Grandson fantasized about killing grandparents for weeks, court docs say

The 24-year-old is accused of gunning down his grandparents and cousin.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 7:03 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 10:27 AM EDT
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GEORGETOWN, Ohio (WXIX) - A 24-year-old man, accused of a triple shooting that killed his grandfather and critically injured his grandmother and cousin, fantasized about killing his grandparents while he played Xbox, according to Brown County court documents.

Noah Clifton is being held at the Brown County Detention Center after appearing in Brown County Municipal Court on Thursday.

He was charged with one count of murder for the death of his grandfather, Ralph Neff Sr., court records show.

The 24-year-old is also facing two counts of attempted murder and two counts of felonious assault for shooting his grandmother, Margaret Neff, and his cousin, Zachary Neff, the documents read.

Clifton’s bond was set at $1 million during his arraignment, where he appeared by video conference.

Sheriff Gordon Ellis said he wasn’t stable enough to appear in the courtroom.

Since his arrest on Tuesday, Clifton had been combative and acting erratic, according to Brown County Prosecutor Zac Corbin.

Clifton was taken into custody at around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday after law enforcement responded to a report of an active shooter at a home on Wahlsburg East Road, across the road from West Fork Cemetery, in Georgetown.

A Georgetown police officer, who was the first one on the scene, arrested Clifton after seeing him standing next to a running vehicle while a gun lay nearby on the ground, according to the sheriff.

Once a Brown County deputy arrived, the officer and deputy then went into the home.

That’s where they found Ralph Neff Sr., 81, dead with a gunshot wound to his head, the sheriff’s office said.

Margaret Neff, 76, and another relative, Zachary Neff, 30, were also found with gunshot wounds, the sheriff said in a news release. Both were flown in Air Care medical helicopters to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Clifton was interviewed by a detective at the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.

The 24-year-old said, according to the records, he fantasized about killing his grandparents for several weeks while he played Xbox.

Clifton “stated that there was a character in Fortnight that was dressed like an old lady, and he was killing her in the game,” the court documents read.

Court documents reveal that Cliton denied shooting anyone but did admit that he recently bought ammunition and two magazines.

Clifton’s grandmother asked him “why?” when he walked into the home, the documents state. His response to her, “Because I can,” the court records read.

correction: An earlier version of this story included inaccurate information from the Brown County Jail that Clifton was charged with two counts of murder instead of one. Ralph Neff Sr. is the only one who died. We regret the error and apologize to the family.

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