Hamilton man sent to prison for fatal birthday shooting

Hamilton man sent to prison for fatal birthday shooting

A Hamilton man has been sent to prison for the fatal shooting of a Trotwood man in March.

Marquis Hunter, 31, of Short Street, pleaded guilty in September in Butler County Common Pleas Court to involuntary manslaughter with a gun specification for shooting Jaylen Kinney to death on March 23.

Kinney was shot on his 24th birthday at the end of Chestnut Street and West Front Street.

Judge Keith Spaeth sentenced Hunter on Thursday to 15 years in prison, just one year shy of the maximum sentence.

Hunter was taken into custody in Atlanta a few weeks after the shooting.

Evidence indicated Kinney and another person had been involved in shots fired at Hunter before the March 23 incident, according to prosecutors. Hunter was shot in the leg in that February incident outside the Hard Times bar in Hamilton, but Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Brad Burress said Kinney was not the person who actually shot Hunter.

Additionally, there was evidence that Kinney and the other person were approaching Hunter, who was in a car, when the shooting occurred.

Defense attorney Chris Pagan told the judge that Hunter suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after “being present for the murder of his father when he was just 8 years old.”

The PTSD, along with alcohol and substance abuse, may have led to his heightened reaction when he saw Kinney and others approach him, according to the attorney.

“He was scared to death,” Pagan told the judge.

Burress pointed out witnesses did not indicate others at the gathering for Kinney’s birthday had guns. Kinney was also shot more than once.

Kinney’s mother, Ruth Kinney, spoke briefly before the sentencing in a courtroom filled with supporters of Hunter. She thanked the Hamilton Police Department for their work on her son’s case.

She said her grandchildren miss their father and don’t know why he is not with them.

“We are going to move forward and cherish his memory,” Ruth Kinney said.

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