Man says he's not responsible for niece's death during Over-the-Rhine gunfight
Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati Enquirer - Published 3:54 p.m. ET Jan. 14, 2020
A man who prosecutors said "pushed" his niece in front of him during a gunfight pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges including involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Jonathan Green's family has previously said that he was trying to push 21-year-old Diamond Green out of the way as he exchanged gunfire with another man on June 4, 2018.
Diamond Green was fatally shot that morning by Taureen Rice. Prosecutors said both Rice and Jonathan Green were also wounded, but they left to seek medical attention "while Diamond was left to die in the street."
In Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Tuesday, one of Green's attorneys, Scott Rubenstein, emphasized that Jonathan Green didn't shoot his niece.
"That was the last thing he wanted to see happen that day," Rubenstein said.
Green, who is 36, told Judge Ethna Cooper that he "appreciate(d) it being put out there that I wasn’t the one who harmed my niece."
"I'm just going to leave the rest of it in God’s hands," he added.
The shooting happened near 1611 Walnut St. in Over-the-Rhine. Diamond Green and others, including Rice, were playing
"quarters" on the sidewalk, prosecutors said in court documents.
According to prosecutors: Jonathan Green showed up on a bicycle, and an argument began between him and others in the group. Green and Rice pulled out guns and started shooting at each other.
Green then "pushed Diamond in front of him, as Rice was firing at Green," prosecutors said.
Green went to a hospital in Kentucky, gave a fake name and said "he was at a bar and was shot," prosecutors said.
On Tuesday, Judge Ethna Cooper called the incident "a tragedy of huge proportions" and imposed a 12-year sentence that had been agreed upon as part of the plea.
Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor Katherine Pridemore said in court that the Green family didn't want her office to pursue charges against Jonathan Green.
He has multiple drug-related convictions in Hamilton County dating back to 2001, records show, and is prohibited from having a gun. He pleaded guilty last week to trafficking in heroin and fentanyl, according to statements made in court.
Charges are still pending against Rice.