Alleged Kent State University shooter jailed on bond

By Dave O'Brien | staff writer Published:

A Kent State University freshman who allegedly fired a shot on campus, leading to a three-hour lockdown of the Kent campus on April 2, was ordered held in the Portage County jail on 10 percent of $40,000 bond following his initial court appearance in Ravenna Monday.

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Meanwhile, KSU police on Friday arrested another student, a friend of the alleged shooter, on charges that she hid the firearm used in the shooting, thereby obstructing the police investigation.

Quavaughntay L. Tyler, 24, a criminology and justice studies major, appeared in Portage County Municipal Judge Mark Fankhauser's courtroom Monday afternoon. A condition of his bond is no contact with Kent State University property, Fankhauser said.

Appearing in an orange-and-white jail uniform via video from the jail, he did not enter a plea to a charge of carrying a concealed weapon, a fourth-degree felony, because the municipal court does not have jurisdiction over felonies. Tyler told Fankhauser he would ask for a court-appointed attorney.

The Portage County Prosecutor's Office sought a $75,000 cash bond, Assistant Prosecutor Chad Hawks said, because Tyler is "a threat to public safety," has a prior felony conviction for grand theft in Portage County Common Pleas Court for which he is currently on five years probation and because the case will be brought to a Portage County grand jury this week for consideration of "additional felonies."

Tyler requested a personal recognizance bond, telling Fankhauser he has "never missed a court date." He also told the judge he has "a history of seizures" and was told by jail medical and Robinson Memorial Hospital staff to "get with my neurologist within one to two days." Tyler's arraignment was rescheduled twice last week due to an unspecified medical condition, Portage County Sheriff David Doak said Friday.

Tyler was arrested at Robinson Memorial by police on Wednesday night after seeking treatment for a gunshot wound to his left hand. KSU police and officials said Tyler got into an argument, which they described as a "domestic dispute," with two women near Bowman Hall at Janik Drive and Summit Street at about 8 p.m. Tyler allegedly pulled a 9mm Ruger handgun he told police he carried for personal protection and fired one shot into the ground, striking his own hand in the process. No one else was injured.

Also now charged in connection with the incident is Breana R. Francis, an 18-year-old KSU student originally from Columbus. She was arrested Friday and charged with one count each of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a fifth-degree felony.

Police said Tyler told them he put the bloody weapon and some ammunition in a backpack, took it to Francis in her Johnson Hall dorm room and asked her to hide it. Police recovered the gun after Tyler told them where to find it.

Francis is free on a personal recognizance bond, pending future court dates. She may face additional charges once the case is heard by a Portage County grand jury.

Tyler is forbidden from owning or possessing any firearms due to a 2013 conviction for grand theft for stealing nearly $15,000 from the Brimfield Walmart where he worked over a six- to eight-month span in 2012 and 2013, according to Brimfield police.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

Facebook: Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Twitter: @RCCrimeWatch

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