Early this morning after allegedly drinking all night, Nathaniel Richmond, of Steubenville, Ohio laid in wait to carry out an assassination attempt of Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese. Richmond fired his weapon at the Judge, and Judge Bruzzese who was carrying a weapon fired back. A probation officer who was also nearby immediately assisted the Judge and fired at Richmond. Judge Bruzzese was wounded and is in an area hospital after having surgery for his injuries, and Nathaniel Richmond was killed in the gunfight. It is unclear who fired the fatal shot.
I was on Twitter this morning when news of the ambush began trickling out. Nate “Snake” Richmond is well known to local law enforcement in Jefferson County. He has been alleged to have gang ties with the “Chicago Boys”, and many relatives of his have been federally indicted for drug trafficking and gang activity. Nate Richmond is also the father of one of the boys adjudicated delinquent in the Steubenville rape case. Almost immediately, the sins of the father were being connected to his son’s crime by pointing out that he was Ma’lik’s father.
Nathaniel Richmond did not raise Ma’lik nor did Ma’lik live with his biological parents as a minor child. A well respected Steubenville family raised Ma’lik. By Nathaniel Richmond’s own admission, he was not in his son’s life, but right away on Twitter and in the media it was being alluded to that Nathaniel went after the Judge because of the rape case. Judge Bruzzese was not involved in the rape case. A visiting Judge from Hamilton County presided over the case. From initial information it is obvious that Richmond did not ambush the judge as revenge for the case. Anyone media outlet saying as much is only exploiting the rape case for the purpose of click bait.
I have been told by sources that the ambush was gang related, that other judges in the county were under protective service and their families have security details for the time being until all of this is sorted out. Richmond also had a wrongful death case filed against the Jefferson County Metropolitan Housing Authority that was before Judge Bruzzese. I am unsure of specific details, but Richmond’s mother and infant grandson perished in a fire in a home owned by Metropolitan Housing. For all we know, he may have been unhappy about something going on with the case. We just don’t know yet until Jefferson County and the FBI sort this out. Prosecutor Jane Hanlin has publicly stated that this has nothing to do with the rape case.
My issue is with those media outlets and other individuals using Ma’lik Richmond as a way to craft salacious headlines and glean web traffic from it. I’m not condoning Ma’lik’s past, or making excuses for him, but using him in this way is just wrong. No one would even give a shit about Nathaniel Richmond if it weren’t for the rape case. I’ve already taken some flack for stating my opinion with regard to this incident, and I’m okay with that. In this situation, I can’t blame Ma’lik for what his father did. While Ma’lik has a past, he is not responsible for the sins of his father.