Lugnutz bar shooting: Trial to start soon; defense says shooter acted in self-defense

Miguel Wesley Galliher, left, appears with attorney Frank Schiavone IV for a pre-trial hearing Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Butler County Common Pleas Court for murder and felonious assault in connection with the shooting death of Robert Strong during a shooting at LugNutz bar and grill on Donald Drive in Fairfield in 2021. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

caption arrowCaption
Miguel Wesley Galliher, left, appears with attorney Frank Schiavone IV for a pre-trial hearing Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Butler County Common Pleas Court for murder and felonious assault in connection with the shooting death of Robert Strong during a shooting at LugNutz bar and grill on Donald Drive in Fairfield in 2021. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

The trial of a man accused of killing one man and injuring two others in a November 2021 shooting at LugNutz bar in Fairfield is set to begin Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Miguel Wesley Galliher, 20, of Hamilton was indicted five days after the Nov. 7 shooting for murder with a gun specification, six counts of felonious assault, failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, carrying a concealed weapon and illegal possession of a firearm in liquor permit premises.

ExploreVideo: Fairfield police pursuit after LugNutz bar shooting

Robert C. Strong, 44, of Hamilton was taken by medical helicopter to University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office.

caption arrowCaption
Miguel Wesley Galliher appears for a pre-trial hearing Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Butler County Common Pleas Court for murder and felonious assault in connection with the shooting death of Robert Strong during a shooting at LugNutz bar and grill on Donald Drive in Fairfield in 2021. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Miguel Wesley Galliher appears for a pre-trial hearing Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Butler County Common Pleas Court for murder and felonious assault in connection with the shooting death of Robert Strong during a shooting at LugNutz bar and grill on Donald Drive in Fairfield in 2021. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

caption arrowCaption
Miguel Wesley Galliher appears for a pre-trial hearing Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Butler County Common Pleas Court for murder and felonious assault in connection with the shooting death of Robert Strong during a shooting at LugNutz bar and grill on Donald Drive in Fairfield in 2021. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Galliher, who has been held in the county jail on a $1 million bond since the shooting, was back in court Wednesday for a pretrial hearing. Judge Jennifer McElfresh said the trial would being Monday with jury selection.

Defense attorney Frank Schiavone IV told the Journal-News that Galliher acted self-defense.

“He was being choked, attacked — and he defended himself,” Schiavone said.

In self-defense cases, the defendant usually takes the stand to testify.

A motion was filed last week; Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Kraig Chadrick said Galliher made “self-serving” statements to Fairfield Police in an attempt to justify the fatal shooting. Prosecutors have asked the court to stop the defense from admitting Galliher’s hearsay statements through testimony of other witnesses to avoid testifying himself.

Officers were dispatched at about 1:30 a.m. the morning of the shooting to Lugnutz at 22 Donald Drive for a report of the incident happening inside the bar. The investigation revealed Strong and Galliher were involved in an argument when Galliher pulled out a gun and began shooting, according to police.

Galliher shot Strong “several times,” according to court documents.

Dash camera video of the responding officer’s vehicle showed a gray Ford vehicle, believed to be Galliher’s getaway car. The officer spotted the vehicle just north of Donald Drive and chased it north on Ohio 4. The gray vehicle is seen weaving in and out of traffic, and then accelerating on the state route once it passed brief congestion north of Symmes Road.

ExploreFairfield bar shooting: Suspect indicted on multiple felony charges

The vehicle then spun out and veered right of the roadway, coming to a stop in a grassy area next to a used car lot north of the CSX railroad overpass.

The officer could be heard yelling multiple times for the four passengers in the vehicle to get their “hands up” and “keep your hands up.”

The video ends with officers ordering the third of four passengers out of the vehicle. The second person ordered out was Galliher, the driver and only person charged in Strong’s shooting death. .

Hailey Vierling, 21, of Hamilton, and Jerome Golston, 30, of Lima, also were hit by gunfire and suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

Police said it does not appear that Vierling and Golston were directly involved in the shooting.

About the Author