‘Brazen’ Walmart murder suspect court appearance delayed
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A murder suspect accused of brazenly gunning down a 24-year-old man in broad daylight outside a Cincinnati Walmart store was expected to appear in court Tuesday.
Josiah Hassell’s hearing was delayed because the judge was ill. His hearing is now scheduled for Jan. 10, 2023.
If convicted, Hassell could face the maximum possible sentence of life in prison but his attorney clearly indicates Hassell isn’t pleading out.
“Mr. Hassell maintains his innocence. The evidence purportedly supporting the charges against him is voluminous,” Clyde Bennett II tells FOX19 NOW. “I am still in the process of evaluating the evidence. Therefore, I am not yet prepared for trial. But will be.”
Hassell, who turns 27 Tuesday, turned himself into Cincinnati police in May, six months after Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says he “executed” Jamontea Brown outside the Western Hills Walmart store off Ferguson Road in Westwood.
Brown was waiting for a ride outside the store when he was shot just after 3 p.m. on Nov. 27, 2021, two days after Thanksgiving.
Store surveillance video shows a man in black clothing with a black hood over his head walking up behind the victim, pointing a gun directly at the back of his head and firing.
Brown collapsed and died at the scene in the arms of the mother of his child.
“This man was executed, in broad daylight, in a crowded parking lot. In all my years as a prosecutor, it is hard to think of another case as brazen as this,” Deters has said.
“The type of person who can casually walk up behind an unsuspecting victim and put a bullet in their head is someone who should never be on the streets again.”
Hassell was indicted in April in Brown’s slaying on one count of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, and two counts of felonious assault.
There was a “squabble” over a small amount of money before the shooting, according to the prosecutor.
At that time Hassell was indicted, Deters said his whereabouts were unknown. He said Hassell was on the run and dangerous.
When Hassell surrendered the following month, his attorney claimed to FOX19 NOW Hassell was not the gunman in the store video.
The attorney, Clyde Bennett II, also insisted Hassel wasn’t “in hiding” for the past six months before to turning himself in.
He said Hassell waited to come forward until his family had time to gather the money to get him legal representation.
The mother of the victim’s child doesn’t buy that story.
Sheila Roberts told FOX19 NOW it was hard to watch our interview with Hassell’s attorney denying his client’s involvement in the slaying.
She was relieved Hassell surrendered, saying it gave the family hope that justice would be served.
She vowed to be at all of Hassell’s court appearances:
“I’m going to be there the next court date, the next court date. And when you get sentenced, I will be there with my baby because you have to realize who you took and who you took it from.”
WARNING: The video below contains content that some people may find disturbing.
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.
Copyright 2022 WXIX. All rights reserved.