The father of a former Steubenville High School football player shoots judge.
In August 2012, two Steubenville High School football players were convicted of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl. Ma’Lik Richmond and Trent Mays, of Ohio, engaged the underage girl after an “alcohol-fueled” party, as reported by Fox News. Richmond, then also 16, was convicted and sentenced to one year in a juvenile detention center. He was released just shy of ten months.
In August 2013, Jefferson County Judge Thomas Lipps enforced Richmond to register as a sex offender every six months and to continue doing so for twenty years. However, Richmond can request public omission of the classification by attending rehab and exceeding expectation.
Trent Mays was sentenced to two years. He received an additional year due to capturing naked pictures of the victim, who was also inappropriately touched by several others during the incident. The whole occurance was posted to social media.
Shots fired at the court house
65-year-old Judge Joseph Bruzzese is one of two current judges in the Jefferson County Ohio Common Pleas Courthouse. Having reigned supreme for twenty years since 1997, Bruzzese was just re-elected in 2014 for a six-year term.
On Monday morning, August 21, Nathaniel Richmond, Ma’Lik’s father, waited outside the judicial building armed with a loaded gun. When Bruzzese exited his vehicle and began walking in an alley toward the courthouse, Richmond fired around five shots toward the judge. It’s not exactly clear how many of those shots connected.
Bruzzese was also armed and fired back at the convicted felon, who was known on the streets as “snake,” per CBS News Pittsburgh. Fortunately, Bruzzese is expected to survive the attack after being airlifted to the hospital. He is currently in stable condition after receiving emergency surgery.
An armed probation officer also drew his weapon, fatally shooting Richmond to end the madness. Had the officer not aided the judge, it’s likely Richmond would’ve continued firing. The probation officer’s name is being eclipsed for safety of his family, but is expected to be released later.
Another suspect was in the car with Richmond. He was captured and taken into custody.
At this time, there has been no clear evidence or other support linking this situation to the trial, conviction, and sentencing of Ma’Lik Richmond in 2013. Although it seems likely the two instances are relative enough to suggest a motivation, Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin says investigators haven’t found any connection between Monday’s outburst and the rape case.
CBS News Pittsburgh reported that Nathaniel Richmond has had criminal cases tried before Judge Bruzzese in the past.
This isn’t Steubenville’s first rodeo regarding criminal activity. Ohio AG Mike Dewine put together a grand jury back in 2013 to investigate related crimes, which brought charges against six people.
Furthermore, The Guardian reported on Monday that the high school allegedly knew of past criminal activity, but kept it hidden to protect the football team.