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Published: Monday, August 13, 2018 @ 12:50 PM
Updated: Monday, August 13, 2018 @ 6:14 PM
DAYTON — UPDATE, 6:15 p.m.: Chuckie Lee was drunk, irritated and said he wanted revenge before allegedly shooting and killing Taylor Brandenburg in March 2017, according to a woman who was with the case’s three defendants.
Candace Allen testified Monday afternoon in Lee’s murder trial for the death of Brandenburg, 20, who was babysitting her cousin’s children while other family members went to a bar.
Allen testified she was with Lee, Kara Parisi-King and Evans Cassell as they drove from Chris’ Band Box to The Glass Hat Bar where a fight occurred, then past the Huffman Avenue residence and on the way to a storage facility to pick up guns. Allen said she saw Lee and Cassell load guns and fire at the home.
“He was already drunk, really drunk, slurring his words,” said Allen, who stated she refused to get a Lee a drink at The Glass Hat as requested by Parisi-King. After Lee was hit in the face during an altercation in the bar shown to the jury, Allen testified that Lee said: “Let’s go. We need to get revenge.”
Allen said Cassell said they should go to a U-Haul facility to get the weapons and that Parisi-King pointed out the Huffman Avenue home where people involved in the bar fight would be.
Lee, acting as his own counsel, asked questions of Allen during a sometimes tense examination. When asked if she ever requested to get out of the vehicle that night, Allen said she didn’t because she was scared of Lee.
Judge Gregory Singer warned Lee not to make statements while asking questions, that Lee would have the chance to refute witness statements if he takes the stand and asked the jury to ignore Lee’s comments that weren’t questions.
There were several sidebars after objections including one in which Lee asked Allen if she came to Parisi-King’s house to buy cocaine.
The trial resumes Tuesday and is expected to continue until at least Thursday, according to prosecutors.
UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Anthony Schoen told jurors that 37 shots were fired when Taylor Brandenburg was killed by two gunshots, including one into her chest that hit her aortic artery.
Schoen also recounted the 14 minutes from when Chuckie Lee entered the bar, got into an altercation and punched someone before leaving. The prosecutor also said how Lee and three others drove to a storage facility to get at least two guns — driving past the Huffman Avenue address on the way — and then returned back to that home.
Schoen said Brandenburg, 20, only was outside for about 40 seconds when the incident was over and she was found “lifeless on the ground in the alley” with “bloody lip gloss next to broken glasses.”
Schoen told jurors how surveillance footage at the bar, the storage facility and the residence showed the defendants’ actions. The prosecutor said Lee ended up at Grandview Hospital to get treated from wounds from the bar fight.
During his short opening statement to jurors, Lee said he would talk about the difference between smoke and mirrors and truth and honesty. He said that when the jury hears all the evidence, it would show them that he is not guilty.
Montgomery County deputy coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove testified about Brandenburg’s injuries as the jury saw autopsy photographs.
Accused killer Chuckie Lee — the third defendant and the one police said pulled the trigger in the shooting death of Taylor Brandenburg — is representing himself in his murder trial today.
Lee, 40, decided last week he would try his own case. Defense attorney Anthony VanNoy is now not counsel of record, but Montgomery County Judge Gregory Singer asked VanNoy to help Lee with any procedural issues, according to court personnel.
A jury was picked this morning and opening statements are scheduled after a jury view. Lee faces counts of murder, felonious assault and gun charges.
Brandenburg, 20, called a “beautiful soul” by her cousin at an earlier sentencing, died March 12, 2017, while was babysitting in a Huffman Avenue home in Dayton.
Kara Parisi-King, Lee’s former girlfriend and the mother of his child, was sentenced earlier this year to 15 years to life for complicity to commit murder.
Evans Cassell pleaded guilty to the same charge as well as a firearms count and was sentenced last year to 15 years to life in prison.
Prosecutors have said Parisi-King, Lee, and Cassell got into an altercation on March 12, 2017, with some bar patrons inside the Glass Hat Bar on Linden Avenue in Dayton.
The argument moved to outside and then a half-mile away to 77 Huffman Ave., where police said the men shot at but missed the bar patrons, fatally striking Brandenburg multiple times.
Police said Parisi-King helped provide Lee with a semi-automatic pistol and transported him to the Huffman Avenue address.
Brandenburg has been called “an innocent victim” by police who said she had no involvement in the dispute but came outside to check on a disturbance when she was fatally shot.
Lee has had three attorneys, according to court dockets available until Singer shut off public access to the court docket.