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Suspects in Logan County Thanksgiving death extradited

Logan County sheriff says investigators have found connections between the victim and suspects.

UPDATE @ 8:15 p.m. Dec. 2:

Three suspects charged in connection with the shooting death of a Jefferson Twp. man have been extradited to Logan County.

Zachariah Huddleston, 22, was extradited from Gary, Ind., and lodged in the Logan County Jail on Thursday evening, Logan County Sheriff Andrew Smith said.

Huddleston is charged with complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit robbery. He’s scheduled to appear in court on Monday morning.

Two other juveniles, also charged with complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit robbery, have been transferred to the Logan County Juvenile Detention Center, Smith said.

Two other suspects, Marquevous Watkins, charged with murder and aggravated robbery, and Alexus Walton, charged with complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit robbery have already been arraigned in Bellefontaine Municipal Court. Bond for both was set at $500,000.

Jeff Brentlinger, 45, was found shot to death in his home on Thanksgiving morning. Investigators don’t believe the crime was random, Smith said, and have evidence that connects the victim to several of the suspects.

FIRST REPORT: Investigators don’t believe the death of a Logan County man found dead on Thanksgiving was a random shooting.

The daughter of Jeffrey Brentlinger, 45, found him dead in his rural Zanesfield home in the 6400 block of Township Road 127 about 11 a.m. Thursday. Brentlinger died from a gunshot wound, according to Logan County Sheriff Andrew Smith.

>>RELATED: 5 arrested, accused in Logan County Thanksgiving shooting death

“Deputies do not believe that this was a random incident and have information that connects the victim with several of the suspects prior to his death,” Smith said in a statement.

Five people have been arrested in connection with Brentlinger’s death.

Bond was set at $500,000 on Tuesday morning for two of the suspects — Marquevous Watkins, 21, and Alexus Walton, 19, both of Lima. Both were assigned attorneys by Bellefontaine Municipal Court Judge Ann Beck. Their cases were continued until Wednesday morning and neither entered a plea.

Watkins has been charged with aggravated robbery and murder. Walton has been charged with complicity to commit robbery and complicity to commit murder.

Both remained in the Logan County Jail as of Tuesday evening. A 17-year-old, also charged with complicity to commit robbery and complicity to commit murder, remains in the Allen County Juvenile Detention Center awaiting extradition to Logan County.

Zachariah Huddleston, 22, and another 17-year-old girl, both also of Lima, have also been arrested in connection with the shooting death. The Gary, Ind., Police Department arrested them on Sunday on warrants for complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit robbery, according to Smith. Both were awaiting extradition to Logan County as of Tuesday evening.

Smith declined to say what led to the charges or a possible motive in the shooting.

Neighbors who live near Brentlinger have been afraid to sleep since the shooting, one woman told the Springfield News-Sun. She said the crime has scared her so much, she wants to remain anonymous.

“There’s a lot of unanswered questions on what were they doing … out here in the rural parts of Logan County to start with,” she said about the suspects.

She said she knew Brentlinger and wants justice for his family.

“He would do basically anything for anybody,” she said. “He was just a great guy.”

Funeral arrangements for Brentlinger have been set for later this week. A visitation will be held Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 321 N. Main St. in Bellefontaine. A service will also be held at the funeral home at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

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