Centerville wife found dead with husband ‘hooked on drugs’ for years, reports say

Published: Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 6:20 PM
Updated: Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 7:11 PM

The woman found dead in her Centerville home Thursday with her husband had long-running drug problems and threatened suicide previously, according to information from relatives that was part of police incident reports this news organization obtained Friday.

»RELATED: Funeral services set for Centerville pilot, wife suspected of drug OD

Courtney A. Halye and Brian Halye died of suspected drug overdoses involving fentanyl and/or heroin, according to a preliminary Montgomery County Coroner’s report. They were discovered by their four children, who called 911.

In January of 2016, Nancy Casey, Courtney Halye’s mother, contacted Centerville police and said she felt her daughter threatened to harm herself and was abusing narcotics.

»MORE: Spirit Airlines pilot’s suspected overdose draws national attention

Casey told officers her daughter had been “hooked on drugs” on and off for about seven years. The mother suspected her daughter was high when talking with her that day, the report said.

In that same report, which covered events of Jan. 5-6, 2016, Brian Halye contacted police after he had returned from Detroit, where he worked for Spirit Airlines as a pilot. Brian Halye told officers he had called and texted his wife, who had hung up on him and would not tell him where she was.

»FIRST REPORT: Overdoses likely cause of death of Centerville couple

Police used her cell phone to determine she was in east Dayton but did not immediately find her. When officers found her vehicle, Courtney Halye was not there.

Later on Jan. 6, 2016, Brian Halye told police his wife had returned to their house but had locked him out. He worried that she was trying to get to two unloaded guns he kept inside, so he forced entry.

Courtney Halye was holding both guns, the report said, and her husband took them from her just as officers arrived there.

Police said that she appeared mentally unstable and possibly intoxicated or having a medical issue related to diabetes. The officer requested medics, who took her to the hospital for treatment.

Brian Halye told officers that day his wife had battled heroin and cocaine addiction “for quite some time.”

Police release victims’ IDs, reports in deadly Cincinnati nightclub shooting

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 9:25 PM

Police reports and emergency dispatch audio was released today from Cincinnati’s worst mass shooting that left one man dead and 16 others wounded.

The victims – 14 men and three woman who ranged in age from 24 to 33 – were shot shortly before 1:30 a.m. Sunday by multiple gunmen inside Cameo Night Club, 4601 Kellogg Ave. One man was shot in the head, another in the back and stomach, and another person was shot three times, records show.

O’Bryan Spikes, 27, was fatally shot in the chest. Of the other 16 victims, all but two – who remain in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center – have been released from Cincinnati area hospital, police said.

RELATED: Cincinnati nightclub to permanently close after deadly shooting

The 16 surviving victims are: Shannon Brown, 25; Deondre Davis, 29; Rodney Espy, 30; Michael Feagins Jr., 30; Jarrod Givens, 26; Stephen Haley, 28; Christopher Harris, 34; Jordan Harris, 24; Rayshunda Higgins, 33; Khristian Howell, 26; Ronald Lee, 33; Regina Madaris, 33; Nathan McClendon, 27; Valor Stanley, 28; Bryant Stevenson, 28; and Jraejah Warren, 28.

A timeline is based on an incident detail report released today by the Cincinnati Police Department.

  • Sunday, 1:29 a.m.: The first report comes in of shots fired while about 200 people were inside the Cameo Night Club
  • 1:30 a.m. Reports of three people down, someone else reports a friend is shot; and a man is reported to have a gunshot wound to the head 
  • 1:31 a.m.: Police on scene report at least six shooting victims; they ask for expedited fire response 
  • 1:33 a.m. Police order Kellogg Avenue blocked in all directions; CPR begins inside the club; and a driver with his brother suffering gunshots to his back and stomach tries to flag down a rescue vehicle 
  • 1:38 a.m. Police report it is safe for fire personnel to enter club 
  • 1:42 a.m. Report comes that one victim has three gunshot wounds 
  • 1:45 a.m: Two officers detain someone standing with a gun inside the club; crews report all victims inside club accounted for 
  • 1:48 a.m. Hamilton County Sheriff's Office activate disaster network 
  • 1:50 a.m. Two additional gunshot victims walk into the University of Cincinnati Medical Center 
  • 1:53 a.m. A man with a gunshot wound to his back is found in front of nightclub 
  • 1:54 a.m. Crews report at least five or six victims suffer from critical chest wounds 
  • 1:56 a.m. All victims from inside the club have been taken to area hospitals; two more victims remain outside club 
  • 2:06 a.m. Another victim is found at Delta and Stanley avenues 
  • 2:11 a.m. Two additional victims walk into Bethesda North Hospital 
  • 2:12 a.m. Police recover a gun at Stanley Avenue 
  • 2:14 a.m. A gunshot victim shows up at a firehouse

Fatal police pursuit may not have followed new guidelines

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Troy police’s pursuit of a driver who later killed an innocent third party on Monday appears to conflict with recommendations made by the Ohio attorney general’s advisory group late last year.

