Man accused in deadly Walmart shooting to get 2nd psychological evaluation

Alleged Walmart shooter Anthony F. Brown, 32, of Hamilton, was arraigned in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Friday, June 3, 2022, on several charges, including aggravated murder, murder, and aggravated robbery. He is accused of shooting and killing one man, and shooting and wounding another man while allegedly attempting to steal cell phones from the Fairfield Twp. Walmart on Princeton Road. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

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Alleged Walmart shooter Anthony F. Brown, 32, of Hamilton, was arraigned in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Friday, June 3, 2022, on several charges, including aggravated murder, murder, and aggravated robbery. He is accused of shooting and killing one man, and shooting and wounding another man while allegedly attempting to steal cell phones from the Fairfield Twp. Walmart on Princeton Road. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

A man accused of firing shots inside a Fairfield Twp. Walmart resulting in the death of a customer and injuries to one worker will be evaluated again by a psychologist at the request of his attorney.

The request follows the first report that says he is his fit for trial.

Anthony F. Brown, 32, of Hamilton, who is charged with aggravated murder, murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault and having weapons under disability was back in Butler County Common Pleas Court Tuesday for competency evaluation hearing before Judge Dan Haughey.

Defense attorney Clyde Bennett II has filed a “not guilty by reason of insanity” plea on Brown’s behalf. He also questions his client’s competency to stand trial — meaning Brown is unable to assist in his own defense.

A forensic psychological evaluation that was ordered in June concluded Brown is competent to stand trial and not eligible for an insanity plea, according to Butler County Assistant Prosecutor Katie Pridemore.

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Bennett requested Brown receive a second psychological evaluation, which is permitted by law. The judge granted that request.

Brown, who is being held without bond in the May 26 crime, is scheduled to be back in court Sept. 13 for a second competency hearing based on the result of the second evaluation.

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Bennett previously told the Journal-News after having conversations with Brown, “he did not appear to be mentally normal.”

“He could not assist me with my defense. He did not appear to be lucid. Therefore his competency is an issue,” Bennett said. “When I sat with him after the Walmart incident he could not assist in his defense. If you can’t tell me what happened and you don’t know what happened and this is all a mystery and a fog to you, well hell, how do I know you knew what happened when it happened?”

Brown was free on $200,000 bond at the time of the Walmart incident for an alleged armed robbery in Hamilton in October.

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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 has been released from the hospital and is recovering.

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.

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