Split verdict in shots fired at Xenia hoops game

A 19-year-old Springfield man has been convicted on one charge and exonerated on another stemming from shots fired outside a high school basketball game last December.

A Greene County Common Pleas jury on Tuesday afternoon found Kendrick Stroder guilty of having a firearm on school property, which is a fifth-degree felony, and found him not guilty of discharging the firearm on school grounds.

Jurors indicated that they felt Stroder fired the weapon in self-defense.

The incident occurred Dec. 12, 2012, in the parking lot of Xenia High School. No one was injured during the disturbance that “occurred inside the building during the game and spilled out into the parking lot,” Xenia police said.

The disturbance did not disrupt the game, which Xenia won.

“Whether Kendrick Stroder possessed a firearm in a school zone was never at issue in this case,” his attorney, Brock Schoenlein, said following the verdict. “The only issue for trial was whether Kendrick was acting in defense of another when he fired a pistol into the air to stop his friend from being attacked.”

The jury found just that, he said.

Stroder testified that he bought the gun from someone in Springfield, and was at the game because the friend he ended up trying to protect knew one of the players.

Originally, 18-year-old Brandon Jeffrey was indicted on the charges, but those charges were dropped when prosecutors identified Stroder as the new suspect. That led to the handing up of an indictment on the same charges against Stroder on March 8.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 15, Schoenlein said, noting his client could be sentenced to a maximum of 12 months and lose his driver’s license for one to five years.

Tuesday night, Stroder was still in the Greene County Jail pending the trial judge’s review of a request that Stroder be put on electronic home monitoring pending sentencing, Schoenlein said.

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