CINCINNATI (FOX19) – A murder trial is underway for a man accused of brutally shooting a client who was walking to a birthday party at Roselon Barbershop.
Jahman Akins, 28, “executed” Kevin Suttles, 38, by shooting him nine times in the head and torso as he sat in a barber’s chair around 3:00 pm on January 5, 2021, prosecutors said and court records show.
It was the first homicide in Cincinnati in 2021 after the city’s record number of homicides in 2020.
Akins was also shot dead by an unknown assailant. He “got rid of the firearm and the clothes he was wearing,” court records show.
Cincinnati police said he was taken by private car to a Jewish hospital in the town of Sycamore.
Akins was arrested there in his hospital gown while undergoing treatment.
Authorities later learned the identity of the man who shot Akins.
The Hamilton County Attorney’s Office determined it was self-defense and the person will not be charged, spokeswoman Amy Clausing said in an interview with FOX19 NOW in late 2021.
Meanwhile, Akins was being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center on $1 million bail from the day of the shooting.
He was charged with two counts of murder and possession of a weapon while in a state of disability. He also faces one charge of falsifying evidence.
Akins is prohibited from owning weapons such as firearms “due to several previous convictions,” his court records show.
According to the indictment, Akins was convicted in Hamilton County in 2013 for heroin possession in 2013, heroin trafficking in 2014, and attempted robbery in 2011.
Akins pleaded not guilty to Suttles’ murder.
Since February 3, 2021, he has requested and received at least 11 adjournments in his case.
He also unsuccessfully asked the judge to dismiss the case in November 2021.
A jury trial was originally set for May 16, 2022, and later for October 3, 2022.
We hope to learn more during the trial as to why county officials say Akins killed Suttle.
The motive for Suttles’ murder is not listed in the county court records.
However, federal court documents identify Suttle as involved in one of the largest opioid trafficking organizations in the area.
Suttles was “murdered” in 2021 in Roselawn, the FBI agent wrote in an affidavit.
Several sources, including a confidential informant, identified Suttles as a member of a drug ring, the affidavit says.
Nine months after he was killed, drug conspiracy and other charges were filed against 14 people, including a man identified in court records as his brother Jerome Newton Jr.
According to the affidavit, Newton Jr. was a heroin/fentanyl distributor and was one of several suppliers to the drug business.
All 14 are charged with conspiring to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl. They face from 10 years to life in prison if found guilty.
According to the indictment released on December 1, 2021, they also possessed and distributed heroin and methamphetamine.
Court records show that “The Roberson Drug Dealing Organization (DTO) obtained drugs from multiple sources, including in Atlanta and Baltimore.”
Steffen Roberson, 40, known as “The Worm,” and his older brother, Anthony Roberson, 44, known as “The Chemist,” ran a drug operation and are charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District. Ohio.
That case is still ongoing: Prosecutors recently reached at least three plea agreements, including a suspect who just appeared in court on Monday to waive his right to be charged, latest court records show.