By Sharon Coolidge
The Cincinnati Enquirer
As he was dying, Antonio Owens told police who killed him, prosecutors told jurors Wednesday.
"Anthony Baltimore shot me," were the last words Owens uttered after a May 2 shooting on Fountain Square that left him with a bullet wound to his torso. The 26-year-old Millvale man died two days later.
And that statement, Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Judith Mullen told jurors, was the most important piece of evidence they needed to convict Baltimore on a murder charge.
"It's like he's here and saying, 'Anthony Baltimore shot me,'" Mullen said. "It was given under reliable circumstances. ... He said it while under extreme stress and, second, he did it knowing he was dying."
But Baltimore's lawyer, David Dudley, said Owens was lying and listed at least six of Owens' previous convictions in the last eight years, including one for lying to police.
"(Owens) led a life of violence and guns and assaults," said the Los Angeles attorney.
"To believe that statement, you'd have to believe all of a sudden he got religion, changed and was telling the truth."
The jury will begin deliberating today. Prosecutors say Baltimore, Owens and others met on Fountain Square that night to talk about accusations that another man, Clifford Huff, had stolen money from Baltimore.
Owens and Baltimore argued, witnesses said, before the shooting.
A bullet shattered the window of Rock Bottom Brewery, a restaurant on the square.
Huff testified at the trial, but Dudley called his testimony unreliable. .
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