Teen girls to face adult court in Logan County Thanksgiving killing

Two teen girls charged in connection with the killing a Logan County man on Thanksgiving will now face charges as adults.

Logan County Juvenile Judge Kim Kellogg-Martin ruled Thursday that Tatiana Freeman and Jasmine Lewis, who were both 17 at the time of their arrest, will be bound over to the common pleas court.

Jeff 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. Prosecutors have described it as a planned robbery that went bad.

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Both Freeman and Lewis had faced juvenile charges of complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit robbery. Their cases will now be presented to a grand jury, Logan County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Dan Huston said.

Prosecutors agreed with the judge’s decision to move the teens’ cases to adult court, Huston said.

“The significance of the loss to the family and the seriousness of the charges definitely warrants them being treated as adults in this matter,” Huston said.

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

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The 30-minute video, which was played in court during a previous hearing, appears to show 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.

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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The alleged gunman Marquevous Watkins, 22, of Lima, pleaded guilty to a charge of murder with a gun specification and was sentenced last month to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 18 years.

Zachariah Huddleston, 22, and Alexus Walton, 19, also have been charged in connection with the death. Huddleston’s trial is set to begin July 25.

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