Fourth suspect in fatal shooting incident makes first court appearance.


By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com



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WILMINGTON — A Xenia man who was sought by police in relation to the fatal shooting in Wilmington last Tuesday night was arrested and made his first appearance in court Monday morning

Joshua Lee Williams, 18, appeared in Clinton County Municipal Court via video conference from the Clinton County Jail. Williams was arraigned on a first-degree murder charge with bond set at $1 million by the judge.

“I want to tell the whole truth,” said Williams, adding he’d like his court-appointed lawyer with him when doing that.

Judge Mike Daugherty advised Williams to speak to his lawyer before speaking further in court.

Last Thursday night police SWAT activity and possible shots fired were reported in a section of Xenia in Greene County, where local residents were told to shelter in place.

Williams was not at the home in the 400 block of East Church Street, where law enforcement served a search warrant, but police state that they were able to collect evidence related to the murder case.

Williams had earlier been listed as a person of interest in the Wilmington fatal shooting, for which three suspects were arrested and charged with murder last Wednesday: Christian Lee Terry, 22, of Wilmington; Kevin Lane Noe Jr., 21, of Wilmington; and Corey Joseph Ruffner, 22, of Wilmington.

Bond was set at $1 million each for Noe, Ruffner and Terry during their first court appearance Thursday morning.

The incident took place just after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21 in a parking lot of Brownberry Drive. Wilmington police officers were first on the scene at approximately 8:40 p.m. on a report of gunfire.

The victim was Layne Eugene Hall, 23, of Blanchester, who died of a gunshot wound to the upper chest.

Court documents show that the victim and three suspects allegedly rode in a car together to meet someone at the Brownberry Apartments parking lot; soon after the four arrived, the person they were to meet pulled up in a car, and shortly after that is when gunfire was heard.

According to a court affidavit, after locating Hall’s cell phone and looking through the messages, authorities believed “there was more going on than what was alluded to” and that at least some of the arrested suspects had made false statements. The affidavit states that authorities believe messages between Terry and Hall were “a message to move in on the suspect for an armed robbery.”

Terry was allegedly in possession of a firearm registered to him; Terry advised he “always carries a firearm for protection” according to the affidavit.

One of the suspects alleged that it was Williams who shot Hall, according to the affidavit.

Williams’ next court appearance is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 3. Noe, Ruffner, and Terry are set to appear again at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

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By John Hamilton

jhamilton@wnewsj.com