Shooter in Logan Co. Thanksgiving murder: ‘I’m not a stone-cold killer’

The man charged with killing a Logan County man on Thanksgiving has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 18 years.

Marquevous Watkins, 22, of Lima, pleaded guilty last month to the murder of Jeff Brentlinger with a gun specification.

“It was a planned robbery that went bad,” Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart said.

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Watkins took responsibility for the killing in court when he was sentenced Monday, Stewart said.

“His words were, ‘I’m not a stone-cold killer,’” he said.

Part of the confrontation was captured on a video camera. Prosecutors have said they believe Watkins fired the shot that killed Brentlinger.

Brentlinger’s daughter found him dead in his rural Zanesfield home in the 6400 block of Township Road 127 about 11 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.

His daughter entered a statement in court during Watkins’ sentencing on Monday. She described her father’s death as a nightmare and devastating.

“By now, I hope you have realized what pain you have caused my family. You have wrongfully affected every family member, friend, community member and employee … Your actions have also wrongfully affected your family,” her statement says.

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Four other Lima residents have been charged in connection to the killing — Jasmine Lewis and Tatiana Freeman, who were both 17 at the time of their arrests; as well as Zachariah Huddleston, 22, and Alexus Walton, 19.

Prosecutors alleged Brentlinger set up a video camera prior to Lewis and Freeman coming to his house in the moments before he was shot. The laptop was set on a shelf in his open bedroom closet.

The 30-minute video showed Brentlinger hugging and kissing the girls. Then a man can be heard breaking into the house and within seconds Brentlinger in sitting on a bed with a gun pointed at him, according to the video shown in court earlier.

During a brief struggle, a gunshot is heard and the gunman can be heard saying, “Give me your money.”

Brentlinger later says, “I know you,” then as the two go off camera, another gunshot is heard. Prosecutors said that was the deadly shot. At the end of the video, Brentlinger’s labored breathing can be heard before his death.


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