Friends and family on both sides of Fairfield Municipal Court wept openly when Nicholas Delaney, head bowed, appeared for his arraignment on murder charges Tuesday morning.
The Cincinnati man quietly answered, “Yes, ma’am,” as Judge Joyce Campbell asked him if he understood his rights and that he is facing a possible 15-years-to-life prison sentence if he is found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Samantha Decker.
Delaney pleaded not guilty and his attorney, David Washington, who was retained by the 28-year-old man’s family, asked for more time Tuesday, before he said he can comfortably waive a preliminary hearing.
Campbell set bond at $1.5 million and rescheduled the hearing for Nov. 14.
Decker, 24, was found shot multiple times just after 3 a.m. Oct. 31 at the Villages at Wildwood Luxury Apartments. Delaney and Decker have a 3-year-old child, but the child was not in the residence at the time of the shooting.
About a dozen women were in court supporting Delaney and all left quickly after the proceedings concluded. Decker’s family and friends, about 20 of them, were ushered out of the courtroom through a back entrance. They huddled in the parking lot, exchanging hugs, and only her stepfather, Mark Koehler, would comment.
“Basically it’s a tragedy for both families,” he said. “At this point we’re not going to make any additional comments.”
A man who identified himself as Ian Myers, Decker’s current boyfriend, was out of breath when he made the frantic 911 call Oct. 31.
“Ma’am, I got shots fired,” Myers said on the call. “… shots were fired at me.”
Myers told dispatchers that he and Decker had been out at a bar “having a good time” with friends. When they returned to the residence at 10 Wildwood Drive, Myers said Delaney was inside.
When police arrived, Delaney had already left in a bright yellow Mustang. An arrest warrant on the murder charge was issued hours after Decker died. Washington accompanied his client when Delaney surrendered at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Fairfield Police Department.
“He is charged with serious charges and he wanted to do the right thing and he turned himself in,” Washington said after the arraignment. “It was appropriate. … It’s a situation where someone he cared about is gone. So certainly it’s upsetting. It’s upsetting for everyone.”
This is the first homicide in the city in 2013. The city had four homicides in 2012, three of which remain unsolved. Three of the homicides were shootings and one was a stabbing.