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Published: Saturday, 1/5/2013

West Toledo vigil recalls slain man’s kindnesses

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
William Knop, left, and Devon Smith bow their heads at a candlelight vigil for Brian Minley, Jr., 24, who was shot and killed New Year’s Eve in his Berdan Avenue home. William Knop, left, and Devon Smith bow their heads at a candlelight vigil for Brian Minley, Jr., 24, who was shot and killed New Year’s Eve in his Berdan Avenue home.
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Every day since his 6-month-old son was killed, Jeremy Glynn had been visiting with his longtime friend Brian Minley, Jr., for counseling and advice.

“He was my main support,” said Glynn, 26, the father of Avery Glynn Bacon, who according to police was fatally assaulted by his mother, Amanda Bacon, 25, on Dec. 16. The infant died two days later in an Ann Arbor hospital.

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On New Year’s Eve, Glynn was going to see Mr. Minley, 24, but when he approached his friend’s house in the 1200 block of Berdan Avenue in West Toledo, he saw Toledo police cruisers.

Mr. Minley had been shot at least once, apparently in the back, in the basement of the home he shared with his girlfriend and her 5-year-old daughter. He was pronounced dead at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.

Mr. Minley’s friends and family gathered Friday in the home’s front yard to remember a man described as positive and creative.

“Brian was a really good kid,” his mother, Bernice Howard, said.

“He really did not deserve any of this.”

The past several days, she said, have been “hell.”

With no suspects and no arrests, the family wants “his killer caught because we want peace and closure,” Ms. Howard said.

“I can't understand for the life of me why anybody would do this,” said Mr. Minley’s sister Arnisha Gainer.

“He was our only brother.”

Toledo police have asked for help in solving the murder, soliciting anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 419-255-1111.

Danielle Conley, mother of Mr. Minley’s half brother, Daniel Minley, 15, helped organize the candlelight vigil, which was attended by dozens of friends, family, and neighbors.

She hopes that people who knew Mr. Minley will carry on his legacy of wanting to help people.

“He always found the good in people,” Ms. Conley said.

“No matter what mistake you made in life, he found something that was good and tried to prosper from that. We really need to crack down with gun control and young violence. Youth violence is just totally uncontrolled and there needs to be a lot of stricter laws and get some of these weapons off the streets so things like this can’t happen.”

By all accounts, Mr. Minley was the kind of guy people admired.

He was an entrepreneur, creating music and photography in his basement.

He was mostly self-taught and had a few minutes of fame in 2009 when he caught on camera then-Mayor Carty Finkbeiner calling a kid “fatso” at Highland Park.

“I decided to put it on YouTube because I don’t think that’s the way to talk to the youth. … You’re supposed to set an example, not make the kids hate the government,” Mr. Minley said at the time.

Before the group of mourners joined in a circle for prayer, Glynn recalled telling Mr. Minley about Avery’s death.

“When I told him about my son, he gave me the biggest hug ever,” Glynn said, starting to cry.

“When it rains, it pours. ... That dude was too good for that [stuff]. He didn’t have that type of lifestyle to get gunned down like that.”

Family and friends plan three benefit events to help cover funeral costs.

The first is today at Woodville Skatepark, 2604 Woodville Rd., in Northwood, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Admission is $5.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at: tdungjen@theblade.com or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.



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