Two men charged with alleged murder of Indian-American convenience store owner


A federal grand jury charged two men from Cincinnati, Ohio, with a string of armed robberies and the February 2021 murder of Roop C. Gupta, the owner of Madeira Beverage.

Willie James Attaway, 30, of Cincinnati, and Lamond Johnson, 35, most recently of Cincinnati, are charged by a 14-count indictment.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

According to the charging document, Attaway and Johnson allegedly conspired to commit five armed robberies on Feb. 8 and 9, 2021.

Vipal J. Patel, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Roland Herndon, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), announced the charges.

According to a Sept. 2, 2021, press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, specifically, the defendants allegedly brandished a firearm to commit robberies on the following occasions:

  • February 8 – Shell on Montgomery Road in Deerfield Township,
  • February 8 – Shell on Dixie Highway in Hamilton, Ohio,
  • February 9 – Madeira Beverage on Kenwood Road in Madeira, Ohio,
  • February 9 – Sunoco on Kenwood Road in Blue Ash, Ohio, and
  • February 9 – Marathon on North Broadway in Lebanon, Ohio.

Attaway and Johnson are both charged with the Feb. 9, 2021 murder of Gupta, the owner of Madeira Beverage. Using a firearm to commit murder during a crime of violence is potentially punishable by the death penalty, the press release noted.

Related local charges pending against Johnson will be superseded by the federal indictment returned yesterday, and the case will proceed federally, the press release added.

Attaway and Johnson appeared in federal court Sept. 2, at 1:30pm and the indictment was unsealed at that time.




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