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Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 @ 8:31 AM
— The hung jury that led to a mistrial in the murder case of Dayton’s Deonte D. Snowden voted 16 times, according to the jury foreman.
Jury foreman Mark Ewald thought the evidence and testimony made it a “cut-and-dried” case in favor of a guilty verdict, but he said one juror said they could not be “100 percent” certain and voted to acquit.
“It was so cut and dried … to everybody but one person,” Ewald said. “We voted 16 times and it was 11 to 1.”
Snowden, 36, faces two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault and one count of having weapons under disability related to the June 6, 2016, shooting death of William Sarver, 57.
A second trial was scheduled for April 9, 2018. Attorney Jay Carter will take over Snowden’s defense from Anthony VanNoy, who stepped aside due to his trial schedule, according to court documents.
A Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury heard evidence during a trial last week that lasted less than two days. Deliberations lasted about as long as the trial before Judge Gregory Singer declared a mistrial.
Less than halfway through deliberations, Singer issued what he termed a “firecracker charge” in which he asked the jury if they thought a verdict could be reached after further discussion.
Ewald, who told Singer yes, said the jury listened to the 911 call again and watched all the testimony again. He said the jury member who voted to acquit said they wanted more forensic evidence.
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“My client has maintained his innocence throughout,” VanNoy said. “He always indicated that someone else shot Mr. Sarver and that he just doesn’t know who it was. It had to be someone standing close by to him. That’s his perspective.”
Assistant prosecutor John Amos said the jury member who voted to acquit wasn’t going to convict Snowden no matter the evidence or testimony.
Ewald said he was honored to be on his first jury and that he was “so impressed with the defense lawyer and the prosecutor and the process” but that he was “flabbergasted and disappointed” that the jury didn’t reach a unanimous verdict.
VanNoy said a key witness didn’t identify Snowden on her 911 call seconds after the shooting, but that she did in court. VanNoy also said there were other male voices heard during the 911 call so it is “incredulous” to suggest nobody else was nearby.
“The jury spoke,” VanNoy said. “We seek unanimous verdicts for a reason in our country. And when we don’t have a unanimous verdict, we try the case over again.”
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 2:08 PM
FAIRFIELD TWP. — Fairfield Twp. police are still looking for the couple involved in a report of domestic violence on Sunday afternoon that ended with SWAT officers breaching a home that evening and finding no one inside.
Capt. Doug Lanier said his Fairfield Twp. officers responded around 2 p.m. Sunday after friends and family of a couple that resides in the 1800 block of Pater Avenue reported they “heard fighting, and that led them to believe violence was occurring.”
INITIAL REPORT: Hostage report leads to SWAT call
The friends and family left the house to contact the police, but in the five to 10 minutes they left the house, the couple is believed to have left the home, Lanier said. However, that was not known to police at the time.
“We didn’t know if it was empty, or if someone was hurt inside,” Lanier said.
After officers did not get a response, Lanier said they contacted Butler County SWAT. SWAT officers also made attempts to garner a response, including using a bullhorn, before making what Butler County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Mike Craft called a “dynamic entry.”
“We made a forcible entry into the house to see if there was a hostage taker in there,” he said.
Lanier said his department is continuing to investigate. According to Butler County Auditor records, the property is owned by a family trust.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 1:45 PM
ORLANDO, Fla. — Four children were shot Sunday at Willows Park near Evans High School, the Orlando Police Department said.
Someone called 911 to report that three gunmen shot at a crowd at 3101 Willow Bend Blvd. around 6:15 p.m., police said.
Three teenage girls who were shot in the leg were taken to a hospital.
Police said a fourth victim went to a hospital later and investigators linked the child's injuries to the shooting.
Keniesha Hunt, a nurse who lives nearby, said she ran to the park after hearing gunfire to help the victims.
Hunt said the girls begged her to save them, saying that they didn't want to die. She assured them they wouldn't.
"My hope ... is that they find them," Hunt said. "It can't keep happening. ... You have to be mindful of other people."
Officials did not say how serious the children's injuries were.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 6:05 PM
Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 9:15 PM
FAIRFIELD TWP. — SWAT officers busted into a house Sunday night amid concerns a hostage could be inside.
The breach around 7:15 p.m., which involved a type of concussion grenade, ended the hourslong law enforcement activity in the 1800 block of Pater Avenue with no one found inside the home.
Fairfield Twp. police were called around 2 p.m. to a report of a “domestic incident.” Officers were not able get a response from anyone inside, Fairfield Twp. police Capt. Doug Lanier said.
Originally, there were two people in the house but they apparently fled before officers arrived.
“The information we received was that there was a possible hostage inside the residence being held against their will,” Butler County Sheriff’s Maj. Mike Craft said.
Officers used a bullhorn multiple times to order a suspect out with hands up at the house north of the intersection of Pater and Imlay avenues.
A crowd of people who live in the area gathered to watch. One woman said the family involved in the standoff has only lived in the house for a couple months.
A SWAT standoff is underway tonight in Fairfield Twp.
The special weapons and tactics team was called at 4 p.m. to the 1800 block of Pater Avenue for a “domestic” incident, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
There is no information about what led to the incident. However, dispatch said it is not connected to a shooting on Saturday afternoon in the Walmart parking lot, 3201 Princeton Road, in Fairfield Twp.
In that case, a 17-year-old boy was shot in the leg during what police said was an attempted drug transaction that involved another male between the ages of 16 and 19. The suspect remains at large.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 9:33 AM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 1:04 PM
LAKE WALES, Fla. —
Lake Wales police are searching for those responsible for igniting two marine flares Sunday evening near the entrance of the JC Penney at the Eagle Ridge Mall Sunday evening.
Firefighters responded to reports of an explosion at the mall on 451 Eagle Ridge Drive around 5:20 p.m.
Firefighters initially said that an improvised explosive device had been detonated in a corridor located next to the mall entrance of JC Penney.
Improvised explosive device detonated near JC Penney at Lake Wales mall https://t.co/4lXFZKQkr6— WFTV Eyewitness News (@WFTV) January 22, 2018
The FBI later determined that there was no explosion and no pipe bombs were discovered. Officials also said that the incident didn’t appear to be terrorism-related.
"It appears two items, believed to be marine flares, were ignited in a mall hallway, creating a large amount of smoke, and a backpack was located at the scene," said Andrea Aprea, an FBI spokeswoman. "Bomb technicians examined the contents of the backpack and determined it did not contain any incendiary or explosive devices."
A witness who called 911 told WFTV that she heard a fire alarm sound and saw orange smoke billowing from an object.
The mall was evacuated. No one was injured, but a ceiling and a wall were damaged by the flares, officials said.
After speaking with witnesses, police said they are looking for a person of interest described as a stocky, middle-aged white man wearing a gray shirt and a hat.
Detectives said they will review surveillance footage recorded at a jewelry store in the mall.