2 brothers charged in deaths of 2 Greene County residents

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Sheriff Gene Fischer says two brothers are facing charges for what happened in Miami Twp. on January 15.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Dustin Merrick and Bret Merrick are being held on $750,000 bond each.

Two brothers were charged Wednesday in the deaths of two Greene County residents found dead at their homes, one in a driveway nearly two weeks ago.

Dustin Merrick, 25, and Bret Merrick, 24, of Xenia, were arrested Tuesday night and charged with multiple felonies in the shooting deaths of William “Skip” Brown, and Sherri Mendenhall.

“It’s a sad thing that happened, on all sides of this, but bad things happen and we’ve got to deal with that.” said Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer at a press conference Wednesday.

The brothers were arraigned in Xenia Municipal Court separately Wednesday are being held on $750,000 bond each.

Dustin Merrick did not say much in the courtroom. He is facing charges of two counts of aggravated murder for the deaths of Brown and Mendenhall.

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Bret Merrick faces two counts of complicity to aggravated murder, complicity to aggravated burglary, and felonious assault.

It is unclear what the motive was behind the killings, though Fischer alluded to having an understanding for why the events occurred.

“We’re speculating and we’re pretty sure we know why, but we’re not going to announce that right now,” Fischer said.

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Brown, 44, and Mendenhall, 63, were found dead on Jan. 15.

Fischer, along with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, held a joint press conference Wednesday morning and detailed the breakthrough in the investigation.

“This is a great tragedy,” said DeWine. “The arrests that the sheriff just announced are the result of old fashioned police work plus modern forensics.”

DeWine’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation assisted the sheriffs department, providing as many as 20 agents in the investigation.

A statement of facts filed in Xenia Municipal Court detailed events leading up to the Brown and and Mendenhall’s deaths.

According to the statement, the Merrick brothers reportedly entered Brown's apartment, on Jan. 15 in the 4000 block of Enon Road in Miami Twp., Greene County, without consent.

Bret Merrick allegedly admitted he shot toward Mendenhall when she came to investigate noises at Brown’s apartment, but said his bullet did not strike her, Fischer said at the press conference.

Fischer also revealed Brown had attempted to dial 911 on his cell phone, and Mendenhall’s apartment had been forcibly entered.

Around 3 p.m. on Jan. 15, a jogger discovered the body of Mendenhall laying face down in the driveway of her East Enon residence. After the jogger contacted a non-emergency line in Yellow Springs, the Greene County Sheriffs Department arrived and discovered the body of a second victim, Brown, inside the residence.

During the 10-day investigation, investigators developed a person of interest in the Dustin Merrick. He was interviewed by investigators on Jan. 20 at his home at 1042 Parnell Dr. in Xenia, where a 9-mm Taurus firearm was found. Authorities also got a DNA sample from him.

“The Taurus nine millimeter was operable and matched three spent rounds of nine millimeter ammunition which were recovered from the scene of the male victim’s apartment,” Fischer said. “BCI analysis further determined that an unspent round from a nine millimeter firearm found at the scene on East Enon Road included Dustin Merrick as a major contributor to the DNA.”

It is unknown if the suspects had a previous relationship with Brown or Mendendall.

A grand jury is expected to review the case next week.

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