The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

February 5, 2008

Lawyer at murder trial: ‘Lives on collision course’

MAHONING, MERCER COUNTIES — Gregory Paul Sopher was a bright kid and a joy for teachers in the classroom, his mother said on Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

The 2007 Canfield (Ohio) High School graduate and former Sharon man was shot and killed Oct. 27 after a night of drinking and doing drugs at a Crandall Street home in Youngstown.

Allen K. Frost, 38, of Youngstown, admitted to police he shot Sopher at his home, but an “out-of-body” experience led him to pull the trigger, his attorney Martin E. Yavorcik said.

Frost pleaded not guilty on Nov. 14 to a felony charge of murder and is on trial for the fatal shooting before Judge Maureen A. Sweeney in Youngstown.

“Two lives were on a collision course,” Yavorcik said of their unlikely Oct. 26 meeting, just hours before the shooting.

Sopher and friends Mark Novotny, 18, of Canfield, and Jarrett Andrews, 28, of Columbus, Ohio, had gone to Frost’s home to buy crack cocaine.

Sopher and Frost had never met before, but Andrews introduced the two that night, Novotny said.

Frost was a drug dealer who was forced into the vocation after suffering a stroke when he was 35 years old, his attorney said. He was unable to gain money through his disability and needed a way to support his young daughter and live-in girlfriend, Yavorcik added.

Sopher had also dealt drugs, said Novotny, Sopher’s best friend and a senior at Canfield.

Sopher was charged in July by Canfield police for trafficking drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia, but in September the charges were dismissed, court records show.

Novotny said he stayed in Sopher’s sport-utility vehicle while Sopher and Andrews went inside Frost’s home to buy drugs.

Sopher and Andrews “smoked crack” and Sopher left with Frost to drink at a Youngstown bar while Andrews stayed behind, Yavorcik said. Novotny, still in the SUV, had fallen asleep, he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.

    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.

    July 25, 2014