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Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2018 @ 2:25 PM
BUTLER COUNTY — A bench warrant was issued Tuesday morning for a Middletown man awaiting trial for allegedly setting fire to his pricey house in 2016.
Ross Compton, 60, was indicted in January for aggravated arson and insurance fraud for allegedly starting a fire in September 2016 at his Court Donegal house. The blaze caused nearly $400,000 in damages.
Compton has been free on his own recognizance since his indictment, but he failed for show up for a pre-trial hearing in Butler County Common Pleas Court and Judge Charles Pater revoked the bond.
Compton’s trial was scheduled to begin March 19, but Pater vacated the date. Compton’s court-appointed attorney Glenn Rossi is no longer working for the county public defender’s office and his new attorney, Rusty Thomas, needs more time to prepare for trial, according to an agreement by the attorneys and the court.
The case is believed to be the first of its kind to use data from a beating heart as evidence. In July, Pater evidence from Compton’s pacemaker can be presented at trial.
Middletown detectives said Compton gave statements that were “inconsistent” with evidence collected at the scene.
Compton, who has an artificial heart implant that uses an external pump, told police he was asleep when the fire started. When he awoke and saw the fire, he told police he packed some belongings in a suitcase and bags, broke out the glass of his bedroom window with a cane, and threw the bags and suitcase outside before taking them to his car.
Police then obtained a search warrant for all of the electronic data stored in Compton’s cardiac pacing device, according to court records.
The data taken from Compton’s pacemaker included his heart rate, pacer demand, and cardiac rhythms before, during and after the fire.
A cardiologist who reviewed that data determined “it is highly improbable Mr. Compton would have been able to collect, pack and remove the number of items from the house, exit his bedroom window and carry numerous large and heavy items to the front of his residence during the short period of time he has indicated due to his medical conditions,” according to court documents.
Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 2:17 PM
DAYTON — A California prosecutor has filed a brief in Brock Turner’s appeals case, the Dayton Daily News and WHIO have learned.
This newsroom is reading through the 95-page brief. Court records show the brief was filed Friday.
Turner, the former Stanford swimmer who ignited a firestorm of controversy after receiving what many thought was a light sentence for sexual assault, is appealing his conviction.
A jury found Turner guilty in 2016 on three felony counts: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person, and penetration of an unconscious person.
He was sentenced by Judge Aaron Persky to six months in jail, but served three months of the sentence.
Turner is serving a three-year probation and, having now returned to his parents’ new residence in Greene County, is a Tier III sex offender in Ohio, according to Ohio’s sex offender registry. The designation means he is required to register with the county every 90 days.
The appeal, filed in December, claims that Turner was deprived of due process and alleges prosecutorial misconduct as reasons he should receive a new trial.
Turner’s new attorney, Eric Multhaup, wrote a 172-page appeal seeking to clear his client of a conviction stemming from the January 2015 assault of a 22-year-old woman at Stanford University.
The case — and Turner’s sentence — sparked a nationwide controversy and wide-ranging discussions about sexual assaults on college campuses.
Read more stories from the Dayton Daily News:
Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 2:11 PM
At first, Ohio native Taryn Gootee didn’t think twice about the explosion near her Austin, Texas, house.
“I kind of assumed it was maybe like a meth lab or something like that, because it wasn’t super publicized,” Gootee said. “Then it started getting really scary.”
On March 12, another two package bombs went off. One in the morning, another around noon.
And then last night, another explosion tore through a quiet Southwest Austin neighborhood, sending two men to the hospital with serious injuries and heightening worries that a serial package bomber is targeting the city’s residents.
Gootee, who grew up in Union and graduated from Northmont High School, shared her story in an interview with AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO’s Brittany Otto.
“Any time you’d go out to get a package from your front porch, it was scary,” she said. “We’re on edge every time we get a delivery. We all use Amazon all the time.”
Austin police said investigators believe Sunday night’s bomb was similar to the other bombs that exploded in Austin this month, but was activated by a trip wire – a development that authorities say indicates a higher level of sophistication and more danger because a trip wire isn’t targeting a specific person.
“Now it’s like even crazier,” Gootee said. “Now you can just be driving down the street and you can trip one of these things.”
Police said residents should not only avoid suspicious packages, bags or backpacks, but also avoid moving them because of the possibility of trip wires. Authorities say trip wires can detonate a bomb whenever any pressure is put on the wire by wither tripping over it or pulling on it.
“This is 100 percent real, it could affect any one of us,” Gootee said. “I didn’t expect to have to deal with something like this in Austin.”
Read more stories:
The Austin American-Statesman staff contributed reporting.
Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 10:37 AM
— A judge’s ruling will allow a former Miamisburg teacher facing trial on charges of having sex with a middle school student access to forensic interviews of the alleged victim.
The attorney for Jessica Langford stated in court documents that failure to provide those interviews to his 32-year-old Centerville client “arguably violates her Sixth Amendment right” to have the assistance of counsel.
Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy O’Connell granted Langford access “for the reasons set forth in the defendant’s motion,” according to the ruling filed last week.
Forensic interviews are conducted at a child advocacy center when there has been a report that the child may have been a victim of physical or sexual abuse or when a child may have witnessed a violent crime.
Langford has been indicted on three counts of sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, whom Prosecutor Mathias Heck Jr. described as a 14-year-old. She is accused of having oral sex and intercourse with a student “on or about May 23,” according to court documents.
Miamisburg City School District documents state she resigned the next day. Miami Twp. police investigated the case. She was indicted in November and a week later pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The trial is scheduled for the week of April 9.
-MORE COVERAGE ON THIS ISSUE:
Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 1:28 PM
BUTLER COUNTY — Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said he will ask a grand jury to consider a murder charge against a Hanover Twp. woman accused of assaulting a toddler in her care.
Hannah Wesche died early Sunday morning at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, according to family members. Jason Wesche said his 3-year-old daughter was “essentially brain dead” since the alleged assault on March 8.
“All I can really say at this point is that our family is completely devastated. There are really no words for what we are going through right now. We are asking for our privacy for the services. But (we) hope everyone will stick with us through the trial and help to bring Hannah justice. #HANNAHSTRONG,” Wesche said in a statement released to this media outlet today.
Lindsay Partin, 35, of the 4000 block of Shank Road, was indicted last week for feloni0us assault and felony child endangering. She was arraigned Thursday in Butler County Common Pleas Court, where judge Greg Stephens set bond at $75,000. She is free from jail after posting that bond.
Gmoser said Monday that the case will be presented to a grand jury “shortly” and he will seek a charge of murder against Partin.
At about 7 a.m. on March 8, Hanover Twp. emergency crews and Butler County detectives responded to Partin’s residence for an unconscious child. They found Hannah unresponsive with labored breathing, according to the sheriff’s office. There were obvious bruises about her head and face.
The girl was taken by medical helicopter to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. After further investigation, detectives and hospital personnel noted additional bruising on the child’s body.
Partin admitted to shaking the child, according to court documents. In the 911 call, she said the child had fallen and struck her head on the concrete garage floor the previous day.