By: Taylor Weiter , Jake Ryle
CINCINNATI — The man accused of pulling the trigger in a deadly November shooting turned himself in to police Monday, nearly six months after officials said 24-year-old Jamontea Brown was “executed in broad daylight” in the parking lot of a Westwood Walmart.
Josiah Hassell was indicted in April on one count of aggravated murder, two counts of murder and two counts of felonious assault. At the time of his indictment, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Hassell’s whereabouts were unknown.
Surveillance footage from the Walmart shows Brown and two others leave the store Nov. 27 and stand near the bollards outside. Deters said Brown was waiting for a ride to pick him up. A man dressed in black with a hood pulled over his face can be seen slowly walking up behind Brown before firing a gun near the back of his head. That man is allegedly Hassell.
“In all my years as a prosecutor, it is hard to think of another case as brazen as this,” Deters 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 walked into CPD District 1 at around 7 p.m. with his attorney, Clyde Bennett II. If he’s convicted on all charges, Hassell could face a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.
“He’s ready to face justice as you can see,” Bennett said. “We stand on the presumption of innocence … so regardless of what you’ve seen, he’s presumed innocent in this county, in this state, in this country.”
While he called the surveillance footage “impressive,” Bennett said it still does not prove Hassell is guilty.
“The video is impressive. You have a video recording of somebody being executed or shot close-range style,” Bennett said. “It’s impressive, but it’s not conclusive to who did it, or why he did it … Doesn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that anybody did anything.”
Bennett said it took Hassell’s family months to get the money to hire an attorney.
“If you’re wanted for murder, and turn yourself in to the Hamilton County Justice Center, without an attorney, they’ll chew you up and spit you out,” said Bennett. “He’s turned himself in — he didn’t get arrested, he’s doing it on his own with his counsel.”