Mt. Sterling Shooting Suspect Has First Hearing in Court

By Benjamin Cox on July 19, 2019 at 9:51am

The Mt. Sterling man accused of first degree murder from a June shooting saw his first day in court this week. 39 year old John M. Dean was present with his attorney John Leonard in Brown County Court Monday for a brief hearing.

Dean was originally scheduled to see a court date on July 1st but was still in the hospital recovering from wounds in the June 14th incident that saw 44 year old Rebecca L. Niewhoner of Mt. Sterling. shot to death by a .45 caliber handgun. On the night of June 14th, local police were called to a residence in the 400 Block of East Chestnut Street in Mt. Sterling with reports of gunfire. Police discovered Dean severely wounded in the face and Niewhoner deceased. Dean was transported to Culbertson Memorial Hospital in Rushville and then to a Springfield hospital.

While in the Springfield hospital, the Brown County State’s Attorney’s office filed first-degree murder charges on June 27th. With Dean still in the hospital, Leonard appeared in Brown County Court on July 1st asking for bail be reduced to $25,000. The motion was granted and Dean applied the required 10% and was released to home confinement on July 8th.

Authorities have released no further details in the June 14th incident. A preliminary hearing has been set for Dean on August 12th.