LIMA — A Pickerington man pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of murder in the shooting death of of Anthony Bankston, whose lifeless body was found outside an after-hours establishment on South Main Street in Lima in late December.
Jemonte McNeal, 24, entered the pleas during his arraignment hearing Friday in Allen County Common Pleas Court. McNeal was the target of a secret indictment handed down by the recent session of the grand jury. The indictment charged McNeal with two counts of murder with three-year firearm specifications, both unclassified felonies, and one count of felonious assault with a three-year firearm specification, a felony of the second degree.
The indictment alleges that McNeal purposely caused the death of Bankston, 25, of Lima, who was found dead Dec. 29 on the sidewalk outside a known after-hours establishment at 904 S. Main St. that at one time housed a bar known as The Alamo. Three other persons were injured in that shooting.
A man taken into custody last month as an initial suspect in the shooting death of Bankston was arraigned in Allen County Common Pleas Court in late February. Rasheign Tisdale, 23, of Lima, entered pleas of not guilty to four counts of felonious assault with firearm specifications, second-degree felonies; one count of carrying a concealed weapon, a felony of the fourth degree; and one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony.
The felonious assault and weapons charges stem from the state’s allegation that Tisdale “did knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm … to Anthony Bankston by means of a deadly weapon.”
Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Miller at that time said the circumstances surrounding Bankston’s death were still under investigation and that additional charges were anticipated.
“There were a series of events that ultimately led to the death of Anthony Bankston,” Miller said, “and we believe Rasheign Tisdale was involved in those series of events.”