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ATTORNEY: pastor, wife’s foster son’s death an accident

Published: Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 7:02 AM
Updated: Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 5:04 PM

Pastor's foster son had 20 head injuries: autopsy

DAYTON — A Montgomery County deputy coroner was the first state’s witness on Monday in the criminal trial for a Dayton minister and his wife accused in the death of their 2-year-old foster son.  

  • Emergency crews were sent to King of Glory Church in Dayton on a report of a toddler not breathing on November 18, 2015.
  • Stanley Karl Thomas III, age 2, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
  • Foster parents Torace Weaver, 38, and his wife Shureka are now on trial stemming from the child’s death. 

During opening statements, an assistant prosecutor told jurors foster parents Torace and Shureka Weaver should be convicted of the charges filed against them because of the evidence, which indicates Thomas suffered a fractured skull, scars and a large burn.

Weaver “failed to protect a toddler,” the assistant prosecutor, Kelly Madzey, told the Common Pleas jury.

Defense attorney Anthony Van Noy, in his opening statement, called the tragedy an accident.

Van Noy admitted to the jury that Weaver’s story to investigators — that the child fell off a table — was false.

Van Noy told the jury the evidence will show that the child died after he slipped from his foster father’s grasp as the two were playing “Superman.” Weaver lost his balance and the child smashed his head against a wall at the church, the attorney said.

The Weavers are being tried together. Testimony is to resume Tuesday.

EARLIER REPORT

Opening arguments are expected this afternoon in the trial of Torace and Shureka Weaver, who have been charged after the Nov. 18, 2015 death of Stanley Karl Thomas III, who died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Torace Weaver, 38, was indicted on counts of murder, reckless homicide, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, endangering children and obstructing official business. 

Shureka Weaver, 40, was indicted on one count of endangering children, a third-degree felony.  

Shureka Weaver’s count relates to evidence of first- and second-degree burns on Thomas’ body that should have resulted in medical attention but did not, according to court documents.  

The couple was licensed to be foster parents in August 2015. The boy’s death was ruled a homicide in March 2016.  

On Nov. 18, 2015, emergency first responders were called to King of Glory Church, 5001 Genesee Ave., in Dayton, where Weaver was pastor, on a report of a toddler not breathing. The child was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

EARLIER REPORT 

A trial for a former Dayton pastor and his wife who are accused in the murder of their 2-year-old foster son is scheduled to start today in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, according to court documents. 

Weaver was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals in August. His wife was indicted in November on charges related to Thomas’ death. 

RELATED: Wife of foster father accused in child’s death now in custody

Thomas died on November 18, 2015 of blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. His death was ruled a homicide in March 2016.

RELATED: Pastor accused of murder gave conflicting statements in 911 call

Eight days before Stanley’s death, Weaver called Dayton police to report his biological son had run away again. A police report said, “Weaver could not provide an answer as to why he waited until (Nov. 10)” to report the boy missing.

Kettering fire captain now subject of internal probe amid Huber review

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 12:29 PM
Updated: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 12:30 PM


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A Kettering Fire Department captain suspended from his duties amid a criminal investigation by Huber Heights police is now the subject of a city of Kettering internal investigation, this news outlet has learned.

Mark Williamson, 39, of Huber Heights, is the subject of a Kettering internal investigation initiated Friday “regarding possible misconduct,” according to a letter obtained by this newsroom under Ohio’s public records law.

Already, Williamson is on paid leave from the Kettering department “until further notice,” according to a letter in his personnel file.

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“This individual was placed on leave because we were made aware of an incident under investigation which occurred outside of Kettering,” the city of Kettering said in a statement earlier this month. “The individual will remain on leave and the City of Kettering will continue to cooperate with Huber Heights as they conduct their investigation.”

Williamson was also fired by Huber Heights City Schools from his junior high coaching position earlier this month, according to the district.

News Center 7 and the Dayton Daily News asked Huber Heights police for information on the investigation referenced in Kettering’s response.

MORE: Devastating fire cost this Dayton neighborhood its only grocery store, and services are struggling to keep up

The police division responded by providing reporters a Sept. 26 incident report that does not list Williamson or reveal his connection to the case. Police would not specify Williamson’s involvement in the case.

Williamson is not criminally charged or identified as a suspect in the Huber Heights police investigation, which involves a 14-year-old girl and accusations of unlawful sexual conduct and disseminating matter harmful to a minor, according to a Huber Heights police report.

