Prosecutor says Walnut Hills driver's shooting death was, in part, racially-motivated

Posted at 11:25 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 15:12:56-04

CINCINNATI -- Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Thursday Jamie Urton's shooting death in Walnut Hills was, in part, racially motivated.

"We've had a run of pretty horrific crimes lately, but this thing..." Deters said, calling the shooting "disgusting," and  "unbelievable."

Deters said he would seek an ethnic intimidation charge, but it's a misdemeanor and the two suspects already face life in prison.

"If I could seek the death penalty, I would," he said.

Urton struck a 4-year-old boy with his car on Kenton Street on March 24 before he was pulled from his car, beaten and shot, authorities said. Deters said the boy and his 2-year-old brother were seen walking around outside before the 4-year-old ran into the street in front of Urton's car. Urton's vision was obstructed by a large work van, Deters said.

During a news conference Thursday, Deters said the passenger in Urton's vehicle was a black man with glaucoma (Urton worked at the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired). Deters said the passenger was dismissed by one of the suspects, who said "Get out of here, you're black."

Watch the full news conference in the video player above.

"The unfortunate part is the driver stopped to make sure the kid is okay," Deters said.

Two men were indicted on murder charges in Urton's death: Jamall Killings, who turned himself in and pleaded not guilty to murder and felonious assault, and Deonte Baber, who is still at large.

Deters said Killings wasn't cooperating with the murder investigation initially, but "he has gotten religion recently and is cooperating."

The reward for information leading to Baber's arrest is up to $7,500, with a combination of funds from Crime Stoppers and the prosecutor's office.

Deters said Baber is the person who told the passenger to leave because he's black.

"The guy deserves to rot in a jail cell," Deters said of Baber.

The child Urton struck before the shooting is Killings' son, according to police. The boy was temporarily hospitalized and is recovering, officials said. 

There is video of the shooting that killed Jamie Urton, Deters told WCPO Wednesday night. That doesn't mean you should expect to see it. Deters said he doesn't plan to release the footage until Killings and Baber stand trial.

Deters said "you can see everything" on the video.

The video shows Baber shoot Urton five times, Deters said, and shows Killing beating Urton while he is still inside his car.

Moments after the crash, 911 callers described seeing someone beating Urton before shooting him multiple times and leaving the man bloody in the street. He later died at the hospital.

In another 911 call, Killings admits to killing the person who struck his son, Deters said.

"He was bragging about it to his son," Deters said. "Who does that?"