Marion County man, teen charged in murder of 19-year-old, deputies say

Ralph Fontil, 23, and Brandon Merizier, 17, were arrested Tuesday

Ralph Fontil, 23 (left) Brandon Merizier, 17 (right) (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A man and teenager accused of fatally shooting a 19-year old in June 2021 were arrested Tuesday, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to the original incident on June 5, 2021 in Ocala Park Estates, where Kobe Bradshaw, 19, was found shot.

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Bradshaw was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died of his injuries.

Investigators said using forensic evidence, video surveillance footage and cell phone records, they were able to tie 23-year-old Ralph Fontil and 17-year-old Brandon Merizier to the murder.

Deputies added the shooting was viewed as an act of retaliation against Bradshaw, who had been cleared of any wrongdoing in a justifiable homicide involving an associate of the suspects just days before.

Both Fontil and Merizier are being charged with second degree murder.

Fontil is being held without bond at the Marion County Jail.

Merizier is currently being held in juvenile custody.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said in a statement he plans to charge Merizier as an adult, in which case he will be transferred to Marion County Jail and held without bond.


About the Author:

Penny De La Cruz started working at WKMG-TV in September 2021. Before joining News 6, Penny worked at KSAT 12 in San Antonio, Texas.