Lawyer on man accused in Liberty Twp. incident: ‘He shot the shooter’

Two 18-year-olds, with limited criminal histories, were shackled and handcuffed Monday morning when they entered Judge Jennifer McElfresh’s Butler County Common Pleas Courtroom.

Minutes later, despite arguments from their attorneys, McElfresh set bond at $1 million for one defendant and $500,000 for the other.

Bond was set at $1 million for Zyquon Moody, of Hamilton, who allegedly shot and killed Antaun Hill Jr., 18, a 2020 Fairfield High School graduate, during a fight June 10 in Liberty Park in Liberty Twp.

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Romel Velasquez, of Cincinnati, who originally was charged with Hill’s murder but later was charged with felonious assault, had his $750,000 bond lowered to $500,000.

Moody’s attorney, William Rapp, and Velasquez’ attorney, David Washington, pleaded “not guilty” for their clients. Moody and Velasquez are scheduled to appear for their next hearings at 1 p.m. July 9.

After McElfresh lowered the bond for Velasquez, Washington told her the $500,000 was “a high very” considering the felonious assault charge. The judge said Velasquez was a “danger to the public” and a flight risk.

Washington said if what police investigators said happened that night is true — that Moody fired the shot that killed Hill and Velasquez shot Moody — then Velasquez probably stopped “a bigger problem,” more gun violence that night in the park.

Washington asked for Velasquez to be released.

“He shot the shooter,” Washington told McElfresh.

On Friday, the murder charge was dismissed against Velasquez in Butler County Area II Court.

Several members of their families and the family of Hill Jr. attended the arraignment. When bond was set at $1 million for Moody, one woman sitting in the front row clapped.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said the incident began with a previous theft and two groups meeting to fight in the park. Jones said Velasquez began firing into the crowd, striking Hill and injuring two others. But further investigation revealed another gun was fired during the incident that happened about 10 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

In addition to the fatal shooting of Hill, Zyshaun Johnson, 19, of Cincinnati, were shot.

Police said at least two guns believed to be used in the shootings were recovered and dispatchers received six 911 calls about the incident, one warning a fight was about to happen.

Hill was a recent Fairfield High School graduate and planned to play football at Independence Community College in Kansas.

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