The Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion Monday in Delaware County Common Pleas Court asking the judge to deny bail to a Delaware man charged with aggravated murder.
Bryan Stanton Pemberton, 33, of 994 Stratford Road, Delaware, was indicted by a Delaware County grand jury on Feb. 1 and charged with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, with a gun specification.
During Pemberton’s arraignment on Jan. 26 in Delaware Municipal Court, Delaware Municipal Judge Marianne Hemmeter informed Pemberton that he could face 15 years to life in prison, if convicted, as well as up to three years in prison for the gun specification. Hemmeter also set his bond at $5 million.
An arraignment in Delaware County Common Pleas Court has not yet been scheduled for Pemberton, but Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett H. Krueger will preside over the case.
On Monday, Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Mark Sleeper filed a motion to deny bail for Pemberton.
In his motion, Sleeper states the Ohio Constitution has two exceptions to the general requirement that a defendant be bailable and said one of the exceptions is for “a person who is charged with a felony where the proof is evident or the presumption great and where the person poses a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any person or to the community.”
“The State will present testimony at an oral hearing held on this motion that shows that the proof is evident that the defendant committed the offense with which he is charged,” Sleeper said in the motion. “Testimony will also show that the defendant poses a substantial risk of serious physical harm to individuals and the community and that no release conditions will reasonably assure their safety.”
During the arraignment in municipal court, Sleeper detailed the events of the case for Hemmeter, stating that on the evening of Jan. 25, Ali Al Azirjawi, 28, of Hilliard, went with his fiance to pick up a child that his fiance and Pemberton shared. Sleeper said after they arrived at Pemberton’s home on Stratford Road, they called him to let him know they were there, but no one answered.
Sleeper said Pemberton then exited the house with a shotgun and approached the vehicle. He said Pemberton shot at Azirjawi twice as he was exiting vehicle, striking him in the head and chest with one of the shots.
The fiance and Azirjawi’s 1-year-old child were also in the vehicle, but were not harmed in the shooting, Sleeper said.
Azirjawi was pronounced dead at the scene when police arrived shortly before 7 p.m. on Jan. 25. Sleeper said investigators were not aware of any prior conflict between Azirjawi and Pemberton.
Sleeper said employees from a nearby business heard the shots and called police before running over to investigate. He said Pemberton made comments to them and the police that he was the shooter.
Police took Pemberton into custody and transported him to Grady Memorial Hospital for a mental health evaluation.
Pemberton remained in custody Wednesday in the Delaware County Jail.
At his municipal court arraignment, Pemberton asked the judge that he be released from jail on a recognizance bond and said the shooting was “a defense issue.” He also said, “I’m not a criminal.”
According to law enforcement officials, it’s the first murder in the City of Delaware since 2011.