Defense asks for trial postponement in Springfield murder case

A Springfield man accused in a 2018 bar shooting has asked the court to postpone a jury trial scheduled to take place later this month.

Gabriel Crossley, 31, is charged in Clark County Common Pleas Court with murder and felonious assault in connection to a shooting at the Wagon Wheel in June 2018. Police and the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office allege Crossley shot and killed 35-year-old Jahream Beard during a fight that happened outside the bar.

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A trial date was set for July 15 in the case, however Crossley, through his attorney, requested that date be continued. Clark County Common Pleas Court Judge Douglas Rastatter has not ruled on the motion.

A court document filed by Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Brian Driscoll states Crossley purposely opened fire into a crowd at the Wagon Wheel bar the night of the fatal shooting.

“The defendant did purposefully fire a deadly weapon (firearm) into a crowd of people multiple times with the purpose to cause physical harm and death,” the court record states. “One round struck the victim causing his death. The defendant then removed the firearm and discarded it impairing its availability as evidence in this matter.”

Two others were shot, according to police, but neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

Clark County Prosecutor Dan Driscoll told the Springfield News-Sun in an interview that Crossley’s indictment only reflects charges relating to the death of Beard. He said he believes Beard and Crossley knew each other.

Crossley was not listed as an inmate in the Clark County Jail this week. Rastatter had previously set his bond at $250,000 in the case.

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Springfield police began their investigation when they responded to the bar at around 2:40 a.m. June 17, 2018, due to multiple people being shot, according to a report from the Springfield Police Division. When they arrived, Beard was laying in the parking lot not moving.

A licensed practical nurse was giving Beard CPR when police arrived, the report states. When medic units arrived, they were unable to find a pulse for Beard, according to the report.

Neither the two surviving victims nor witnesses could give police a good description of the suspect, the report states. It is still unclear what prompted the attack.

Immediately after the shooting in June, a makeshift memorial was set up around a pole near the bar with a stuffed animal bear and a ‘Happy Father’s Day’ balloon. Beard was killed in the early morning hours of Father’s Day.

A more permanent display has since been set up around the pole in his honor.

“Obviously it’s still a long process left and hopefully we can get (the family) the ending they’re hoping for,” Dan Driscoll said.

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