Attorney General Mike DeWine issued a report in November to Ohio’s nearly 1,000 law enforcement agencies with a list of “best practices” of when and how to pursue.

RELATED: Troy police started pursuit, terminated it before crash 

Under the initiation of pursuit procedures, the advisory group’s report states, “the policy should distinguish violent felonies and property offenses, or OVIs and traffic violations.”

The first factor listed as one to consider is seriousness of the offense: “For example, property crimes such as theft and stolen vehicles may not be worth the risk created by a vehicle pursuit.”

RELATED: Crash victim stayed behind to care for ailing grandmother

DeWine said he did not have all the facts to judge this week’s deadly pursuit.

“One critical fact would be was this guy and his car a danger to the public if they pull back, if they pull out of the pursuit, or if they never started the pursuit,” DeWine said. “That’s the question. I don’t know the answer to that.”

VIDEO: Dash cam video shows chase go through busy intersections

The 16-page report from DeWine’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Vehicular Pursuits was spurred by a Huber Heights chase the ended with the death of a third-party driver.

RELATED: Huber Heights chase helped spur state task force

“The hope is that every department has looked at this thing,” DeWine told this news organization. “We try to have their procedures follow what was recommended here.”

German Twp. police Chief Joseph Andzik was a member of the advisory group.

“The Attorney General’s point of view, in my opinion, is that he doesn’t want people dying as a result of police trying to stop people,” said Andzik, whose department only chases for violent felonies.

Troy police pursued a stolen Ford F-250 for most of the 25-plus miles they say Jordan Harville drove before the pickup struck the vehicle driven by 28-year-old Anthony Hufford of Englewood, who died at the scene of blunt force injuries.

RELATED: Suspect in fatal police chase crash begs deputies ‘Kill me’

Harville had his bond set at $75,000 on Tuesday in Miami County Municipal Court. Harville has a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 4.

The pursuit ended on North Dixie Drive in Harrison Twp. Harville is in Miami County Jail and has been charged so far with theft, a fourth-degree felony. Other charges related to the chase and crash are pending.

RELATED: 5 things to know about deadly pursuit

Troy police put out a short press release Tuesday saying an administrative review would be done and that it would be “premature to comment on the pursuit” until then. Troy police didn’t return a message seeking comment on Wednesday. Neither did the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.

Tipp City police joined the pursuit and when Troy terminated it, the lead Tipp City cruiser kept going because radio interference did not allow the officer to get the message that he should quit chasing, Tipp City police Chief Eric Burris said.

RELATED: One Tipp officer terminated pursuit, the other didn’t get the message

An Ohio State Highway Patrol lieutenant said troopers were en route to intercept the pursuit but that it ended before troopers were in position.

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The guidelines in the report are recommendations, and DeWine admits he has no power to enact them.

“The legislature would have to pass a law,” DeWine said. “I don’t know any other way that you’d actually implement this and make it a mandate.”

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office protocol states deputies only pursue if the suspect’s offense is a “felony involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm.”

RELATED: Troopers not involved in deadly chase

Last year, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said he often saw other agencies pursue through Harrison Twp. “Here, we try to do our best to protect the citizens,” Plummer said then. “Because it isn’t worth killing you and your family over chasing some idiot … tomorrow’s another day.”

Asked if anything has changed with police pursuits in Ohio after the advisory group’s finding, DeWine said: “The answer is I don’t know because I don’t know what every department is doing.”

RELATED: Wild week on local roads as police chase second, third vehicles

The attorney general said Ohio’s local police agencies act without state oversight.

“So, no, they don’t report to me,” DeWine said. “My job basically is to assist the police on a number of different areas. We really kind of got out of our lane a little bit when we put this group together, but I felt strongly about it that we really need to look at this.”

EARLIER: Advisory group on law enforcement vehicular pursuits special report

Burris said he’d vaguely heard of the report but that he hadn’t read it. He said his officers are supposed to constantly re-evaluate pursuits and that two felonies — a stolen vehicle and not stopping for police officers — did not go against their pursuit policy.

“You’re going to have those officers statewide and organizations that are going to go, ‘Well, obviously, something was wrong if (a driver) ran,’ ” Andzik said. “But what we’ve seen here in the state of Ohio is, when we start chasing people for those things, they run into a congested area and hit a pedestrian, cause another car crash at an intersection and it’s costing people lives.”

