Authorities arrest 5 from Lima in Brentlinger murder

Five people have been arrested in connection with Jeffrey A. Brentlinger’s death, and Logan County Sheriff Andrew Smith is confident the five accused are the only suspects in the murder.








Two — Zachariah A. Huddleston, 22, and Jasmine D. Lewis, 17, both of Lima — were arrested Sunday by police in Gary, Ind., on warrants for complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit robbery. Both remain in their custody and await extridition to Ohio.

Monday, local deputies worked with the Lima Police Department and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office to arrest Tatianna Freeman, 17, and Alexus Walton, 19, both of Lima, on charges of complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit robbery.

Marquevous E. Watkins, 21, also of Lima, has been charged with murder and robbery.

The two adults are lodged in the Logan County Jail, while the juvenile is housed at the Allen County Juvenile Detention Center awaiting extridition.

Sheriff Smith declined to provide details about Mr. Brentlinger’s murder which was discovered Thanksgiving morning by his adult daughter.

He said detectives continue to work on the case so he would not discuss how the victim was connected to the suspects.

Sheriff Smith would not comment on what type of firearm was used in the slaying nor if investigators have recovered it.

He also would not divulge how investigators quickly identified the suspects.

Both adult men have prior criminal records and served time in prison.

The alleged shooter was released from prison Aug. 17, 2015, after serving 20 months of a two-year sentence for robbery in Allen County.

He also has arrests for domestic violence, resisting arrest and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Mr. Huddleston, a former Wapakoneta resident, has been convicted in Auglaize County of sale of dangerous drugs and twice for having weapons under disability.

Since his 2012 drug conviction, he has been in and out of prison having received two consecutive 18-month sentences and a two-year sentence in 2014.

It appears he was released early from his first prison term.

There also are convictions for theft and breaking and entering on his record.

Court records show he also unsuccessfully appealed three delinquency convictions.

Mr. Brentlinger, 45, was found dead of a gunshot wound at about 11 a.m. by Kelsie Brentlinger, who lives with him at the residence.

Brentlinger murder 2

Investigators from the Logan County Sheriff’s Office continued their work this weekend related to the homicide of Jeffrey A. Brentlinger, who was found dead Thursday at his 6498 Township Road 127, Zanesfield, residence. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MANDY LOEHR)

She said in a call to sheriff dispatchers that she had been away from the 6498 Township Road 127, Zanesfield, home overnight and returned to find her father “unresponsive in a pool of blood.” The door to the home was standing open; lights were left on; and there was mud on the floor, Ms. Brentlinger told the dispatcher.

It was not clear how long Mr. Brentlinger had been dead and the daughter said she had last seen her father Wednesday evening.

Local investigators and agents of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification completed the processing of the crime scene Thursday, and evidence was sent to the crime lab. Investigators with the Logan County Coroner’s Office also responded and ruled the preliminary cause of death to be a gunshot wound.

Mr. Brentlinger was working at ACN Inc., was the former owner of JB Pools, Spas and Supplies, and also was a former employee of Honda Transmission Mfg., according to his Facebook page. 

Calling is from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 321 N Main St., where a Celebration f Life service begins at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2.

Click here for his obituary

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