LIMA — After two long days of deliberations, jurors returned their verdict late Friday night. Kenneth Cobb was found not guilty of murder.
Jurors, however, reversed the verdict on Cobb’s second charge. The 60-year-old was found guilty of felonious assault with a firearm.
Cobb was originally arrested and charged with murder in relation to the shooting death of Branson Tucker, which occurred back in January 2019. Cobb’s defense argued that Cobb was acting in self-defense when he shot Tucker in the leg during a gambling session at an after-hours establishment on St. Johns Avenue.
Following the incident, Tucker died of blood loss.
“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.
“I wanna turn myself in,” Cobb said during the recording. “But not until I talk to a lawyer. They tried to rob me … because I was winning at a dice game.”
In lieu of Cobb’s murder acquittal, Cobb’s defense team asked Allen County Common Pleas Judge Terri Kohlrieser to consider a reduction in bond, which had been set to $1 million. Kohlrieser agreed with the defense, lowering Cobb’s bond to $100,000.
Kohlrieser also called for a presentence investigation. The judge said that sentencing would be set upon the completion of the investigation, which should take about six weeks.
While acquitted of murder, Cobb still faces a potential 14 years in prison for assault. Kohlrieser also found Cobb guilty of having weapons under disability.
It remains to be seen how Cobb’s verdict will affect the murder charge alleged against Jerome Fuqua. The 59-year-old was found at the same establishment later that night, and detective testimony points to Fuqua as the one who provided the gun to Cobb.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.