Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office Wins Fight Against Parole of Convicted Attempted Murderer

The Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office successfully opposed the parole of Guillum
Chism during a full hearing held before the Ohio Parole Board on September 14, 2021.

On September 22, 1988, Chism along with three accomplices entered an apartment in the
Kimmel Brook housing project in Youngstown, Ohio, where they robbed three men at gunpoint,
then shot all three. Two men died and were found in the apartment in varying states of nudity,
while the third, Keith Crenshaw, survived, after being shot in the face by Chism. In Mahoning
County Common Pleas Case No. 88 CR 574, Chism and Co-Defendants Clinton Purdue, Gary
Austin, and Ira Bray were indicted for four counts of Aggravated Murder, two counts of
Aggravated Robbery, and two counts of Attempted Aggravated Murder, all with attached Firearm

Chism proceeded to a Jury Trial where a jury found him Guilty of two counts of Aggravated
Robbery with Firearm Specifications, and one count of Attempted Aggravated Murder with a
Firearm Specification. Chism was sentenced to a term of 10 to 25 years in the penitentiary for
each count of Aggravated Robbery and 7 to 25 years in the penitentiary for Attempted Aggravated
Murder. While the appellate court merged Chism’s Firearm Specifications on the Aggravated
Robbery counts, it allowed them to run consecutively to the Firearm Specification on the
Attempted Aggravated Murder charge for a total of six years in specifications. Chism arrived at
the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) on December 8, 1989, and has
remained incarcerated since that date. Co-Defendants Purdue and Bray are both still incarcerated
for their roles in this attack.

According to Jennifer McLaughlin, Chief of the Criminal Division of the Mahoning
County Prosecutor’s Office, a review of Chism’s Institutional Report Summary revealed that
although he has participated in numerous programs and activities while incarcerated, his
disciplinary history includes multiple contraband infractions and a violent altercation with another
inmate on May 22, 2020. McLaughlin wrote, “[w]hile his history in the ODRC does not appear
unfavorable, it is his conduct as a free man that raises grave concern. Defendant participated in a
home invasion robbery that resulted in the deaths of two men, Victor Hardet and Jonathan Perry, and the life-changing permanent disability of a third man, Keith Crenshaw. Mr. Crenshaw testified
at Chism’s trial that Chism pointed a gun at his face while Mr. Perry tried to explain that Mr.
Crenshaw had nothing to do with this. This is not a case in which Chism was a passive participant.
He shot a man in the face.”

While Chism now seeks parole and an opportunity to get on with his life outside of prison,
McLaughlin argued that “Mr. Crenshaw will never be able to put this behind him and get on with
his life. Mr. Crenshaw suffered traumatic brain injury when Defendant fired a bullet into his head.
He is blind and confined to a wheelchair. He will never walk outside of his residence
unencumbered by his wheelchair. He will never live without the need for caregivers. His speech
and hearing are impaired. His life is forever changed because Defendant pointed a gun in his face
and pulled the trigger. He intended to kill, as evidenced by the jury’s verdict finding Defendant
Guilty of Attempted Aggravated Murder, but failed.”

The Parole Board agreed, voting 7 to 3 in favor of denying parole. Chism will be eligible
for parole again in 2026.

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