Marquan Cook trial: Prosecutor says Middletown bar shooting witness will testify

Suspect was wearing ankle monitor when shooting occurred, police say

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A trial began Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court for a Dayton man accused of murder in a fatal shooting outside of a Middletown bar in 2020.

Marquan Cook, 29, is accused of shooting Brandon Moneyham Sr. to death during the early-morning hours of Oct. 11, 2020 in a parking lot adjacent to the 513 Lounge on Verity Parkway.

During opening statements, the prosecution laid out the case, telling the jury an eyewitness to the shooting would testify.

At 12:49 a.m. Oct. 11, police received a call about a person found behind a business at 601 N. Verity Parkway. An initial investigation revealed Moneyham had been at the 513 Lounge next door. A group of people were leaving the bar when shots were fired, and at least one person was hit, according to police.

According to the Middletown police report, the first officers at the scene found Moneyham with several gunshot wounds.

During opening statements, Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Brad Burress said Moneyham was shot five times, with one shot perforating his heart.

“He (Moneyham) was dead there in the parking lot,” Burress told jurors. Eight 9-millimeter shell casings were found in and around the area were Moneyham was fatally injured.

Burress said during the trial, a female witness will recount her evening out with Moneyham that eventually led to the 513 Lounge.

“While inside the bar, she did see Brandon Moneyham,” Burress said. “This witness will tell you there appeared to be no problems between Marquan Cook and Brandon Moneyham.”

Sometime shortly after midnight, the witness went outside to put her purse in the car and saw Moneyham and Cook in the parking lot.

“She will tell you that she saw Marquan Cook with a gun ... and she saw Marquan Cook shoot Brandon Moneyham several times,” Burress told the jury.

After the shooting, Cook fled to Dayton and eventually to Florida. Cook was wearing a GPS device at the time of the shooting, which he eventually cut off his ankle, Burress said. It has never been found.

Cook was released from prison in November 2019 after serving 2.5 years for attempted felonious assault. He was on post release control when released from prison, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction.

A report from the GPS monitor puts Cook in the parking lot at the time of Moneyham’s shooting, Burress said.

Defense attorney Billy Guinigundo deferred opening statements until after the prosecution’s case was presented. The trial is expected to last all week in Judge Jennifer McElfresh’s courtroom.

About the Author