breaking news

Cold case murder solved more than 20 years later, Florida police say

Published: Thursday, March 09, 2017 @ 11:44 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 09, 2017 @ 11:44 AM

            A suspect was arrested in a 1994 murder case in Jacksonville, Fla. after more than 20 years, even though police had suspected Ronnie Leon Hyde for years.
            Alex Wong/Getty Images
A suspect was arrested in a 1994 murder case in Jacksonville, Fla. after more than 20 years, even though police had suspected Ronnie Leon Hyde for years.(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A Florida man has been arrested and charged in the 1994 cold case murder of a Nassau C0unty teenager.

Police took Ronnie Leon Hyde, 60, of Jacksonville Beach into custody this week in the killing of 16-year-old Fred Laster.

>> Read more trending news

The nine-page arrest warrant revealed that a bloody flannel shirt, blood-stained knives, a blood-soaked mattress cover and bathtub non-slip safety pads were recovered at a Columbia County gas station where Laster’s dismembered body was found in June 1994.

A medical examiner was not able to identify the vicgtim during an autopsy, but determined that the body belonged to a man between 16 and 19 years old.

Laster’s sister reported him missing in 1995 and said her brother was last seen with family friend Ronnie Hyde, but the case fell through the cracks. It was reassigned to a new detective in 2012 and he contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2013.

But it wasn’t until February of 2016 that Laster’s remains were finally identified. Officials matched the teenager's DNA with that of his twin sister, who they found after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children posted an online article about the case, according to the warrant.

Last April investigators then used garbage left outside Hyde’s Jacksonville Beach home to match his DNA with forensic evidence found on Laster's body in 1994.

The warrant also revealed that detectives confirmed Hyde also drove a Chevy Camaro matching the description of a vehicle an eyewitness saw at the crime scene.

Police said Hyde, who was a youth pastor in the 1980's, kept changing his story about the last time he saw Laster and that he had been a suspect in the murder almost since the beginning.

Because Hyde had access to other children through his work with a Jacksonville church, detectives believe there could be more victims out there. The investigation is ongoing.

Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.

Moraine police shooting: Who is Jamarco McShann?

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:57 PM

Jamarco McShann
Jamarco McShann

The man shot by Moraine police early Friday wrote he “DID NOT think like a productive member of society” and asked for mental health assistance, according to a motion for judicial release he filed Nov. 24, 2015, while he was a prisoner at Lebanon Correctional Institution.

Jamarco D. McShann, 23, was shot and killed by Moraine police Friday morning while two officers responded to a suspicious vehicle report. Moraine police Chief Craig Richardson said McShann pointed a handgun at the officers.

LATEST: Moraine police shooting

DATABASE: Officer-involved shootings

QUESTIONS: What we’re working to find out

McShann filed two separate motions for judicial release during his three-year sentence for three cases, the most recent one for having weapons under disability.

SHOTS FIRED: Scanner traffic from Moraine shooting

“I might have a chemical imbalance that causes me to have irrational thoughts,” McShann wrote while requesting a release to join the MonDay treatment program. “The prison that I am in does not offer a class or counseling which will give me an in-depth look into my mind and why I think this way.”

McShann was released from prison Aug. 2, 2016. Neither of his two motions for judicial release were granted by Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Adkins.

In the November 2015 motion, McShann wrote that his institutional record “is not without imperfections” and that his fiance and young son were struggling financially.

He also wrote that two out of three children in the United States with at least one parent incarcerated go on to become incarcerated themselves.

PHOTOS: Scene of the shooting

“Although going to the MonDay program won’t allow me to help them financially,” he wrote, “it would help me figure out why I think this way and then I can help my son think in a more productive way.”

In a May 2015 motion for judicial release, McShann wrote that he and eight siblings were raised by his mother and he was working toward his GED despite learning disabilities.

“Mr. McShann is adamant on obtaining legal employment, and working his way up the ladder legally” said that motion, written in third person, later adding that he “has evolved into a new man who is ready to live a productive and positive life in society, not prison.”

Things to know about ‘Dirty John’s’ time in the Miami Valley

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:50 PM

John Meehan, right, a nurse anesthetist accused of stealing drugs from hospitals in four states, appears with his attorney before Judge Patricia Oney in 2002. GREG LYNCH/JOURNAL-NEWS
John Meehan, right, a nurse anesthetist accused of stealing drugs from hospitals in four states, appears with his attorney before Judge Patricia Oney in 2002. GREG LYNCH/JOURNAL-NEWS

“Dirty John” Meehan, the man profiled in a popular Los Angeles Times series, came under scrutiny from local authorities in September 2000.

