The man accused of shooting and killing a man at a Springfield bar last year appeared in court for the first time on Friday.
Not guilty pleas were entered for 31-year-old Gabriel Crossley in Clark County Common Pleas Court for charges relating to a shooting at the Wagon Wheel in June 2018.
Crossley is currently charged with murder with specifications, felonious assault and tampering with evidence.
Police and the prosecutor’s office say that Crossley shot and killed 35-year-old Jahream Beard during a fight that happened outside of the bar.
“One of the things we stress here and with the Springfield Police Division is that we never give up on a case,” said Clark County Prosecutor Dan Driscoll.
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Driscoll said the U.S. Marshals Service has been working with Springfield police to find Crossley. According to online jail records, he was arrested on Thursday at 8:45 a.m. — and Driscoll would only say that he was arrested “in the area.”
Back in June, police were called to the Wagon Wheel on South Burnett Road on reports of shots fired. At the time, officers said when they got to the scene, they found a woman administering CPR to Beard.
Beard was pronounced dead at the scene, but there were two other people who reported being shot, with non-life threatening injuries.
Driscoll said Crossley’s indictment only reflects charges relating to the death of Beard. He said he believes that Beard and Crossley knew each other.
Driscoll said he and police have been in contact with Beard’s family throughout the investigation, but recently met to discuss this latest development.
He said he hopes even though the case is still in the preliminary stages, that it takes a little weight off of Beard’s family’s shoulders now that an arrest has been made.
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,” Driscoll said.
Crossley’s bond was set at $250,000. As of Friday evening, he was still in custody at the Clark County Jail.