BREAKING: Bret Merrick pleads not guilty to murder charges


By Anna Bolton - adewine@civitasmedia.com



XENIA — Bret Merrick pled not guilty to eight counts this morning in Greene County Common Pleas Court during the first arraignment of two that will happen today for the brothers accused of murder.

A Greene County Grand Jury indicted Bret Merrick, along with his brother Dustin Merrick, last week on various charges stemming from the Jan. 15 homicides of William “Skip” Brown and Sherri Mendenhall of Yellow Springs. The younger brother, Bret Merrick, was charged with two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, two counts of aggravated burglary, felonious assault and tampering with evidence.

Bret Merrick was served a copy of the indictment April 30.

According to Judge Stephen Wolaver, the indictments carry firearm specifications and capital specifications, which means he is facing the death penalty.

Bret Merrick is currently being held in the Greene County Jail. Bond was previously set at $5 million. At the hearing, Wolaver stated that there will be no bond per Article I Section 9 of the Ohio Constitution.

“The court finds the proof of this case is evident, presumption is great, and that there is a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any person in the community therefore … the court will not set bail,” he said.

Wolaver set a pre-trial for April 11, a final pre-trial for April 21 and a jury trial set for Sept. 11.

Judge Michael Buckwalter is handling the case of Dustin Merrick, who will be arraigned later this morning.

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By Anna Bolton

adewine@civitasmedia.com

Reach Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.

Reach Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.