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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cleveland Man Murdered at Put-In-Bay (Updated)

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2012 at 3:49 PM


Update VI: Brody was sentenced to 16 years in prison today for the death of Phil Masterson. (NewsNet5)


Update V: Zachary Brody entered a plea agreement with prosecutors yesterday in the death of Phil Masterson. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, as well as two counts of evidence tampering. In exchange, prosecutors dropped the murder charges.

Brody is looking at 16 years in prison when sentencing begins. (Via WTAM)


Update: IV: The Sandusky Register, via an affidavit filed in the murder case against Zachary Brody, has some more details about what might have happened. A man named Clifton Knote who was friends with Brody told police that Masterson and another man allegedly showed up at their cabin around 4 or 5 a.m. on Monday beating on the doors and windows. Brody, who other witnesses say was seen fighting and arguing with Masterson earlier in the evening, went outside.

Knote's account follows:

One man left, but the other — Masterson — refused to go away and began taunting Brody and threatening to punch him, Knote told police.

Masterson reportedly threw the first punch, according to the affidavit.

Brody placed Masterson in a choke hold until he passed out, then repeatedly punched the unconscious Masterson in the face, the affidavit stated.

Parris went outside, but soon returned to the cabin to relay his suspicions to Knote.

“(Brody) might have killed this guy,” Parris told Knote, according to the affidavit.

Knote also says that Brody later checked on Masterson and that the victim was still breathing. No one in the cabin contacted police. In fact, they all departed Put-In-Bay without contacting anyone. Later, Knote says, Brody told him he was concerned that Masterson was in fact dead.


Update III:
Investigators tell the Sandusky Register that the two men randomly met at a party over the weekend, then got into an argument that involved shoving. They left the party separately. No word yet on what the fight was over or how Brody ended up with Masterson later in the evening.

19 Action News' Scott Taylor reports that Sheriffs also say Masterson died from strangulation and blunt force trauma.

Brody was arraigned yesterday. His bond was set at $750,000.


Update II: Cops are still interviewing witnesses and not saying much else, but the Ottawa County Sheriff did reveal today that Masterson and Brody did not know each other before meeting last weekend at Put-In-Bay and that an argument between the two — Masterson, who was an amateur MMA fighter, and Brody, who apparently was a martial arts expert — turned into a fight. (


Update: Via NewsNet5, police are saying Brody killed Masterson in a "fit of rage."

The criminal complaint stated that Brody “while under the influence of sudden passion or in a sudden fit of rage, either of which was brought on by serious provocation occasioned by the victim that is sufficient to incite said Zachary J. Brody into using deadly force, did knowingly cause the death of another.

No details yet on what that was.


27-year-old Zachary Brody of Bowling Green has been arrested in connection with the murder of 25-year-old Phil Masterson. (Here's his Facebook page). He was taken into custody and charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter, and felonious assault.

Masterson, who lived in a Cleveland suburb and whose parents live in Westlake, had been missing for two days on Put-In-Bay late over Labor Day weekend. Family members and friends had contacted police about his disappearance before discovering his body in a wooded area on Tuesday afternoon when they traveled up to the island to search for him. The scene was grisly.

"We determined that he was the victim of a homicide, it was not an accidental death," Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton said. "We have a person of interest in the case that we have not yet interviewed. I do not want to say how the man died until the autopsy, but there was an awful lot of blood."

Bratton said investigators worked through the night and into the morning and are looking at "two other scenes that could be involved."

The family is understandably shocked right now and declined to speak to the media, and so far police haven't released any details as to what sparked the homicide.

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