Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Act of anger brings charge

Man entered teen's home

By Sheila McLaughlin, smclaughlin@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — A Middletown youth who mistook horseplay for an assault is charged with aggravated burglary for chasing home the 15-year-old neighbor boy who slapped his sister.

        A Warren County grand jury on Monday indicted 18-year-old Brandon Moneyham on the felony charge, which carries a prison sentence of three to 10 years.

        Authorities said Mr. Moneyham thought he was defending his sister when he allegedly burst through the door of Bobby Barnes Jr.'s Spring Garden Street apartment May 10 and waved a large knife at him.

        Mr. Moneyham left after the boy's father pulled a .32-caliber pistol from under his chair and pointed it at Mr. Moneyham, a police report said.

        The altercation started after Mr. Moneyham saw Bobby strike his 15-year-old sister. However, the two younger teens were engaged in a slapping game, Warren County Assistant Prosecutor Keith Anderson said.

        Mr. Moneyham would have faced a lesser charge of menacing if he had not entered the Barnes' apartment, he said.

        “He turned a relatively minor thing into an aggravated burglary,” Mr. Anderson said.

        According to a Middletown police report, Mr. Moneyham confronted Bobby as he walked home and told him “You better not touch my sister.”

        But that was after Mr. Moneyham's sister apparently got the upper hand.

        According to Bobby's statement to police, the horseplay ended when he slapped the girl hard in the face, prompting her to pick up a lawn chair and strike him with it.


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