One year later, Merricks awaiting trial


By Anna Bolton - adewine@aimmediamidwest.com



XENIA — A year after William “Skip” Brown and Sherri Mendenhall of Yellow Springs were allegedly murdered in the village, the cases continue in Greene County Common Pleas Court for the accused brothers facing the death penalty.

On Jan. 15, 2017, Brown, 44, was shot multiple times inside a duplex-style home located on the 4400 block of East Enon Road, according to officials. Mendenhall, 63, was shot once at the same residence, officials said. The crime scene revealed itself when a jogger found her body lying in the driveway.

Dustin Merrick, 26, of Xenia, was charged with two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, two counts of aggravated burglary, felonious assault, tampering with evidence, and obstructing justice. Bret Merrick, 25, of Centerville, was charged with two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, two counts of aggravated burglary, felonious assault and tampering with evidence.

The brothers are being tried separately.

Dustin Merrick’s jury trial was supposed to begin Tuesday, Jan. 16, but at a recent hearing the defense counsel moved to continue the trial in order to obtain an expert in ballistics forensic science. The younger brother’s trial is scheduled to begin Monday, March 19 and is slated for an estimated three weeks.

At a July hearing for Dustin Merrick in Judge Michael Buckwalter’s courtroom, attorneys argued whether or not evidence — specifically regarding an interview between Merrick and law enforcement, leading to the ultimate seizure of a weapon without a warrant — should be suppressed in his case.

Two months later, a hearing was held for Bret Merrick, this time down the hall under the direction of Judge Stephen Wolaver. In this case, Merrick’s attorney claimed his client’s rights had been violated when officials failed to give him a Miranda warning until an hour and 45 minutes into an interview. Whether or not evidence will include certain statements is up to Wolaver.

The brothers are currently being held in the Greene County Jail, each on a $5 million bond.

By Anna Bolton

adewine@aimmediamidwest.com

Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.

Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.