Toledo man found guilty of firing gun in BG, injuring one

A jury has found a Toledo man guilty of firing a gun in a downtown Bowling Green parking lot, with a bullet breaking a man’s leg.

Marquise Brown’s trial was last week in the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matt Reger.

The jury deliberated for three hours Thursday before reaching a verdict of guilty on one count of felonious assault, a second-degree felony, and one count of assault, a first-degree misdemeanor.

The prosecution showed a video of Brown reaching to his waist and pulling what appeared to be a gun before disappearing off screen.

The incident happened Oct. 2, 2021, in the back of Howard’s parking lot, in the 200 block of North Main Street, near the entrance of the Tiki Bar.

Video surveillance was provided by the bar.

Four gunshots were heard coming from the direction from which Brown disappeared, and bystanders took off running.

A man was struck in the calf by two bullets. One bullet was a through-and-through and the second bullet broke his leg.

Brown, 22, was indicted in December 2021 for obstructing justice, a fifth-degree felony, and assault, a first-degree misdemeanor.

That latter charge is for Brown striking another person in the head, which also was caught on video.

He indicted in June for felonious assault, a second-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a third-degree felony.

The charge of felonious assault concluded that Brown did knowingly cause physical harm by means of a deadly weapon, said Wood County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Anderson during opening arguments Monday.

There is a firearms specification to that charge that would add a mandatory three years to Brown’s prison sentence.

The shell casings found at the scene matched a gun that had been owned by Brown’s brother, but had reportedly been stolen, defense attorney Michael Kelley said in opening statements.

The brother was in the city at the time of the shooting, according to prosecutors.

Cameras show Brown and four other men go in the front door of the Liquid Bar, exit, and then enter the driveway by Howard’s.

A vehicle with the brother inside stopped nearby for a brief amount of time before driving away, according to the police report.

The brother also was in a car parked outside the police department while Brown was being questioned, according to the report.

Officers found a 21-year-old Bowling Green man lying on the ground. He was yelling that he had been shot in the leg, according to video shown during the trial, and was transported to a Toledo hospital.

The victim’s uncle told police they were standing in line for the Tiki Bar, which is an adjacent outdoor seating area to Liquid Bar. The line extended into the parking lot.

A gunshot residue test on Brown and his four co-defendants came back positive for three of them, including Brown, according to the police report.

The positive results mean the person either discharged a firearm, was in the vicinity of a firearm when it was discharged or handled an item with gunshot primer residue on it, according to the report.

According to the police report, one witness reported seeing a man involved in the altercation go to a red car, pull a gun and start shooting.

Kelley called two witnesses who said they saw the red car, but neither testified they saw a man with a gun near the vehicle.

While there was no direct evidence that Brown fired the gun, circumstantial evidence carries the same weight as direct evidence, Reger said on Friday.

His jury instructions included the difference between circumstantial and direct evidence.

“Circumstantial evidence is the proof of facts or circumstances by direct evidence from which you may reasonably infer other related or connected facts which naturally and logically follow, according to the common experience of mankind,” he read.

Direct evidence is the testimony given by a witness who has seen or heard the facts to which he or she testifies.

In November, Anderson offered Brown a deal that included a guilty plea to the felonious assault and the misdemeanor assault charges and an amendment to the mandatory firearm specification prison term to one year from three years.

The minimum total prison time would have been nine years.

Reger on Thursday imposed a jail sentence of 180 days, the maximum allowed, for the misdemeanor assault charge.

The sentencing on the felonious assault charge and gun specification is set for Jan. 17.

According to Reger, Brown faces a minimum prison sentence for the felonious assault charge of two-eight years with a maximum of 12 years due to the charge falling within Reagan Tokes Act qualifications.

The gun specification will add a mandatory three years, which will be served consecutively, he said.