$1M bond set for WCH man charged with murder


By Ryan Carter - rcarter@recordherald.com



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A $1 million bond has been set for the Washington C.H. man charged with the March 9 murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Joseph A. Brown, 21, waived his preliminary hearing Thursday in Washington Municipal Court. Brown is charged with the first-degree felony aggravated murder (premeditated) of Lilliana M. Null, 20, of Cincinnati.

According to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, just after 6 p.m. March 9 his office received a call indicating that a man had shot a female at the rear of the apartment buildings on Joanne Drive. The initial call reported that the assailant was still in possession of the firearm and remained in the area.

When deputies arrived they encountered a man exiting the front of an apartment in building 16 and learned that he was the alleged shooter. Brown was detained by deputies, Stanforth said.

As additional deputies and detectives from the sheriff’s office arrived, the victim, identified as Null, was found in the rear yard behind building 15, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

“Fayette County EMS responded at the scene but were unable to find signs of life,” said Stanforth.

Null was pronounced dead at the scene by the Fayette County Coroner’s Office. Null’s boyfriend, who was a witness to the shooting, and an infant child of Brown and Null were unharmed in the incident.

According to Stanforth, preliminary information in the investigation indicates that Brown and Null recently separated and that Null was bringing their infant child to the residence for visitation.

“It’s our understanding that the situation began to deteriorate inside the apartment,” said Stanforth. “She apparently ran out of the front of the apartment into the back yard and that is when he shot her multiple times.”

Custody of the child has been relinquished to Fayette County Children Services for further disposition. Also responding to the scene were members of the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office.

“It is our belief that (Brown) enticed her to the apartment with the intent to kill,” said Stanforth.

Brown is being held in the Fayette County Jail.

Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.

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By Ryan Carter

rcarter@recordherald.com