WILMINGTON — A Clinton County grand jury has indicted the four men previously arrested in connection with the Jan. 21 shooting death of Layne Hall in Wilmington.
Joshua Lee Williams, 18, of Xenia, was indicted on a charge of murder.
Christian Lee Terry, 22; Kevin Lane Noe Jr., 21; and Corey Joseph Ruffner, 22, all of Wilmington, also were each charged with murder. However, the wording in their indictment documents refers to causing the death of Hall “as a proximate result” of committing or attempting to commit robbery.
Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney Richard “Rick” W. Moyer on Wednesday alleged Williams was being robbed during the Jan. 21 incident.
Although it is not alleged that Terry, Noe or Ruffner purposely killed Hall, it is alleged they were part of a robbery attempt against Williams. Further, it is alleged they caused the death of Hall “as a proximate result” of their alleged robbery attempt.
In other words, said Moyer, if Terry, Noe or Ruffner had not taken part in initiating a robbery, the alleged murder would not have occurred.
On the other hand, the wording in the indictment against Williams expressly states Williams “did purposely cause” Hall’s death. Moyer said the charge against Williams, unlike the charges against Terry, Noe and Ruffner, alleges the “purposeful killing of another” as a direct consequence of his own action.
“Just a flat murder [charge],” Moyer said of the specific charge in the indictment against Williams.
A firearm specification is attached to the murder charge against Williams. The grand jurors allege Williams had a firearm while committing the offense.
There is also a firearm specification attached to each charge in the indictments against Terry, Noe and Ruffner. Each firearm specification within those three separate indictments refers to a 9mm Ruger with the same serial number.
A court-filed affidavit by a Wilmington police detective alleges that phone texting between the shooting victim and Terry is evidence of a planned armed robbery.
All four of the indicted men are scheduled to have separate first pretrials on Feb. 11 in front of Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck.
The incident took place about 8:30 p.m. Jan. 21 in a parking lot of Brownberry Drive in Wilmington. Wilmington police officers went to the scene on a report of gunfire.
The shooting victim — Layne Eugene Hall, 23, of Blanchester — died of a gunshot wound to the center upper chest, according to a law enforcement affidavit.
Court documents allege Hall, as well as Terry, Noe and Ruffner, all rode together in a car to meet someone at the Brownberry Apartments parking lot. Allegedly after the four arrived, the person they were to meet pulled up in a car, and after that is when gunfire occurred.
The detective’s affidavit alleges Terry was in possession of a firearm reportedly registered to Terry. Terry advised police he “always carries a firearm for protection” according to the affidavit.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.