UD and city police investigate student’s death

Published: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 @ 9:27 AM
Updated: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 @ 5:10 PM

The death of a University of Dayton freshman student on campus Tuesday morning is being investigated as a suicide, according to university officials.

University President Daniel Curran sent a message to the campus community Tuesday afternoon identifying the deceased as an 18-year-old engineering major from Cincinnati. The Dayton Daily News does not identify suicide victims by name.

An official with the school said the death occurred Tuesday morning at the Stuart Hall Complex and appears to be a suicide, pending further investigation.

Dayton Police were called to the location of the death at 7:21 a.m. Homicide Detective Sgt. Dan Mauch said there were no witnesses to the death, but several students walking by the co-ed freshman dormitory early Tuesday found the male student’s body and notified campus police.

Mauch said the deceased appears to have plummeted from a sixth-story window of the complex, which is made up of three separate high rise buildings. Whether the individual intentionally jumped or accidentally fell is one of the questions still under investigation.

He said an autopsy was performed Tuesday to determine the exact cause of death.

Curran’s message to students said campus ministry and counselors will be available to students and the campus community scheduled a prayer gathering for the student and his family at Virginia W. Kettering Hall Tuesday night.

“Please reach out to one another in prayer and support during this difficult time. Our campus ministers and counseling staff are always available for you and for those who you know may be deeply affected by this loss,” Curran said.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. with 38,364 suicides reported in 2010, the most recent year complete data is available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

According to analysis of an American College Health Association survey by researchers at the University of Virginia, suicide is the number one leading cause of death for students at four-year institutions in 2009-10. They found that the suicide death rate was 6.18 per 100,000 students, killing more students than alcohol-related crashes.

Male students had a significantly high rate of suicide than females, according to the study. However the study also found that college students have an overall lower mortality rate than their non-student peers.

The ACHA administers each semester a national survey, the National College Health Assessment. Out of 90,666 American college students surveyed during the spring semester of 2012, 1.2 percent reported attempting suicide at some point in the prior 12 months, 45 percent of students said they felt hopeless in the last 12 months, and 6.8 percent seriously considered suicide.

“Those are pretty frightening numbers,” said Darcy Haag Granello, a professor who works with the Ohio State University Campus Suicide Prevention Program.

She said studies have shown that while 90 percent of those contemplating suicide display clear warning signs, only 35 percent of those 15-24 years of age say they would tell someone if a friend was suicidal. She said it’s critical for college students to involve trained professionals if they suspect a friend or roommate is suicidal.

“It’s important to develop a campus culture where people recognize that mental illness is an illness just like any other,” she said.

UD provides several free services for students who may be contemplating suicide, including the student counseling center, campus ministries and trained resident life staff.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has resources available and provides 24-hour counseling services at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

No charges in Mason hot car baby death: Mom ‘made a horrible mistake’

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 11:18 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 7:19 PM

WATCH: Warren Co. prosecutor discusses charges in Mason baby death

No criminal charges will be filed in connection with Sofia Aveiro’s death on Aug. 23 after the 14-month-old girl was left for nine hours in her mother’s car in the parking lot of the P&G Mason Business Center.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said he didn’t believe the potential charges matched the legal standard.

“The closest charge that might be applicable is involuntary manslaughter … and the closest felony is endangering children, where parents create a substantial risk,” he said Wednesday during a press conference to explain his decision. “However, in both of these, the mental state of a parent must be reckless.”

“Recklessness is more than a mistake, even if it’s a deadly mistake,” Fornshell said. “And there’s no evidence that she acted with heedless indifference.”

Evidence mother Karen Osorio-Martinez knew Sofia was in the car would have met the heedless indifference standard, Fornshell said.

Osorio-Martinez and her husband still must live with the realization that her negligence caused the toddler’s death from hyperthermia, Fornshell added.

“There’s nothing any law is going to do more than they are going to punish themselves for the rest of their lives,” he said.

MORE: ‘She was adorable’: Neighbor recalls Mason baby left in mom’s hot car

Osorio-Martinez left their Mason home with Sofia, intending to drop her at day care, but forgot and drove to work at the corporate complex on Mason-Montgomery Road, arriving about 7:30 a.m.

Leaving work, she was walking to the car when her husband, Henrique Aveiro, called to alert her that Sofia was not at day care when he went to pick her up. The mother realized their only child had been left strapped into her car seat.

Osorio-Martinez called 911 about 5 p.m., and the child was pronounced dead after emergency workers arrived.

RELATED: Butler County nurse invents iPhone app to prevent hot-car deaths

Prosecutors found her actions failed to meet the legal standard for involuntary manslaughter or child endangering.

Both charges required more than negligence, Fornshell said.

“There is no doubt Sofia’s mother made a horrible mistake,” Fornshell said.” We found no evidence that the mother acted with heedless indifference.”

Fornshell said he talked with the parents on Wednesday morning and detected a “mild amount of relief.”

