LIMA — After roughly eight hours of deliberation, the jury remains undecided on the charges alleged against Kenneth Cobb.
Jurors were handed the case at noon Thursday shortly after Cobb’s attorney wrapped up testimony, and deliberations continued up until 8:30 p.m. before the decision was made to continue Friday morning.
Cobb is currently being tried for felonious assault and murder in relation to the shooting death of Branson Tucker in 2019. Cobb alleges he was defending himself from being robbed.
Cobb admitted to police that he fired the gunshot that killed Tucker following a dispute over gambling at an after-hours establishment at 975 St. Johns Ave. in Lima.
“I shot the mother-(expletive), I’m not gonna lie,” Cobb told Lima Police Department Sgt. Jason Garlock in a telephone conversation that was recorded and played for jurors during the trial.
Cobb said Tucker, one of several males at the St. Johns Avenue establishment, attempted to steal his gambling winnings from atop a pool table.“He had a gun and I snatched it from him. I tried to shoot him in the leg,” Cobb told Garlock.
But Cobb changed his story after being told by LPD Detective Steve Stechschulte of statements that Lima resident Jerome Fuqua had already made to police to police. Fuqua was found by police inside the St. Johns Avenue establishment following the shooting andhas also been charged with murder in Tucker’s death.
“Jerome originally tried to take the hit for you. He told us he had the gun and handed it to you,” Stechschulte told Cobb during the interview. “
Fuqua has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Friday morning in Allen County Common Pleas Court.
Tucker’s death was the result of a single gunshot wound to the right hip and the extensive loss of blood that followed.
Several witnesses testified that after the shooting Tucker was loaded into what was later found to be a stolen SUV. Due to icy road conditions the SUV slid off the road and struck a utility pole on Michael Avenue in Lima, which is where police first became involved.
Defense Attorney Dustin Blake in his opening statements to jurors claimed the shooting of Tucker was in self-defense and was justified because Cobb was being robbed at the time.