Man gets life sentence for fatal Fairfield bar shooting

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A Hamilton man has been sentenced to life in prison for the November fatal shooting at LugNutz Bar and Grill in Fairfield.

Miguel Wesley Galliher, 20, was indicted five days after the Nov. 7, 2021, 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

Galliher pleaded guilty in April in Butler County Common Pleas Court to murder with a three-year gun specification for killing 44-year-old Robert C. Strong. The remaining charges, including felonious assault for two others who were shot and wounded, were dismissed.

On Thursday Jennifer McElfresh sentenced Galliher to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 18 years. The murder conviction carries a mandatory 15 years to life sentence and three additional years were added for using a gun in the crime.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said when Galliher entered a guilty plea that two people who were shot and recovered have not been cooperative with police and prosecutors.

“The lesser charges did not move the needle for us based on the level of cooperation from the other victims,” Gmoser said.

Officers were dispatched 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 a responding officer’s vehicle showed a gray Ford, 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.

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