The investigation prompted more than two years of stories in the Dayton Daily News and other Cox newspapers.

It started when Springboro Detective Tim Parker was given a wooden box and white basket containing vials and other containers including some containing the same types of medications later found at Meehan’s Hamilton home from a home on Colonial Way in Springboro where he had lived with his family.

Ultimately, Meehan ended up in a Michigan prison, stripped of his license to work as a nurse anesthetist in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Indiana.

Meehan was killed by a woman he attacked with a knife on the roof of a parking lot in Newport Beach on Aug. 24, 2016, according to another Times article.

RELATED: The subject of the LA Times’ chilling true-crime podcast got his start in Dayton

Dirty John’s end in Ohio

John Meehan, had thick dark hair and a warm, friendly smile, but he also had a very troubling past. (Photo provided by Debra Newell/TNS)(Handout/TNS)

In January 2003, when Meehan was permanently barred from ever working again in Ohio as a nurse or nurse anesthetist, he was in a Michigan prison serving up to six years for resisting arrest and possession of drugs.

On the June 2002 day he was to surrender in Butler County, Ohio, Meehan was arrested in Michigan after kicking a state trooper trying to force him from a hiding place above an elevator in a Saginaw mall. He was being transported to a hospital after he was discovered semi-conscious and in need of medical attention in a hotel room. He hid in the elevator shaft after jumping from a moving ambulance with some narcotics in hand and ran into the shopping center. Police eventually traced him to the elevator and noticed an image left by his tennis shoes on the elevator roof.

In Butler County, Meehan pleaded guilty to theft of drugs from a Hamilton hospital, culminating an 18-month task force investigation into allegations that Meehan had stolen drugs from hospitals in four states. Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Patricia Oney delayed Meehan’s sentencing so he could seek drug treatment and later to give Meehan’s lawyer time to gather information to support a lighter sentence.

Oney then granted Meehan a 23-hour stay of his sentence so he could take care of personal matters, including placement of his pets and removal of furniture from his home, which was under foreclosure.

Follow Lawrence Budd on Twitter

Dirty John was also charged in Fayette County

While awaiting sentencing in Butler County, Meehan was charged in Fayette County, Ohio, with two counts of deception to obtain drugs after authorities determined he had checked himself into a hospital in Washington Court House under a different name and was undergoing medical treatment. Deputies noticed Meehan’s car had been parked for three days in the hospital parking lot. The investigation led deputies to Detective Dennis Luken of the Warren County Drug Task Force, who outlined the alleged drug thefts from hospitals in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky.

Butler County employer contacted authorities

It was Meehan’s employer, a group of Butler County anesthesiologists, that contacted authorities. Police were called after Meehan, already suspected of stealing drugs he was to be administering to patients at Fort Hamilton Hospital, left the hospital in August after he was caught trying to submit a patient’s urine sample as his own to pass a drug test.

By agreeing to cooperate with authorities, Meehan’s employer enabled Luken to convince Meehan and his lawyer to plead guilty to the felony drug charge after a 16-month police investigation. Without the plea, Luken said he was having trouble getting enough evidence to convince medical licensing boards in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky to suspend Meehan’s work privileges.

Dirty John also Worked in Northern Kentucky

Before his suspension, Meehan was working at Meadowview Hospital in Maysville, Ky., under a temporary license. Luken found drugs from the northern Kentucky hospital in Meehan’s Hamilton home and contacted hospital officials, who matched the numbers of the containers with those missing from the hospital inventory.

John Meehan with his father, William Meehan, in San Jose, Calif., in the early 1960s. (Photo provided by Donna Meehan-Stewart/TNS)(Handout/TNS)

Germantown anesthetist also reported Dirty John 

A Germantown anesthetist was unhappy with the board’s response to his complaints about Meehan in February 2002. Nurse anesthetist Randy Klotz told police he had notified the nursing board of Meehan’s problems with drugs, as well as a time Meehan brought a gun into the operating room at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton.

Dirty John was living in Springboro when case began

Meehan, a graduate of the Wright State University School of Nursing in 1994 and the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia in 1998, lived with his wife and two daughters in Centerville, Dayton and Springboro before their separation in 2000.

