Daniel Schooler indicted in Dayton pastor shooting case

Published: Sunday, February 28, 2016 @ 12:39 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 09, 2016 @ 10:48 AM

Pastor's brother officially charged in shooting death

The pastor of St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church was shot and killed at the end of Sunday services, and his brother is behind bars, accused of pulling the trigger. Lines wrapped around the church where the pastor’s funeral was held Thursday. The suspect has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Key Points:

  • Shooting happened inside the church
  • Victim identified as William Schooler, 70, of Dayton
  • Suspect is his brother, Daniel Schooler, 68, of Dayton
  • Daniel Schooler arrested at the church, faces murder charges
  • Suspect has history of mental illness and violence, according to court, police records

 

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UPDATE @ 10:45 a.m. (March 9):

Daniel Schooler was indicted on seven charges today by a grand jury.

Schooler was indicted for aggravated murder, two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault and two counts of having weapons while under disability, according to court records.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in common pleas court on March 10 at 8:30 a.m.

UPDATE @ 9:36 a.m. (March 9):

A Montgomery County grand jury is scheduled to hear the case involving the shooting death of a Dayton pastor, according to a court clerk.

Daniel Schooler, 68, is charged with two counts of murder, one count of aggravated murder, two counts of felonious assault and two counts of having weapons under disability

UPDATE @ 2:01 p.m. (March 3):

A long line of mourners wrapped around the Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church building on Thursday as people gathered to pay their last respects to a local pastor who was shot and killed inside his church.

Rev. William B. Schooler, 70, was shot multiple times inside St. Peter’s Missionary Church on Sunday. His brother Daniel G. Schooler, 68, is facing multiple charges in connection with the pastor’s murder.

On Thursday, Gale McLemore said she knew a large amount of people would attend the service for Schooler. The pastor’s reach went beyond the pulpit and extended into the community, she said.

“It’s very difficult and there’s really no words to express what’s in our hearts today,” she said. “I think he meant a lot to the people in the city. The lives he touched. The children’s lives he touched as an educator. The efforts he put into the community.”

William Schooler was known as a leader within the Dayton community. After graduating from Dunbar High School in 1963, he went on to become a decorated Vietnam Veteran who received the Bronze Star.

William Schooler taught in the Dayton Public Schools district from 1972 until 1978 before becoming a principal in the Jefferson Twp. from 1978 until 1997, when he retired. He was also a was also a former Dayton Board of Education member.

William Schooler had integrity, said Derrick Atterberry, a Dayton resident who came to the funeral to pay his respects.

“He was about people,” Atterberry said. “He showed love, and I think this is their way of showing love back to him.”

UPDATE @ 10:54 a.m. (March 3):

A line formed outside of Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church on West Third Street prior to Rev. William Schooler’s funeral service Thursday morning. People visiting the church for the funeral services said the church is full.

UPDATE @ 2:05 p.m. (March 2):

Daniel Schooler was arraigned on two counts of murder, one count of aggravated murder, two counts of felonious assault and two counts of having weapons under disability in Dayton Municipal Court this afternoon.

Schooler pleaded not guilty to the charges and he is continuing to be held in the Montgomery County Jail with a $1 million bond.

Preliminary hearing is set for March 9.

UPDATE @ 11:17 a.m. (March 2):

Daniel Schooler shot his brother four times with a stolen .380 caliber handgun, the final shot being witnessed by William Schooler’s wife, according to court documents filed by Dayton police.

“The defendant then laid the gun down and waited for police who took him into custody,” said the affidavit written by a Dayton police detective.

The affidavit said Daniel Schooler confronted his brother at 12:22 p.m. Feb. 28 “and with prior calculation and design, carried out previous threats to kill the victim,” detective Nathan Via wrote. The document also noted that the defendant had two prior convictions for felonious assault, is under a weapons disability and is a repeat violent offender.

Daniel Schooler is scheduled to be arraigned today in Dayton Municipal Court on several counts including murder.

UPDATE @ 3:28 p.m. (March 1):

Funeral services for the Rev. William B. Schooler have been scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 1900 W. Third St., Dayton.

UPDATE @ 1:18 p.m.:

Daniel Schooler, 68, has been charged with three counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault and two counts of using weapons under disability, according to a Dayton Municipal Court clerk.

The charges were filed around 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The clerk said while the charges were filed, Schooler is not expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

Prosecutor’s said the case will be presented to a grand jury at a future date.

“This is a tragic and senseless shooting. We extend our condolences to not only the family of the victim, but also to the congregation of St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church,” said Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr..

INTIAL REPORT:

The Rev. William Schooler, 70, was gunned down just before 12:30 p.m. in his office in back of his church while the choir was singing at the end of Sunday services.

The congregation heard the shots that claimed their beloved pastor, community leader and former Dayton Board of Education member in their Nancy Avenue church.

“I just got everybody out of the church and we just kept hearing shooting and shooting,” said Alberta Blayth of Dayton. The church member said she saw the accused shooter, the pastor’s 68-year-old brother Daniel Schooler, head for the office while the pastor’s wife and the pastor were inside.

A church member called 911 when the shooting began: “Our pastor just got shot by his brother! … He’s still shooting him!” Dispatch: “Where is the shooter at?” Caller: “In the church. In the back, with his brother and his wife.”

Before the shooting, the service was turned over to Curtis Booker, the choir director, who said he saw Daniel Schooler get up and follow his brother to the back.

“Then I heard the first pop and I thought he fell because there’s a little step right there. Then I heard a second pop. And I was like, that sounds like gunshots,” Booker said.

“We heard pow, pow,” church member Beulah Booker-Robertson said, recounting the shooting. “The usher at the door said ‘everybody get down, everybody get out.’ ”

Dayton police said Schooler was shot multiple times, but that the congregation and community at large were not targeted and there were no other intended victims.

“I want to make sure the public understands this is not a random act of violence,” Sgt. Creigee Coleman said. “This was somewhat of a domestic situation between family members.”

Daniel Schooler was taken into custody at the church. He was led in handcuffs to a waiting police cruiser and is now behind bars at the Montgomery County Jail, where he was booked on suspicion of murder. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon, online jail records show.

The shooting remains under investigation, and police and prosecutors plan to meet to discuss formal charges.

A Schooler family member said Daniel Schooler struggled with mental illness. “Bipolar, schizophrenic. He had a lot of things going on he was dealing with,” said Joyce Napier, niece of the pastor and suspect. “I don’t think he woke up this morning and said ‘I want to kill my brother.’ I just think the mental state and illness goes together and that’s what evil does.”

The Schooler family is in pain, Napier said, but will grieve together.

“We stick together. And we pray. And don’t turn on each other … because he has daughters, the other one has daughters. And we loved them both, so we have to stick together. That’s all we know, that’s all we have,” she said.

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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