Andrew Lavender faces charges of aggravated murder after the killing of 36-year-old Ceran Lipscomb, an incident that occurred on August 1, 2014, when Lavender was 16-years-old
A suspected contract killer has been accused of shooting and killing a man near a playground when he was just 16 in a bid to get rich.
Andrew Lavender, now 19, is on trial for aggravated murder after he allegedly shot and killed Ceran Lipscomb, 36, in Cincinnati, Ohio, in August 2014.
Officials believe Lipscomb by shooting him in the head near a West End park, according to Cincinnati.com.
Lipscomb was taken to a medical center but died two days later.
Prosecutors argue that less than two months before the killing of Lipscomb Lavender wrote in a text message, ‘I’m fittin to get a body on me.’
A girl also allegedly messaged him asking why people call him ‘shooter.’
Prosecutors showed the courtroom, and Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Charles Kubicki, several photos of Lavender from Facebook with him wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the arms cut off, pointing a gun directly toward the camera.
Another photo shows him flaunting his wealth as he fans out a large stack of $20 bills.
Lavender was arrested the same month as the killing in 2014 and because he was 16 at the time he was initially charged in juvenile court.
However, in October 2014 due to the seriousness of the crime, he was ordered to stand trial as an adult and the case was transferred to Common Pleas Court.
Ohio Supreme Court deliberated as to whether or not juvenile or adult court would be more suitable for Lavender.
In court Tuesday his attorney, Rodney Harris, said police targeted the wrong person, arguing police overlooked a witness who ‘unequivocally said this is not the person who did this.’
Harris said the witness’ statement that Lavender wasn’t the shooter ‘didn’t match their theory.’
Officials believe Lavender killed 36-year-old Ceran Lipscomb (pictured here) by shooting him in the head near a West End park
Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor David Prem showed jurors a sketch of the suspected shooter, which was created eleven days after the murder before anyone had brought up Lavender’s name.
Prem claims two police officers said the sketch was ‘dead on how he looks.’
Prem argues Lavender’s motive was money and added in court that the man has been described as a drug dealer, to which a man testified he overheard Lavender talking about ‘taking a hit on’ a man.
‘He needs a big hit,’ Prem said. ‘He needs to become rich.’ Prem said someone suggested to Lavender that he get a job. His response, according to Prem: ‘For real?’
‘I think it’s sad that someone like Andrew Lavender would come to a decision to consciously execute someone,’ he said.