A Montgomery County jury found a 50-year-old Dayton man guilty of murder Friday for the November 2018 shooting death of a 29-year-old man in a bar parking lot.
Steven Coleman was working as a security guard at the Ashwood Lounge, 3500 N. Main St., in Dayton, when on Nov. 7, 2018, another security guard was involved in an altercation with the victim, Robert Lee Burdette.
Prosecutors said Coleman punched Burdette in the head and then pulled out a .40 caliber handgun and shot him in the head. Burdette died three days later at a local hospital after he was removed from life support.
Coleman will be sentenced Dec. 23 after he was convicted as charged of: three counts of murder; two counts of felonious assault; two counts of having weapons under disability for a prior drug conviction; and one count each of tampering with evidence and discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises.
EARLIER REPORT (Dec. 3)
A security guard accused of killing a man in a bar parking lot is on trial for murder.
Steven Lamar Coleman, 50, worked at the Ashwood Lounge and is accused of shooting 29-year-old Robert Burdette more than a year ago in the bar on North Main Street in Dayton.
During opening statements Tuesday, prosecutors told the jury there was a confrontation in the moments before the Nov. 7, 2018, deadly shooting that involved Burdette’s cousin and another security guard.
They said Burdette mouthed off a little, when Coleman jumped into a verbal dispute and escalated it into a deadly confrontation.
“The defendant comes out of nowhere, punches Robert Burdette in the face, sending him into the middle of North Main Street,” Montgomery County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Mosher said.
Mosher said Coleman’s actions were out of proportion to what was happening in the parking lot, and that he then took it a step further.
“That wasn’t enough to calm him down, to quiet him down, defendant had to pull out a gun and shoot Robert Burdette right at point-blank range,” Mosher said.
Burdette died a few days after the shooting, after he was removed from life support.
Coleman’s lawyer Lucas Wilder had a much different take on what happened the night a fatal shot was fired.
“Make sure you listen to everybody, look at all the evidence because there is more to the story. There’s always more to the story,” Wilder told jurors.
Coleman’s attorney said Burdette and his cousin arrived at the Ashwood Lounge drunk and armed.
Security guards took the weapon away, but that Burdette may have threatened the four-man security team, including Coleman.
“We believe evidence will show Mr. Burdette provoked Mr. Coleman and he acted out of a fit of rage and anger,” Wilder said.
A forensic pathologist testified Tuesday that Burdette died because of a single gunshot to the head and face area.
Now, Burdette’s cousin and other security team members are expected to take the stand to describe what they heard and saw that night.
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