Records: Pot grown in house where man was killed

Posted at 12:35 AM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 00:41:25-05

WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- The home where an 18-year-old man was killed earlier this month had a small marijuana grow operation in the basement, according to documents obtained by WCPO media partner the Journal-News.

Tyler Kassow was fatally shot Jan. 13 inside the home on Cincinnati Columbus Road. West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog told the Journal-News that the attack on Kassow wasn't a random incident, and officials confirmed in court that it was drug-related.

After Kassow was killed, West Chester Police Detective Travis Oakes wrote that the home had "multiple scales, grinders, pipes and marijuana in plain view throughout the basement," according to an affidavit obtained by the Journal-News.

West Chester police took a grow light, two boxes of fertilizer, a box of exhaust and tubing, a grow tent, power converter, scales, mailing labels, plastic and glass pipes, a glass jar with marijuana, buds of marijuana, grinder, prescription bottle with glass vials, three cell phones and four marijuana plants, according to another police record obtained by the Journal-News.

Four men have been indicted in connection with Kassow's death: Demarcus Staley, 19, of Cincinnati; Justin Koch, 18, of Sharonville, and Cincinnati residents Rodney Foster, 19, and Jibril Willingham, 20, are charged with murder, kidnapping, aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of tampering with evidence.

Four men were arraigned Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, in the shooting death of Tyler Kassow in his home on Jan. 13. Photo by Ron Fischer | WCPO

After the four drove to Kassow's house, Staley and Foster got out and went to the door wearing ski masks, police said.

When Kassow's little brother opened it, they forced their way in and shot Kassow in the head, police said.

Herzog said the group drove off without taking anything from the home.

Each man will be tried separately.


Lauren Pack of the Journal-News contributed to this report.