By Sam Wildow
MIAMI COUNTY—Dayton resident Markell T. Moore, 20, who has been charged with felony attempted murder, appeared in Miami County Municipal Court on Wednesday afternoon via video feed. Moore’s preliminary hearing was continued for one week to give Moore time to apply for a public defender.
Moore is accused of shooting Troy resident Treshon Whitson, 19, at Fountain Park in Piqua on Aug. 5 at 1:38 a.m. According the Piqua Police Department, the motive for the shooting is believed to be an argument over a female.
Whitson was treated at Upper Valley Medical Center on Aug. 5 before later being transferred to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.
Moore is currently being held at the Miami County Jail on $250,000 bond, but on Wednesday he requested to be put on house arrest. Piqua City Prosecutor Stacy Wall stated that she would “never” agree to house arrest due to the severity of his charge.
Moore, at first, was about to proceed with his preliminary hearing on Wednesday without an attorney when Wall and Miami County Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth Gutmann encouraged him to get a public defender.
“I think it would be rather unwise to proceed without an attorney,” Gutmann said. Gutmann explained that Miami County has three public defenders. She also pointed out that one of them recently represented Frank Bowen, 25, of Tipp City, who was accused of killing Joseph Graley III, 31, of New Carlisle before the trial resulted in a mistrial for the murder, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of corpse charges. Bowen was found guilty of fourth degree felony safe cracking during the trial.
“They’re very qualified,” Gutmann said. “You’re putting your rights at risk.”
Moore then agreed to wait and apply for a public defender. Moore’s preliminary hearing was rescheduled for next Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 1 p.m.
The weapon allegedly used in the incident has not yet been recovered.
“We got a wonderful response from the community members in that area,” Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison said. Jamison believed that if that the gun had been tossed aside haphazardly in the moment after the shooting that somebody would have found it.
The Piqua Police Department can be contacted at (937) 778-2027. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 937-615-TIPS (8477) or by visiting www.piquaoh.org/police_submitatip.htm for more information.
To submit an anonymous tip through text messaging, type the keyword PIQUAPD and the message, then send it to 274637.