In September 2000, his ex-wife gave Springboro police the wooden box and white basket found at their home on Colonial Way in Springboro that triggered the criminal investigation.

Evidence was found in Hamilton

Luken and a Fairfield police captain found a loaded 9 mm Ruger in Meehan’s closet and 45 empty containers for six different medications from Meadowview Hospital in Maysville, Ky. The drugs were discovered during the search of his home in Hamilton.

Dirty John’s brother died from overdose

Before his arrest, Meehan used the hospital medications himself, developing an addiction, authorities said. He also gave medications and information about their use to his brother who died in California in September 2000 from an overdose of his own prescription medications.

The Indiana action was based on testimony from Luken about the search of Meehan’s home, as well as e-mails from Meehan to his brother about the use of the powerful hospital medications. Daniel Meehan, 44, died Sept. 4, 2000, due to complications caused by prescription medication intoxication, according to the coroner in Santa Cruz County, Calif. An autopsy found evidence of cocaine and drugs he had been prescribed and ruled his death was accidental.

Death row case: Local man’s appeal to be heard by Ohio Supreme Court

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 10:52 AM
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:33 PM

            Austin G. Myers, 22, of Clayton, was sentenced to death in on Oct. 17, 2014, in Warren County Common Pleas Court for the murder of Justin Back, 18, at hishome outside Waynesville on Jan. 28, 2014.
Austin G. Myers, 22, of Clayton, was sentenced to death in on Oct. 17, 2014, in Warren County Common Pleas Court for the murder of Justin Back, 18, at hishome outside Waynesville on Jan. 28, 2014.

The Ohio Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing for Dec. 5 in the appeal of the death sentence case of a former Northmont High student.

Austin G. Myers, 22, of Clayton, was sentenced to death in on Oct. 17, 2014, in Warren County Common Pleas Court for the murder of Justin Back, 18, at his home outside Waynesville on Jan. 28, 2014.

The co-defendant who admitted stabbing Back to death, Timothy Mosely, 22, of Clayton was sentenced to life in prison without parole in Warren County Common Pleas Court, in exchange for his testimony against Myers.

RELATED: Co-defendant pleads guilty in teen’s murder

At 19, Myers was the youngest person on Ohio’s Death Row.

Now, 22, he is the second youngest to Damantie Graham, 20, sentenced to die in Portage County, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilition and Correction.

Prosecutors showed Myers planned and assisted in the robbery and stabbing that resulted in Back’s murder, including his purchase of materials used in cleaning up after the slaying and disposing of Back’s body, including septic chemicals.

RELATED: 19-year-old found guilty of capital murder

The appeal was filed on Oct. 27, 2014.

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

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 1:15 PM

Sky 7 footage of the Signal 99 in Moraine

Two Moraine police officers fired their weapons at a 23-year-old man Friday, killing him on scene, police said.

Moraine Police Chief Craig Richardson said the man — identified by the Montgomery County Coroner as Jamarco McShann, 23, of Dayton — pointed a gun at officers, who were investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle on Pinnacle Park Drive.

LATEST: Moraine police shooting

DATABASE: Officer-involved shootings

PHOTOS: Scene of shooting

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will conduct an independent investigation into the shooting, a BCI spokeswoman told this news organization.

Moraine shooting: Man killed identified

Richardson said the Moraine department will have more information in a later press conference.

Here are five outstanding questions about this morning’s shooting in Moraine:

1. What type of gun did the man shot have? Moraine police said that “the officers located the suspect in the vehicle, the suspect pointed a handgun at the officers and two Moraine police officers responded with gunfire.” Police have not said what type of handgun McShann had.

SHOTS FIRED: Scanner traffic from Moraine shooting

2. What warnings, if any, were officers able to give the suspect? We do not know if officers were able to warn the man to drop the gun before shooting him.

3. Who are the officers who fired at the man? This newsroom has asked for more information about the officers who fired at McShann. Specifically, we’ve asked for their personnel files and whether they are still on-duty. Typically after an officer-involved shooting, the officer will go on an administrative leave during the investigation.

4. When was Moraine’s last officer-involved shooting? The Dayton Daily News I-Team’s database of officer involved shootings does not list any Moraine police shootings. Using news coverage and other records, the I-Team’s database keeps a tally of all known area officer-involved shootings since 1995.

5. What is McShann’s background? We are seeking more information about the man shot to death.