YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Youngstown man convicted of murdering his girlfriend’s father in 2018 has had his appeal denied by the 7th District Court of Appeals.
In a ruling released Monday, the appeals court ruled that 30-year-old Jermaine Tubbs’ claims that he acted in self-defense were not backed up the evidence in the trial.
Tubbs was convicted July 20, 2018, in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, of the April 10, 2017, shooting death of 52-year-old Michael Brooks on Dupont Street.
Prosecutors said Brooks was killed when he went to a DuPont Circle apartment complex to help his daughter, who was the girlfriend of Tubbs, move.
Tubbs, however, claimed that Brooks was drunk and attacked him with a cane. He shot Brooks in self-defense. That is what he told the jurors when he testified on his own behalf during the trial.
However, the appeals court ruled that evidence in the trial showed that Tubbs did not act in self-defense. In its opinion, the court wrote that although both Brooks and Tubbs pushed each other, Tubbs had no major injuries and never retreated, which a person must do if they claim self-defense.
The appeals court said it would have been easy for Tubbs to retreat since Brooks had a cane and would have trouble catching him because he had difficulty walking.
Tubbs claimed that he was balled up on the ground when he shot Brooks but witnesses at the trial testified that Tubbs was standing when he shot Tubbs, the appeals court wrote.
“The evidence does not support the idea that [Tubbs] had a bona fide belief that his only means to escape death or great bodily harm was the use of deadly force,” the court’s opinion said.
The appeals court also ruled against appeals by Tubbs on the grounds he was sentenced improperly on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and that the jury was not instructed on the law properly.