Another Huber police document — a call report from dispatchers — shows an anonymous caller reported suspicious activity involving a black SUV in the far back lot of the former LaMendola Elementary, 5363 Tilbury Road.

The police report shows authorities seized an iPhone 7, but does not make clear the phone’s owner. Reporters called the listed phone number, but the call went straight to a voicemail message that did not reveal other details.

Huber Heights City Schools Superintendent Susan Gunnell said the district terminated Williamson from his coaching position Sept. 28 after he admitted to letting a student into his vehicle for personal transportation purposes, which is against school policy.

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Williamson coached the Weisenborn Junior High cross-country team since 2015.

Reporters reviewed dozens of public records from 2008 to present that document Williamson’s rise in the Kettering fire company and sterling performance reviews.

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“Mark, you continue to be a shining star in our department,” Chief Terry Jones wrote in a 2013 evaluation. “An outstanding rating on a performance evaluation is extremely rare, and certainly something to be proud of.”

By the end of the year, Williamson became a captain. Battalion Chief Mitch Robbins wrote, “Mark has progressed through the firefighter rank rather expediently; however, this was not without plan or purpose. Mark has prepared both formally and informally for this promotion.”

Kettering paid Williamson $133,953 for work in 2016, according to the I-Team Payroll Project.

Two Lebanon High students back in court in knife case

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 11:42 AM


            Warren County Juvenile Court hearings are scheduled for two Lebanon students accused of having knives in school.
Warren County Juvenile Court hearings are scheduled for two Lebanon students accused of having knives in school.

Two Lebanon boys are scheduled to return to Warren County Juvenile Court today to face charges alleging they brought knives to school in September.

The boys — one a 15-year-old from Lebanon, the other a 17-year-old from Clearcreek Twp. — were charged on Oct. 6, several weeks after another boy who was sentenced last week in his case.

RELATED: Lebanon student detained after knife incident at school

The boy in the earlier case was originally charged with threatening another student with the knife, and he later admitted that he brought a knife to the high school on Sept. 15 to protect himself from another student.

RELATED: Two more charged with bringing knives to Lebanon High School

Last week, lawyers for the other two boys met with court officials, but there was no court hearing.

There were indications the cases would be decided today, but court records indicate pretrial hearings are scheduled.

Unlike in the case of the first boy charged, Lebanon Officer Stephen Drake said in his complaints the two boys in court again today “did bring a knife to Lebanon High School, but did not threaten anyone. Warren County wanted charges filed.”

RELATED: Lebanon student detained after knife incident at school

After the Sept. 15 incident, school officials reported finding multiple knives after students reported that they had either seen or heard about the knives.

Last Monday, the first student charged was placed on probation and ordered to complete 30 hours of community service for conveying a deadly weapon in a school safety zone.

Group rallies for man shot by Moraine police, says lawsuit coming

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 6:55 PM

Group rallies for man shot by Moraine police, says lawsuit coming

A Dayton-born reverend told a group of more than three dozen protesters that Jamarco McShann’s Oct. 20 death at the hands of the Moraine police department should signal a turning point in the demand for justice for black men shot by law enforcement.

“I for one am tired of watching folks sit on the sideline. It’s time to get off the bench and get in this game. We have to fight for change,” said Rev. Jerome McCorry, the president and CEO of the National Congress on Faith & Social Justice. “The death of Marco should not be in vain. Marco’s name should long be remembered as the rallying cry that finally made people stop sitting in their living room, looking at the news and saying I need to do something.”

People gathered Saturday afternoon outside the Moraine police department on Dryden Avenue as organizers urged them to fight for change, register to vote and return again for community meetings and more rallies. McCorry also said a federal civil wrongful death lawsuit against Moraine’s police department will be filed in the coming weeks.

RELATED: Moraine police shooting a first for the city

McShann, 23, died after two Moraine police officers fired at him after police said the Dayton man pointed a loaded semi-automatic pistol at them and failed to heed their warnings.

Moraine police Chief Craig Richardson has said officers John Howard and Jerry Knight were investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle at an apartment complex at 3750 Pinnacle Road when the encounter occurred. Howard and Knight were placed on paid administrative leave.

RELATED: Moraine officer-involved shooting: 5 questions we’re asking

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has assumed control of the case at the request of the Moraine Police Division. Richardson said an internal investigation

McShann’s mother, Sabrina Jordan, said her son was “over-killed” by Moraine police, who are not equipped with body cameras and whose police cruisers do not have the devices either, according to Moraine city law director Buzz Portune.