Osorio-Martinez, a native of Puerto Rico, was also upset having lost contact with family as hurricanes pummeled the island.

“This was something that was weighing heavily on her,” Fornshell said.

“They are extraordinarily emotional,” he added.

The parents could not be reached for comment, but P&G issued a brief statement.

RELATED: Federal law change could mandate warning systems to prevent hot car deaths

“We are continuing to support the family through this difficult time. We do not have additional information to share,” Tressie Rose of P&G Company Communications said via email. “We also do not have a statement from the family to pass along.”

Neither P&G nor Fornshell elaborated on his comments that the parents planned to work with the company to prevent other babies from dying in hot cars.

Police conducted an investigation, seizing her cell phone and car, as well as a shopping bag and purse-style bag to check for “any medications or illegal narcotics that could show an altered mental state of Karen Osorio-Martinez.”

On Wednesday, Fornshell said they also watched more than eight hours of surveillance video from the parking lot.

A search warrant affidavit filed by Mason police indicated Osorio-Martinez left Sofia inside her 2011 Nissan Cube for about nine hours. The rear-facing car seat was located in the back of the vehicle behind the driver’s seat, according to court records.

EARLY REPORT: Mason mother was running late in child’s hot car death

“Upon speaking with Ms. Osorio-Martinez, she advised that she was running late to work and usually drops Sofia off at daycare. It was also determined that Sofia’s father, Aveiro, attempted to pick up Sofia up at daycare and was advised she was not there, so he contacted his wife as she was leaving work,” the affidavit said.

On Wednesday, Fornshell said Osorio-Martinez wasn’t actually late, but was later than usual, after letting her daughter sleep in and working from home before heading toward the day care center.

MORE: Mason child left in vehicle for more than 10 hours

Fornshell said he sided with Ohio lawmakers who had considered toughening the law, but left the reckless disregard standard.

He questioned if Ohioans wanted to “criminalize negligence.”

Fornshell said most parents have been guilty of negligence on occasion, sometimes resulting in harm to their kids.

“Are we going to criminalize every time a child gets hurt?” he concluded.

New vehicles would be outfitted with a warning system to help prevent children from dying in hot cars under legislation passed with bipartisan support this month in the U.S. House.

If the bill becomes law, drivers turning off their cars would be reminded by an alarm to check the back seat for children. Thirty-nine children died of heat stroke, and one died of hypothermia, in cars in the U.S. last year, according to KidsAndCars.org, a group that tracks such deaths.

Judge revokes probation, orders teen to serve at least a year for role in Ronnie Bowers’ death

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 5:21 PM

Judge revokes probation, orders teen to serve at least a year for role in Ronnie Bowers’ death

A 15-year-old who violated probation the day he was released from a juvenile facility now must serve at least one year behind bars for his role in the shooting death last September of Ronnie Bowers in Kettering.

Malik Devon Harris in February pleaded guilty to one count of robbery, tampering with evidence and aggravated menacing in the 16-year-old Fairmont High School junior’s death. Today, his probation was revoked and Harris was sentenced to serve a year up to age 21 at the Department of Youth Services, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

Releated: Murder indictment issued against Kylen Gregory in Ronnie Bowers’ death

Bowerswas fatally shot Sept. 4, 2016, after leaving AlterFest with a group of friends. One of his friends had an ongoing dispute with another group, and words were exchanged when they saw each other at the Alter High School festival. After Bowers and his friends left AlterFest, they were trying to drive away. Harris and two other teens were with Kylen Gregory, who is accused of shooting at the back of Bowers’ car, hitting him. Bowers succumbed to his injuries two days later.

Related: Teens who testify against shooter get maximum sentences

Harris served seven months at the Center for Adolescent Services. He was released Sept. 5 and placed on probation with electronic home detention. He also was ordered not to use social media. However, the same day he used social media at home and his probation officer reported it, according to the prosecutor’s office.

“Obviously, this defendant did not appreciate the leniency he received when the judge granted him probation and did not act responsibly in violating the terms of his probation the very same day he was released,” Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. stated.

Woman pleads to lowest count in case involving 26 pounds of meth

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 6:31 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 3:46 PM


            Haley Bigelow
Haley Bigelow

UPDATE (3:25 p.m.)

Haley N. Bigelow pleaded and was found guilty Wednesday in Dayton’s U.S. District Court of interstate traveling to support a business enterprise involving controlled substances.

Bigelow, 21, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 12 for a crime that carries a zero- to 5-year sentence. “Guilty,” Bigelow said when asked by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rose for how she pleaded to the lowest of three indicted counts.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dismissed counts of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. Rose said a pre-sentence report will be compiled.

RELATED: 26 pounds of meth found in vehicle on I-70

Defense attorney Aaron Durden said his client may qualify for a “safety valve” provision in federal sentencings.

