Attorney for suspect in Fairfield Twp. Walmart fatal shooting wants off the case

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Nearly a year after a fatal shooting at a Walmart in Fairfield Twp., the attorney representing the man accused wants to withdraw from the case.

Anthony F. Brown, 32, of Hamilton, is charged with aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault and having weapons under disability for the May 26, 2022 double shooting that killed a customer at the Princeton Road store.

In January, after a series of legal maneuvering including questions of competency and sanity raised by Brown’s attorney Clyde Bennett II, Brown was declared fit for trial.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Dan Haughey set the trial date for June 26.

Last week, Bennett filed a motion asking the court to permit him to withdraw as Brown’s attorney in the murder case and a previous robbery case that is still pending.

Bennett declined to comment on the reason for his withdraw. He was retained to represent Brown.

The matter is set for a hearing Tuesday in Haughey’s courtroom.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Forensic psychological evaluations ordered last year concluded Brown is competent to stand trial and not eligible for an insanity plea, according to prosecutors.

In the May 26 incident at Walmart, Brown, while allegedly trying to steal cell phones, is accused of shooting and killing Adam Black, 35, a Hamilton man who had recently moved to the area and who just learned he was going to be a father. Brown is also accused of shooting and wounding Eric Ruff, 57, of Fairfield, a Walmart employee who survived.

A SWAT team took Brown into custody at a Fairfield Inn in Middletown several hours after the shooting. Gmoser said the investigation is continuing, including how Brown got to the Middletown hotel after the shootings.

Brown is accused of robbing an employee at gunpoint at Minnick’s Drive Thru on Dixie Highway on Oct. 15, 2021, taking cash and lottery tickets. He was out of jail on a $200,000 bond for that alleged crime at the time of the Walmart shooting.

Brown is being held in the Butler County Jail without bond.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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