Morrow County murder suspect remains held without bond


MOUNT GILEAD — Brian A. Lee remains in custody at the Morrow County Correctional Facility without bond after a hearing Friday, June 4 before Morrow County Municipal Court Judge Jenifer Burnaugh.

The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office charged Lee, 39, of Marengo, with two counts of murder in connection with the deaths of Linda Vannatta and Brandon Petty last month.

Leeann N. Kinder, 27, of Marengo, who originally had been charged with two counts of complicity to murder, had her bond set at $50,000 on a tampering with evidence charge.

Both will be bound over to the Morrow County Grand Jury.

The hearings were held simultaneously and moved upstairs to Common Pleas Court “solely for the reason of space,” Burnaugh said.

Lee was represented by standby counsel Earl Desmond. Kinder was represented by Andrew Wick.

Daniel Stanley represented the prosecution.

The fatal shootings occurred at approximately 4:25 a.m. on May 24 in Harmony Township. Two other people were injured in shootings at separate locations on County Roads 26 and 232 that morning.

Burnaugh said that Lee “poses a substantial risk of harm to the community given his criminal history and violent background” and thus was denied bond.

Wick said his client has no criminal record and a supportive family. He added that Kinder did not meet the requirement of “sharing criminal intent” in requesting the complicity charges against her be dismissed.

During testimony, Detective Robert L. Chalfant of the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office detailed his interviews with both Lee and Kinder after their arrests. He said law enforcement spent most of that day “processing (two) crime scenes.”

He said a .38 caliber gun was found in Kinder’s purse and had what appeared to be blood on it. Casings from a .38 also were found at the CR 232 crime scene, Chalfant said.

Phone calls made by Lee also were played in the courtroom where he is heard talking about his Tahoe being wrecked by one of the four people that were shot

A high-speed pursuit later that day on I-71 South from Delaware County into Franklin County resulted in Lee and Kinder being arrested around 8 p.m. in Columbus.

Brian A. Lee entering the Morrow County courtroom on Friday, June 4, 2021. A. Lee entering the Morrow County courtroom on Friday, June 4, 2021. Sentinel photo
Lee, Kinder bound over to grand jury

By Anthony Conchel

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