Woman told police she was ‘concerned’ for missing Trenton teen

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 6:57 PM


            Laura Stevens, the sister of Lucinda Bryant, appeared in Middletown court, Wednesday, Mar. 29, to face charges stemming from her alleged involvement with the disappearance of Loretta Norvell, 17, earlier this month. Norvell was found in the Trenton home of Lucinda and Robert Bryant after being missing for two months. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

A Trenton detective testified a Middletown woman told police she had “nothing to do with the disappearance” of a missing teen, but two months later the teen was found living with the woman’s sister.

Detective Sean Gill said Laura Stevens, of Middletown, told officers she was “concerned” for the safety of Loretta Norvell, 17, who was reported missing Jan. 14 by her aunt and guardian, Nina Norvell Berry, from their Trenton home.

Based on Stevens’ statement, the police department increased its investigation, and between Feb. 14-March 14, the Trenton police and fire departments spent nearly $6,000 in overtime searching for Norvell, Gill said.

Gill said the department spent “a lot of work” on this case.

He was the only witness who testified Wednesday afternoon in Middletown Municipal Court. Stevens was charged with making false alarms, a felony, obstructing justice, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and falsification. After the hearing, visiting Middletown Municipal Court Judge Robert Messham bound the case over to the Butler County Grand Jury.

Her attorney, Samuel Borst, argued his client didn’t cause Trenton’s public safety to spend that much in OT.

Middletown prosecutor Ashley Bretland said after Stevens told police she was concerned for Norvell’s well-being, the police department “stepped up” its investigation.

Gill said that Stevens, while driving to Trenton to pick up her son and a friend, saw Norvell walking along side the road. She took her to get ice cream, then drove her to Middletown to stay with Stevens’ sister and brother-in-law, Lucinda and Robert Bryant. She said Norvell lived with the Bryants the entire time she was missing because she didn’t want to return to Trenton.

Stevens’ teen-age son is Norvell’s boyfriend, police said.

Police have said Norvell wanted to stay hidden for a few more months until her 18th birthday. On March 14, Trenton police found her hiding in a closet at the Bryant’s house in the 4800 block of Caprice Drive while serving a search warrant. She was “disappointed” to be found, police said.

She was charged with unruly and is in the custody of Butler County Children Services.

The Bryants were charged with falsification, obstruction of justice, and interference with custody and their case, scheduled for Wednesday, was continued until next month, according to court documents. There were several friends of the Bryants and Stevens in the courtroom and at one point, a bailiff told them to be quiet after some of them disagreed with Gill’s testimony.

Warren County shooting suspect’s brother: ‘I thought it was my last day’

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 11:14 AM

Mohammed Laghaoui’s father and brother testified on Wednesday for prosecutors trying to put him in prison for the attempted murder of a Warren County sheriff’s deputy.

Laghaoui is charged with wounding his father and Deputy Katie Barnes during a shooting that prompted an extended lock down and manhunt of the area around their home.

“I thought it was my last day,” brother Lau Laghaoui said during testimony in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Wednesday’s court session started with the playing of the first 911 call made on June 9, the first time Barnes was called to the Laghaoui’s apartment in the Orchards of Landen Apartment complex in Deerfield Twp., Warren County.

DAY 2 RECAP: Deputy worried she would die after being shot

DAY 1 RECAP: Defense asks jury for views of Muslims

Barnes left after calming down the dispute, but returned later after a second 911 call, prompted by a rekindling of the dispute. During the second visit, Mohammed Laghaoui grabbed his backpack and headed to his car in the parking lot, where he allegedly got an AK-47 used in the shootings.

Laghaoui’s father, Abdessadek, covered his head with his hands while listening Wednesday to the second 911 call, during which the right index finger of his hand was severed by shots allegedly fired through the door by his son.

“Not same,” he said after showing the jury the surgically repaired hand.

Under defense questioning, the father and brother also helped support Laghaoui’s defense that he should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Both recalled Laghaoui believing he had a snake in his stomach and other unusual behavior on June 9.

Laghaoui has sat with his head bowed, hardly moving, during the trial, or looking up as his father and brother struggled to keep their composure on the witness stand.

Barnes — a coach and former sports star from Mason — was back in the courtroom as a spectator on Wednesday, sitting with Sheriff Larry Sims for most of the day.

On Tuesday, Barnes said she worried she would die after being wounded in an exchange of gunfire with Laghaoui.

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Barnes was treated and released for a stomach wound and testified that she had returned to light duty.

In his opening, Laghaoui’s lawyer claimed Laghaoui, now 20, thought he and his family were “under attack” when he wounded his father and Barnes.

The incident occurred as Laghaoui was exhibiting signs of mental illness, defecating and urinating in unusual places, insisting he be called ‘Frank’ and speaking in strange accents and languages, lawyer Nadeem Quraishi added.

Wednesday’s proceedings ended with Laghaoui’s father recounting Laghaoui’s odd behavior, including an overnight trip to Austria.