Monday, November 18, 2019 Elyria 50°

Cops and Courts

Accused killer back in Ohio


LORAIN — The lawyer representing a Kentucky man facing an aggravated murder charge for allegedly shooting a family friend last month said Tuesday that his client wasn’t responsible.

“I believe they have the wrong person,” Larry Brown’s defense attorney Mike Duff said.

Although Duff said he hasn’t seen all of the evidence Lorain police have gathered in the case, his own investigation into the slaying of Lani Smith leads him to believe someone has lied to detectives, which resulted in Brown being charged. He declined to provide specifics about what led him to that conclusion.

Brown, who is also known as Seydi Umar Cisse, was the subject of a manhunt after Smith’s body was discovered inside a home in the 1100 block of West Ninth Street after police went to the area after reports of gunshots July 14.

Officers had to remove an air-conditioning unit to get inside the house, where they found the 66-year-old Smith dead.

Police have said after the shooting that the 38-year-old Brown, who Smith’s family members have said was a like a relative to the retired autoworker, fled the area. He later was found in a Baltimore hospital and agreed to be brought back to Ohio to answer the charges.

Duff said Brown was hospitalized for an injured ankle and returned to Ohio on Friday.

Brown, who is in the Lorain County Jail, is due in Lorain Municipal Court for a preliminary hearing on Thursday, according to court records.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.

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