Hamilton man guilty of murder in shooting death of former Fairfield football standout

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Liberty Park on Yankee Road in Liberty Twp.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Hamilton teenager was found guilty of murder Friday afternoon for a shootout last summer in a Liberty Twp. park.

Zyquon Moody, now 19, of Woodland Hills Drive, was convicted in the June 10 deadly shooting of 18-year-old Antaun Hill Jr., a Fairfield High School football standout who planned to play at Independence Community College in Kansas.

Moody was indicted just a week after the June 10 shooting by a Butler County grand jury for murder with a gun specification and two counts of felonious assault. Attempts at a trial had been made for December and February but failed due to concerns with the novel coronavirus. A pool of 60 prospective jurors was ordered on Monday by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer McElfresh.

Closing arguments were held Friday morning, and the jury’s verdict came down Friday afternoon.

“Anybody who’s thinking about murder better think twice because we got a pretty good track record (of conviction) up here in Butler County,” said county Prosecutor Mike Gmoser.

Romel Velasquez, 18, of Cincinnati, was sentenced in October to 24 months in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated assault with a gun specification for his role in the shootout at Liberty Park on Yankee Road.

Velasquez confessed he had a gun and made a choice to go to this “zone of danger” with that gun after a social media announcement about a “big fight,” according to prosecutors. Velasquez shot Moody, according to the investigation.

Butler County Sheriff’s detectives and Fairfield Twp. police say the incident began with a June 7 theft of Hill’s cellphone and cash in Fairfield Twp., and that two groups met June 10 to fight in the park. Gunfire was reported at around 10 p.m.

In addition to Hill and Moody, Zyshaun Johnson, 19, of Cincinnati, also was shot, and he recovered.

Sentencing for Moody has not been set, but he faces at least 15 years on the murder charge, plus three years on the gun specification.

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