Lee charged with murder in two shooting deaths


By Anthony Conchel - aconchel@aimmediamidwest.com



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MOUNT GILEAD — The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office has charged Brian A. Lee, 39, of Marengo with two counts of murder in connection with the deaths of Linda Vannatta and Brandon Petty.

Leeann N. Kinder, 27, of Marengo has been charged with two counts of complicity to murder.

Sheriff John Hinton has not released the names of the other two shooting victims “at this time due to those names not being public record. We will continue to update the public as the investigation develops,” he said May 25, the day after the incidents occurred.

Lee was apprehended by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office around 9 p.m. Monday and remains in jail there. The shootings took place in Harmony Township at about 4:25 a.m. that day.

No other information on the shootings has been released.

Lee is being held on $500,000 bond. His arraignment is set for June 3.

According to Columbus police, Lee was involved in a pursuit on I-71 South from Delaware County into Franklin County. He was pursued by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and other local agencies.

Columbus Police were able to apprehend him after he abandoned the vehicle in the city’s north end. He was charged initially with felony fleeing and receiving stolen property.

He reportedly was driving nearly 120 miles per hour during the chase.

In a rambling interview with WBNS-TV in Columbus, two days after the shootings, Lee confessed to the killings. He said he was acting in self-defense and it appears as though he knew the victims.

Lee told the television station that the dispute started over a truck.

Cardington-Lincoln Schools, as a precaution, went into lockdown Monday morning after the shootings.

Earlier that morning Hinton posted on Facebook: “We are attempting to locate Brian Lee. If you see Brian or know his whereabouts please call 911. Do not approach, as he is considered armed and dangerous.”

The Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team had arrested Lee on Nov. 25, 2020, in Marengo, with the assistance of the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office.

He appeared in Franklin County Municipal Court Feb. 17, 2021, on charges of domestic violence, assault and aggravated menacing. Those were dismissed.

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By Anthony Conchel

aconchel@aimmediamidwest.com