Man facing trial for fatal Hamilton shooting last June will claim self defense

A Cincinnati man accused of shooting and killing Tracy Miller last summer in the parking lot outside a Hamilton bar will claim self defense at his upcoming trial, according to court records.

Ramello Mathews, 29, was ruled competent to stand trial in January by a Butler County Common Pleas judge following multiple forensic psychological evaluations and a review of interrogation tapes and jailhouse calls.

Judge Greg Stephens set Mathews’ trial date for July 15.

Prosecutors say Mathews killed Miller on June 25, 2023 in the parking lot outside the Dayton Lane Pub.

Last week, defense attorneys filed a motion of “affirmative defense of self-defense” that Mathews did not start the encounter and “due to the deceased’s behavior he did not believe he or his companions could safely retreat or exit the area.”

The defense says Mathews, his brother and two others arrived at the pub on Dayton Street after midnight and went outside to an area for patrons to smoke.

That is when Miller approached them, “becoming aggressive and acted in a threatening manner toward the group,” according to the defense motion.

Miller then “made a threat about having something for them and went to his car, mere feet away, circling it reaching through the windows into the passenger compartment more that once,” according to the defense motion.

“Defendant did not start the encounter, did not prolong the encounter, and tried to get the deceased to leave,” defense attorneys Jim Hardin and Mary Martin said in the self defense motion

Mathews was arrested two days after the shooting and is being held in lieu of $1 million bond.

Miller, 34, of Hamilton, died at a hospital following the shooting.

The shooting happened behind the bar where Miller had been a patron, according to his family. He was “found unconscious in his vehicle with two gunshot wounds,” according to the police report.

Miller was shot twice in the chest, but he may not have been in the car when he was shot — a full round was found in front of a car tire, according to police and dispatch records.

When arrested, Mathews was in possession of a loaded 9-millimeter handgun in the pocket of a sweatshirt jacket, according to police and court records.

Miller attended Hamilton High School and was raised by his grandmother, so he also spent several years in Kentucky, she said.

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