On eve of murder trial, Fairfield bar shooter admits guilt

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

Combined ShapeCaption
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

On the eve of trial, a Hamilton man has admitted guilt 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 Friday morning 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.

Judge Jennifer McElfresh set sentencing for June 2. Galliher faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 18 years.

Galliher’s trial was scheduled to begin Monday. He was in court Wednesday for a pretrial hearing where defense attorney said his client acted in self-defense during an attack in the bar.

Combined ShapeCaption
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

Combined ShapeCaption
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

Gmoser said the 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.

About the Author