Services were drawing to a close on a Sunday in Ohio when a 68-year old man allegedly approached the 70-year old pastor, who was in a church office, and fatally shot him. The man, who is the pastor's brother, has been indicted on murder charges.
The Brother Claims He's Not Guilty
The shooting happened on Feb. 28, at St. Peter's Missionary Baptist Church, which is located in Dayton, Ohio. The man has been charged with murder and plead not guilty. Reports indicate that he has dealt with mental illness throughout his life, though the exact type of illness was not noted.
As a result of the indictment, the man has been given a $1 million bond and is being held unless bail is paid. The man's attorney has yet to comment on the indictment counts.
At this point, the Montgomery County Prosecutor has released the specific charges that the younger brother will be facing. They include: a single count for aggravated murder, two counts for felonious assault, two counts for murder, and two counts for having a weapon even though the alleged shooter was disabled.
A Unique Case
This is an interesting case on numerous levels. It will highlight the link between deadly shootings and mental illness, which has been noted in other cases. The reason that the man is pleading not guilty could, perhaps, be tied to that mental illness, which can be used as a defense under certain circumstances. Additionally, with the family ties in this case, it will be intriguing to see if there was any motivation or an event outside of the church that set the case in motion. Reports may be sparse now, but much more should come out as it goes to trial.
Knowing Your Rights
In the face of serious charges, especially in complex cases with variables similar to these, it's critical for those who have been accused to know what legal defense options they have. Always be sure you know your rights and what steps to take to protect them.
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