to enroll in college after he was freed, and he was also looking forward to reuniting with his son and the child’s mother.
“Having now experienced the difficulties of prison life and the devastation caused by his absence from his mother and son, Mr. Evans is ready and motivated to reintegrate into society as a law-abiding and productive member of his community,” the motion said.
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