Hitman Pleads Guilty In Businessman's Death

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) - A man serving 18 years in prison for shooting the Mahoning County prosecutor will serve another 10 years in the killing of a Youngstown business owner.

Mark Batcho, 35, of Youngstown pleaded guilty Tuesday to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity in the March 1996 shotgun killing of 66-year-old Lawrence Sissman.

Batcho is reputedly affiliated with organized crime in the Youngstown area, said Akron Police Maj. Paul Callahan, who led the investigation.

Batcho pleaded guilty to shooting and wounding then prosecutor-elect Paul Gains in 1996 to try to keep him from taking office.

The investigation of Sissman's death was performed by the Ohio Organized Crime Investigation Commission, which is affiliated with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

Callahan said the task force is still investigating other Youngstown-area slayings.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)