Attorney for suspect in fatal Walmart shooting withdraws from case

HAMILTON — The attorney for a man accused of a fatal shooting last spring in a Fairfield Twp. Walmart cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for withdraw from the case nearly a year after the incident.

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.

On Tuesday, Brown was in Butler County Common Pleas Court where attorney Clyde Bennett II was permitted to withdraw from the case.

During the hearing, Judge Dan Haughey said he has received a letter from Brown “expressing dissatisfaction with present counsel (Bennett).”

Neither Bennett or the judge elaborated about the reason.

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

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

But the summer trial will likely not happen because Brown will receive a new court-appointed attorney who will have to come up to speed on the case. Bennett was retained by Brown.

Brown and his new attorney are scheduled to be back in court next week.

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.

Brown is also 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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