A Toledo man has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity after being charged with murder.
Jerron Bryant, 20, was arraigned Monday in the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Molly Mack for two counts aggravated murder, both unclassified felonies,and aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.
These are new charges related to the February death of Eddie Lee Phillips in Northwood.
Bryant is accused of shooting and killing Phillips during a robbery.
Defense attorney William Hayes entered pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity to the three new charges as well as two earlier charges.
The court will decide if he is competent to stand trial after at least one evaluation of Bryant’s mental condition by a certified forensic center is completed.
A jury trial scheduled to start Oct. 12 has been canceled.
Bryant was indicted in February for two counts of murder and again Sept. 15 for two counts aggravated murder and aggravated robbery.
On Feb 5, he allegedly caused the death of Eddie Lee Phillips II.
The second aggravated murder charge is the death came during an alleged robbery attempt. Bryant allegedly had a handgun during the robbery.
Aggravated murder is a higher level charge, said Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson. The murder charge could warrant a sentence of 15 years to life in prison, he said.
If found guilty of aggravated murder, the court could impose a sentence of 20 years, 25 years, 30 years or life without parole, he said.
Wood County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Alyssa Blackburn has requested the two cases be joined for trial purposes only. If the cases are joined, the jury would have the opportunity to consider guilt or innocence on all charges, she said.
“It will be in their hands as to which if any charges they would convict him on,” Dobson said.
If a jury find Bryan guilty of all charges, the state could then decide which to pursue at sentencing, he said.
At about 9 p.m. on Feb. 5, Northwood police responded to a shots fired call at the Bridgepointe Inn & Suites, 2600 Lauren Lane. Officers found Phillips, 37, dead.
Bryant was arrested Feb. 11 by Northwood police with the assistance of Toledo police. He remains in jail on a $500,000 bond, 100% required.