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Cops and Courts

Elyria man's murder trial begins

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    Nick Masley appears in court for jury selection at Lorain County Justice Center on March 19. Masley is accused of punching a drug dealer in the face and killing him.



ELYRIA — The murder trial of an Elyria man police said punched another man in the face, which ultimately led to his death, began Monday.

Jury selection in the trial of Nick Masley, 27, of Grafton Road, began Monday afternoon in the courtroom of Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi. Opening arguments in the trial are scheduled to begin 9 a.m. today.

Masley was indicted Jan. 30, 2014, on murder and felonious assault charges in connection with the death of Jeffrey Brooks, 25, of Wellington.

Police said Brooks was hospitalized in December 2013 after he said he was “sucker punched” by Masley when leaving the home of a friend of his girlfriend at 183 Delaware Ave. in Elyria. Brooks had told police he was punched several times in the face when he was walking down the porch steps and was knocked unconscious.

Brooks’ right eye was swollen and his nose was bleeding when police were called, and he complained of pain in his head. Brooks told police he had used heroin about two hours before Masley assaulted him.

Brooks was taken to what is now University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center and later was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. He died two days after the assault.

Police reported that Masley was upset with Brooks because he believed Brooks was responsible for getting his cousin, Kayla Ellis, hooked on heroin. Ellis and Brooks were dating, police said.

Masley originally was held in the Lorain County Jail without bond, but Miraldi agreed to lower the bond to $25,000 with an ankle monitor and placed him on house arrest in January 2015.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.

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