Dayton man gets life sentence for fatal shooting outside 513 Lounge bar in Middletown

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A Dayton man was given a life prison sentence Wednesday for the fatal shooting of a man outside a Middletown bar in 2020.

The sentencing in Butler County Common Pleas Court came three weeks after a jury found Marquan Cook guilty of shooting Brandon Moneyham Sr. to death during the early morning hours of Oct. 11, 2020 in a parking lot adjacent to the 513 Lounge on Verity Parkway.

Cook, 29, was convicted of murder with a gun specification, felonious assault and having weapons under disability on Dec. 15 following a three-day trial.

Judge Jennifer McElfresh sentenced Cook to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 22 years. The felonious assault was considered an allied offense and merged. He was sentenced on the other two charges that also included gun specifications.

McElfresh added an extra year to Cook’s minimum sentence because he committed the murder while on post release control for felonious assault.

Moneyham’s family members filled two rows of the courtroom, each wearing black shirts with his picture. His three children, ages 15, 12 and 9 held a framed collage of photos with their father.

Juanisha Moneyham, Brandon’s wife, also held a teddy bear that played his voice from the last video he posted on social media.

“I made one for them (children) so the can hear his voice,” she said.

Juanisha Moneyham said before sentencing that her children suffer from anxiety and depression after losing their father.

“He (Cook) took my best friend. Someone who showed up and loved his children,” she said.

While the verdict cannot make everything better, Juanisha Moneyham said the sentence can give “a small piece of closure.”

At trial, Cook testified in his own defense denying he was the shooter. His attorney said the conviction will be appealed.

The prosecution presented evidence from an eyewitness to the shooting and data from a GPS ankle monitor Cook was wearing when the crime was committed.

At 12:49 a.m. Oct. 11, police received a call about a person found behind a business at 601 N. Verity Parkway. An initial investigation revealed Moneyham had been at the 513 Lounge next door. A group of people were leaving the bar when shots were fired, and at least one person was hit, according to police.

According to the Middletown police report, the first officers at the scene found Moneyham with several gunshot wounds.

Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Brad Burress said Moneyham was shot five times, with one shot perforating his heart.

A female witness recounted her evening out with Cook that eventually led to the 513 Lounge.

Sometime shortly after midnight, the witness went outside to put her purse in the car and saw Moneyham and Cook in the parking lot.

After the shooting, Cook fled to Dayton and eventually to Florida. Cook cut off the GPS device. It was never found.

Cook was released from prison in November 2019 after serving 2.5 years for attempted felonious assault. He was on post-release control after getting out of prison, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction.

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