Bellaire murder defendant in court

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — One of the co-defendants in an alleged home invasion attempt in Bellaire which resulted in the shooting death of Joshua Gorayeb is still awaiting the results of his competency evaluation.

Thomas Earl Grubba, 34, of Wheeling, appeared briefly before Belmont County Common Pleas Judge Frank Fregiato for a status conference. However, Grubba’s lawyer could not be present due to a family emergency, and the case was continued until Oct. 23. By that time, his evaluation is expected to be complete.

Grubba and three others allegedly conspired with Gorayeb, 34, of Wheeling to steal narcotics from a house at 4157 Noble St., which investigators believe was a site of drug activity. Law enforcement believes Gorayeb and Grubba attempted to enter the house, but the occupants were armed and Grubba and Gorayeb were both shot, with Gorayeb dying at the scene.

Co-defendant Michael Scott Posey, 33, of Bellaire, who is believed to have driven the car to the residence, has undergone an evaluation and was ruled competent, but his attorney requested another hearing Nov. 6 to hear testimony from the evaluator regarding how that conclusion was reached. Depending on the testimony, a second competency evaluation may be ordered.

Co-defendant James Dean McMasters, 46, of Bellaire, who is believed to have been a resident of the house at one time, is set to go to trial Nov. 28.

All are charged with robbery, aggravated burglary, murder and complicity to robbery and burglary leading to a death. Because their alleged crime led to Gorayeb’s death, all of the co-defendants face a charge of murder.

Meanwhile, two women related to the case have entered pleas.

Co-defendant Diane Jean Kuri, 28, has pleaded guilty to an amended charge of conspiracy to commit burglary. Her sentence was set for Nov. 20. Her other charges may be dropped depending her cooperation against the other co-defendants.

The owner of the house targeted in the alleged hove invasion has also entered a plea. Lola Eden, 54, of 4157 Noble St., Bellaire has pled guilty to trafficking in drugs with a gun specification. She will be sentenced Oct. 30.

Eden faces a maximum of eight years in prison with an additional consecutive year for the gun specification. A prison sentence is mandatory in this case.

According to the Belmont County Prosecutor’s Office, investigators found 59 grams of cocaine in the area of Eden’s house.

In other matters, Dakota Leasure, last known address in Belmont, appeared before Belmont County Western Division Court Judge Eric Costine and pleaded guilty to one count each of theft, domestic violence and damage to jail property while incarcerated, all misdemeanors.

Costine gave Leasure a suspended 30-day sentence for the domestic violence charge and a suspended 90-day sentence for the property damage charge. On the theft charge, he received a jail sentence of 180 days with 60 days suspended and credit for 41 days served.