LOGAN — Steven Mullins, the man accused of murdering Michael Hamilton Jr., appeared for an arraignment in Hocking County Common Pleas Court Tuesday with his attorney Tim Gleeson at his side.
Mullins was indicted by the Hocking County Grand Jury on Sept. 6, and charged with:
Count I — Murder, an unclassified felony; with firearm specification;
Count Two — Voluntary manslaughter, a felony of the first degree; with firearm specification;
Count III — Discharge of firearm on or near prohibited premises, a first-degree felony.
Mullins, who sat motionless during the arraignment, pleaded not guilty to the three charges.
If convicted, Mullins is facing 15 years to life in prison on the murder charge, and one year for the firearm specification on Count I. He could also be looking at three to 11 years on Count II, with one year for the firearm specification, and a $20,000 fine. On Count III, he is also facing another three to 11 years in prison with a $20,000 fine.
Mullins is being held in Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on a $500,000 cash or surety bond that was originally imposed during his first appearance in Hocking County Municipal Court on Aug. 16. If he should post bond, Mullins must follow the stipulations of his bond including — must maintain current address or report to court new address; no contact with the victim’s family; no drugs, alcohol or paraphernalia; must submit to all testing; no weapons; must remain law abiding; and must wear GPS monitor if bail is posted.
His charges stem from an incident that occurred on Thursday, Aug. 15 on Goose Creek Road in South Bloomingville.
While responding to the scene, deputies observed a vehicle driving erratically leaving the area, almost striking the cruisers. Some of the responding deputies initiated a pursuit with the vehicle, which was traveling northbound on state Route 664, while the other deputies responded to the scene.
The vehicle failed to stop for the pursuing deputies and ultimately arrived at the Hocking Valley Community Hospital. Deputies detained the driver and passenger and observed an injured male in the back of the vehicle.
Deputies summoned aid from hospital workers, who attempted to revive the male, but were unable to do so; he was pronounced dead at the scene. The deceased was a 32-year-old male from the Columbus area — later identified as Michael W. Hamilton Jr.
Responding deputies were able to locate the scene of the incident on Goose Creek Road and located a possible suspect and witnesses.
Hocking County Sheriff’s Office detectives conducted multiple interviews, obtained and executed search warrants and with the assistance of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigators, collected evidence.
Gleeson told the Court that Mullins acted in self-defense and asked that his property he owns in the county be used as collateral for his bond; however, the Court did not accept that agreement and kept the bond as posted.
Mullins is scheduled for a pretrial on Sept. 25 at 10:30 a.m.; followed by a jury conference at 11 a.m. on Oct. 16; and a jury trial beginning at 9 a.m., Nov. 4-8 in Hocking County Common Pleas Court with presiding Judge John Wallace.