That definition is for low-level participants in drug cases in which no one was harmed, the person has little or no criminal history, the person did not use violence or a gun and the person did tell the prosecution everything they knew about the offense, according to the Families Against Mandatory Minimums website.

Assistant U.S. attorney Laura Clemmens read a summary of the statement of facts, which indicated Bigelow was recruited to drive from Arizona to Ohio for redistribution. Law enforcement said they seized 26 pounds of methamphetamine from a car occupied by Bigelow and co-defendant Dennis Olinger.

Bigelow also admitted to bond violations for testing positive for drugs three times. Rose ordered Bigelow to take part in a 7-day detox and 28-day in-patient program.

RELATED: DEA used GPS tracker to arrest suspected local drug trafficker

Rose said it was a glass half full or half empty situation.

“If you do mess up, you will be in jail that fast,” the judge said, snapping his fingers.

After Bigelow’s hearing, co-defendant Waiman Yu was granted a continuance of his trial, which was to begin Sept. 25.

Instead, the date was pushed back to Nov. 13 to allow for a possible resolution.

(ORIGINAL STORY)

A 20-year-old woman federally indicted on three counts related to law enforcement finding 26 pounds of methamphetamine in a vehicle is scheduled to change her plea today.

Haley N. Bigelow and co-defendant Waiman Yu were to go to trial Sept. 25 in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

But Bigelow now is scheduled to appear for a change of plea, while Yu is scheduled for a meeting hearing, both today.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

In a motion to continue, Yu’s attorney wrote that plea negotiations are ongoing, but likely wouldn’t be completed before trial.

Another co-defendant, Dennis Olinger, pleaded guilty of knowingly and intentionally possessing with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. Olinger is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 12.

Olinger, 40, and Bigelow were charged after a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency task force wrote in a criminal complaint that the two were stopped on Interstate 70 after speeding.

Assistant U.S. attorney Brent Tabacchi has said 26 pounds of meth could have a street value of nearly $400,000, though prosecutors say values vary greatly depending on several criteria.

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The criminal complaint said that after the Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper stopped the blue Volkswagen Passat in the eastbound lane of the highway in Preble County, Olinger could not provide a driver’s license.

Olinger said he and Bigelow, whom he identified as his girlfriend, were on their way back from a fair in Missouri, according to the complaint.

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The DEA officer wrote that Bigelow could not provide Olinger’s name to the trooper and that she said they were just friends.

Within two “traps” or hidden compartments in the car, the officer wrote, troopers found 26 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and also located about $2,000 in Bigelow’s purse.

Yu, 39, was arrested July 17 after the DEA put a GPS tracking device on his car and stopped him with drugs in his Hyundai Elantra, according to a federal search warrant affidavit and return. Yu had been driving the Passat before Olinger and Bigelow were stopped in it.

Ex-Dayton drama teacher accused of obscenity wants evidence suppressed

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

Former Stivers School for the Arts English and drama teacher John S. Findley was in court today. He's accused of pandering obscenity or sexually oriented material involving a minor. Prosecutors say the victim was not a DPS student.

Former Dayton Public School teacher John S. Findley, indicted on seven counts of pandering obscenity of a minor, has a suppression hearing scheduled for Nov. 1.

Findley, 34, appeared in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday for a scheduling conference. The former Stivers School for the Arts drama teacher is out on bond with conditions.

RELATED: Ex-DPS teacher arrested, police seek victims

“The investigation’s just beginning, really on both sides,” said defense attorney Jon Paul Rion. “And so we’re in the process right now of analyzing the information that’s provided by the government and collecting our own information.”

Dayton police reiterated Wednesday that the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information or knows someone who claims to be a victim should call Sgt. Gary Lowe at (937) 333-1132.

RELATED: Former teacher indicted on seven minor obscenity charges

“You have a person that’s (got) no criminal record, served the community well for many years and obviously, we have allegations that we’ll have to investigate and see if there’s any truth to them,” Rion said. “It’s our understanding that this was not a student-related incident, whatsoever.”

Rion said the defense will challenge the way police collected some information.

“It’s just looking at Fifth Amendment issues at this point,” Rion said of the hearing, which he estimated would take 60 to 90 minutes. “As the discovery comes in and we get more information from the government, we’ll see if it expands out beyond that.”

RELATED: Three things to know about teacher arrest on minor obscenity charges

Findley, who resigned two months ago, has pleaded not guilty. One of the counts says that Findley did “direct or produce an obscene performance that has a minor as its participants.” Other counts involving a minor also include language that alleges Findley “created, directed or produced” the performance.

The charges also accuse Findley of promoting the material for sale or dissemination on Aug. 8 or 9, 2016.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

Findley was placed on paid leave April 18 and resigned effective July 9. He was indicted Aug. 29.

“It’s troubling to him that he’s having to face these accusations,” Rion said. “He is very conscientious, so we anxiously await the Nov. 1 date to see what the next step will be.”

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