LIMA — A Lima man charged with murder and other felony charges stemming from the January shooting death of 34-year-old Branson Tucker on Monday waived his right to a speedy trial.
Jerome Fuqua, 59, of Lima, appeared briefly in front of Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser to formally formally give up his constitutional right to a quick and speedy trial.
Defense Attorney Steve Chamberlain told the court that additional time was needed to adequately prepare his client’s case for trial. Fuqua’s jury trial was postponed until July 8 at a result of Monday’s hearing. The defendant’s next court appearance was scheduled for June 13.
Fuqua made his initial appearance in Lima Municipal Court in late January and was indicted by an Allen County grand jury in February on one count of murder, an unclassified felony with a firearm specification; one count of felonious assault, a second degree felony that also includes a firearm specification; and one count of having weapons under disability, a third-degree felony.
Fuqua and Lima resident Kenneth Cobb, also 59, were taken into custody one day after Tucker was found dead inside a vehicle that had been involved in an early-morning traffic accident in the 600 block of Michael Avenue. Tucker was found to be suffering from a gunshot wound to the torso and died later that morning at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center.
Both were charged with Tucker’s death.
Detectives learned the shooting occurred inside a structure at 975 St. Johns Ave., Lima, that is believed to be an after-hours establishment that, according to court documents, is Fuqua’s residence.
During testimony in the preliminary hearings for both Fuqua and Cobb in Lima Municipal Court, Detective Todd Jennings of the Lima Police Department said Cobb admitted firing shots from a handgun that killed Tucker, while Fuqua admitted he had provided the murder weapon.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.