Witness testimony concludes in assault, burglary trial

LIMA — The armed robbery and assault trial of a Lima man continued Thursday afternoon, with the conclusion of witness testimonies.

Charles Marshall, 24, is charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, and felonious assault, a second-degree felony for allegations that he or an accomplice used a gun to rob and assault 54-year-old Jay McMillen on May 14. Both charges have firearm specifications.

Aaron Henderson, also 24, faces the same charges for his role in the incident, where he is accused of firing a gun next to McMillen’s ear before assaulting and robbing him. His jury trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 29.

Lima Police Detective Jesse Harrod testified Thursday that in his investigation of the case, Marshall contradicted himself numerous times.

The state showed video and audio recordings of three interviews between Harrod and Marshall.

In the first interview, which took place on May 14 around 2:30 a.m., Marshall said he was walking away from his girlfriend’s house when he heard gunshots and ran before he was arrested.

In the second interview, which took place around 4:30 a.m. that same day, Marshall admitted some involvement, but claimed he was “tricked into going into the area (near the Coca-Cola Plant).” He said he met up with Henderson at his request and the two hung out before meeting up with McMillen to sell him some marijuana and walking to the plant.

Marshall said Henderson had plans to “lick” McMillen, meaning he was going to rob him, but Marshall had no part of that. He said after McMillen began acting strange and threatening he had a gun in his bag, Marshall took it from him to check, finding there was no weapon. He put the bag where it was later found by police.

Marshall said when McMillen attempted to bite his leg, he pushed the man against a fence before Henderson pointed the gun at him and robbed him.

In the third interview, Marshall said he and Henderson met McMillen at his apartment before saying that they had actually met at a bar. He told Harrod that he texted Henderson to “mug” McMillen after he had been acting strange.

In text messages from Marshall to Henderson shown to the jury by Assistant Allen County Prosecutor Joseph Everhart, Marshall encourages Henderson to rob McMillen.

“Pass the Blick if you anit finna cause we clear,” one text reads, urging Henderson to pass Marshall the gun if he won’t use it to rob McMillen because no one is around to see.

Marshall continued to urge Henderson to rob McMillen up until two minutes before the incident, according to text messages and surveillance footage.

This footage showed Henderson shooting next to McMillen’s head, before assaulting him and shooting near him once more. Marshall did not touch McMillen in the video, but flees with Henderson.

According to Harrod’s testimony, DNA on the gun used in the incident and a large gash on the victim’s forehead indicated that Henderson struck McMillen with the gun.

Although evidence shows Marshall did not himself touch the victim, he could be found complicit in the robbery and assault and therefore be found guilty.

The state and defense will make closing arguments and the case will be given to the jury at 8:30 a.m. Friday.