RELATED: What we know about Jamarco McShann

“There’s going to be a lot of stuff coming up. This is just the beginning. I’m not letting this go,” Jordan said. “I’ve lost three sons. One to street violence, another one to the prison system and now, Jamarco, to the police. I’m tired. I’m done. I’m fighting.”

Minister Raleigh Thornton Jr. said: “We need some people that’s ready to hit the ground right here in Dayton, Ohio, Moraine, Kettering, Beavercreek. We all need to be on the same page of saying, ‘No murder will go unpunished. No life — white, black, Chinese — is worth being killed if you have not done anything wrong.”

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Mark Gokavi on Twitter or Facebook

McCorry said private investigators also are studying evidence and talking to witnesses to the shooting.

“We’re here to fight for justice for that young man because we feel his life was unjustly taken,” McCorry said. “We’re looking to have some officers charged, indicted, convicted for the murder of our people, and that includes Jamarco McShann.”

Dayton fatal shooting victim ID’d; mother-in-law calls 911, says daughter has gun

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 1:31 AM
Updated: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 1:00 PM

Our crew at the scene reports crime scene tape around 10 to 15 police cruisers can be seen in the 2400 block of Edison Street.

UPDATE @ 11 p.m.

In a frantic 15-minute 911 call, a woman who identifies herself as the shooting victim’s mother-in-law, told a dispatcher that her daughter fired the gun.

The man who died in the early Saturday morning shooting was identified as 35-year-old Chaunsay T. Tinsley Jr. of Dayton by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

A preliminary cause of death was not ready. However, Dayton police Lt. Steven Bauer earlier said Tinsley suffered several gunshot wounds.

>> Homicide detectives called to shooting near Residence Park in Dayton

Police and medics were dispatched around 1 a.m. to the 2400 block of Edison Street. The 911 caller said Tinsley arrived at her daughter’s house intoxicated and attacked her daughter during a heated argument. She pleaded to the dispatcher to hurry or “you’re going to get someone killed.”

>> Police: Man shot in back on Edison Street

The argument moved inside, and it was there four shots rang out, which could be heard on the 911 audio.

Officers said they took a suspect from the scene, but that person’s identity has not been released, nor whether the suspect faces charges.

UPDATE @ 1 p.m.

The victim in a fatal shooting early Saturday has been identified as 35-year-old Chaunsay Tinsley Jr. of Dayton by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

A preliminary cause of death was not able to be released. However, Dayton police Lt. Steven Bauer earlier said Tinsley suffered several gunshot wounds.

UPDATE @ 7:18 a.m.

The victim in Saturday morning's shooting on Edison Street has died, according to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office. 

A coroner's investigator told our newsroom the victim's identity will be released later today. 

>> Police: Man shot in back on Edison Street

Crews were called to the 2400 block of Edison Street on a report of a person shot. Police told our crew they believe the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute. 

Dayton police said they have a suspect in custody as they continue their investigation.

UPDATE @ 3:31 a.m.

A man is in critical condition following a shooting in Dayton Saturday morning, correcting earlier reports from dispatchers. 

Dayton Lt. Steven Bauer told our crew police arrived on scene to find a male victim with several gunshot wounds. 

>> Homicide detectives called to shooting near Residence Park in Dayton

Police said the unidentified victim suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Miami Valley Hospital. 

Little is known about the motive behind the shooting or the suspect currently in custody. 

Our crew reports crime scene tape has come down as police leave the scene.

UPDATE @ 2:13 a.m.

At least one person is dead following a shooting on Edison Street in Dayton Saturday morning, according to regional dispatchers.

Our crew at the scene reports crime scene tape around 10 to 15 police cruisers can be seen in the 2400 block of Edison Street.

Dispatchers said only one person was reported injured after the shooting call came in just after 1 a.m.

One person is crying in the back of a police cruiser as police continue to establish a crime scene, according to our crew.

We will continue to update this developing story as new details emerge.

EARLIER REPORT

At least one person has been injured in a reported shooting in Dayton Saturday morning, according to dispatchers. 

Police and medics were dispatched to the 2400 block of Edison Street around 1:10 a.m. on a report of a person shot. 

Initial reports indicate there may be as many as two victims at the scene. 

It is unknown how many people were shot, according to dispatchers, but police logs indicate a person at the scene suffered a chest injury.

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