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Cops and Courts

Elyria homicide suspect arraigned in municipal court (VIDEO)

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Clarification: After this report was published, Saint-Velle Pruitt surrendered. Police say Pruitt was not involved in the death of Willie Fisher; another man, Patrick Gall, had been using Pruitt’s name. Gall was arrested Tuesday and Pruitt was cleared.

ELYRIA – A Cuyahoga County man was arraigned on charges of murder and tampering with evidence Monday morning in Elyria Municipal Court in connection with the Friday shooting of Willie Fisher on East Avenue.

Bruce Arnoff, 56, of Solon was arraigned by video before Judge Robert White. The prosecutor said at approximately 6:15 p.m. Friday, Fisher was found shot to death behind 1401 East Ave., which is a shopping plaza with a Convenient Food Mart in it.

The investigation revealed that Fisher was gunned down by two individuals and the crime was caught on video, the prosecutor said. The investigation also revealed that Arnoff had hired the two individuals -- John Sullivan and Saint-Velle Pruitt, both of East Cleveland – to kill Fisher and “paid them $500.”

When asked if he would be hiring an attorney, Arnoff asked for the court to appoint one to him.

“I’m requesting court-appointed counsel. I already had an attorney out yesterday, and it’s just too expensive,” Arnoff said. “We’re trying to get family to be able to afford it.”

Arnoff also said he was now unemployed.

“I was working for a security company, but, obviously, I’ve been terminated,” he said.

Arnoff said he was staying with his ex-wife in Solon, but he was living at a home he owns in Garfield Heights.

White set bond on the first-degree-felony charge of murder at $2 million and the third-degree-felony charge of tampering at $30,000 due to Arnoff having several felonies on his record and because he lives outside Lorain County.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.


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