CLEVELAND, Ohio – A 19 year old man is charged in an armed robbery that ended in the death of a beloved bartender during a robbery at a West Side bar.
Nigel Brunson is charged with aggravated murder. Two other men — Dana Thomas, 29, and Dwayne Sims, 21, were previously charged with aggravated murder in the case.
All three men are being held in the Cuyahoga County Jail on bond.
Brunson is already facing attempted murder charges in the shooting of two people during a robbery at Hot Sauce Williams.
A grand jury indicted the three suspects Monday on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, aggravated burglary and felonious assault.
Prosecutors said the group allegedly shot Melissa Brinker, 44, at close range and in cold blood on Oct. 24 at the Cooley Lounge on West 130th Street.
Prosecutors said Brinker was working when three men walked into the bar about 11:30 p.m. to case the business to see if they could rob it. They reportedly drank at the bar.
The men allegedly pulled out guns and ordered Brinker and five others in the bar to the ground. They allegedly pistol-whipped a 38-year-old woman, prosecutors said.
Authorities said the group also stole wallets and purses from the five patrons. They allegedly forced Brinker to a back office at gunpoint and ordered her to open a safe. One of the suspects then shot Brinker several times, police said.
Brunson was already jailed on $100,000 bond in connection with the Oct. 14 at Hot Sauce Williams.
He and two others allegedly lured a man and woman to the parking of the restaurant where they shot the victims after failing to rob them.
The 25-year-old man was shot in the face and his 24-year-old girlfriend in the foot. Both were treated at University Hospitals.
Brunson and his co-defendants — Samuel Crooks, 20, and Anthony Collins Jr., 20 — have pleaded not guilty in that case.