Merrick brothers indicted in YS double homicide

By Anna Bolton -

XENIA — A Greene County Grand Jury has indicted Dustin Merrick and Bret Merrick for various charges stemming from the Jan. 15 homicides of William “Skip” Brown and Sherri Mendenhall of Yellow Springs.

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

His brother Bret Merrick, 24, of Centerville, was charged with eight counts: two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, two counts of aggravated burglary, felonious assault and tampering with evidence.

The indictments carry firearm specifications as well as death penalty specifications.

On Jan. 15, Brown, 44, was shot multiple times inside a duplex-style home located on the 4400 block of East Enon Road just outside of Yellow Springs. Mendenhall, 63, was shot once at the same residence.

Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer and local authorities were alerted when a jogger found Mendenhall lying in the driveway. Brown was later found on his bedroom floor. The state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) agents were called to the scene to aid in the investigation.

The alleged events occurred around 3:20 a.m., according to witnesses who took the stand in the Feb. 2 preliminary hearings. Analysis of Brown’s cell phone revealed that the last activity was an outgoing call nine minutes earlier. The numbers dialed and sent were 9-1.

Testimony also revealed that Dustin Merrick allegedly worked for Brown, that he had been referred to as “Skip’s right hand man,” and that Brown reportedly owed Dustin Merrick $400.

Cartridge cases, live ammunition and a shotgun shell were found in various places throughout Brown’s home.

The brothers were arrested Jan. 24 while authorities carried out search warrants.

The Xenia Municipal Court ruled at the preliminary hearings that enough probable cause existed to believe the two brothers allegedly committed the crimes. The case was then transferred to the Greene County Common Pleas Court for presentment to a grand jury, which met earlier this week.

Judge Stephen Wolaver has been assigned the case of State v. Bret Merrick and Judge Michael Buckwalter has been assigned the case of State v. Dustin Merrick.

The brothers are currently being held in the Greene County Jail. Bond for both defendants remains at $5 million.

Both will be arraigned in Greene County Common Pleas Court at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 7.

The Office of the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney assisted in this report.

By Anna Bolton