On June 6, 2005, two teen-aged boys brandishing pistols boarded a Cincinnati bus and terrorized the passengers and driver, demanding information about the murder of a friend, Eugene Lampkin, who had been shot and killed earlier in the day.
Later that day, based on descriptions provided by passengers and the driver, police arrested Brandon Mincy, of North Avondale, Ohio and Dante Allen, 16, of Mount Healthy, Ohio. Both were identified in a photo lineup by the bus driver (who was briefly hospitalized due to shortness of breath as a result of the incident) and a passenger.
At the conclusion of a two-day bench trial on December 1, 2005, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Mark Schweikert found both guilty based on the eyewitness identifications, even though Allen protested his innocence and Mincy testified that that Allen wasn’t there. Mincy admitted he was on the bus, but asserted that he was upset about the murder of his friend and meant no harm.
Prior to sentencing, police received an anonymous tip providing the name of Mincy’s companion on the bus and arrested a 17-year-old youth on December 7. That youth admitted to being on the bus.
The following day, prosecutors asked that Allen, who had turned 17, be released without bond. A week later, on December 15, the charges were dismissed. Mincy was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
In 2007, Allen, 19, pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a teenager near a children’s football game called the “Peace Bowl” to demonstrate against street violence. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
– Maurice Possley