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Published: Monday, October 02, 2017 @ 12:00 AM
Jermar White told a judge Monday what he thought of the bench trial in which he was found guilty of six of eight charges after allegations that he engaged in sex trafficking with two 15-year-old girls.
“This case was obviously corrupt,” said White, 32, of Dayton, during a long diatribe to the court. White alleged that the victims had multiple different statements during the investigation that became identical at trial, that his counsel was ineffective and that some statements had been coerced. “All of this is just wrong.”
After that, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy O’Connell told White that there was no corruption and sentenced White to prison for 11 years.
O’Connell sentenced White to 10 years and 11 years for the two counts of trafficking in persons, plus three to four years each on other counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, pandering obscenity of a minor and compelling prostitution.
O’Connell said the sentences would run concurrently and that White will be required to register as both a Tier II and Tier III sex offender. White was credited with 511 days of jail-time credit.
“Sir, I saw no corruption,” O’Connell said, saying defense attorney Carl Goraleski’s defense led to not guilty findings on two counts that involved whether White knew the ages of the victims. “Mr. Goraleski did an outstanding job.”
O’Connell told White that all of his rights as a defendant were protected. The judge addressed the defense’s claim that this was the first human trafficking case in Montgomery County to go to trial and special attention was given to it.
“Just because this might be an initial case on a relatively new statute, and the city of Dayton police department and others were aggressive about it, or energetic and worked hard on this case doesn’t mean there was corruption,” O’Connell said. “Yes, this is a relatively new law because it’s a very significant problem in the community.”
O’Connell later told White, “It was disgusting what you did.”
Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Kelly Madzey said, “This really is how human trafficking begins,” she said, adding that the case “was a picture of how young girls and women become trapped in this lifestyle.”
The two victims did not attend the sentencing.
Goraleski said this human trafficking case was a different scenario than slavery or people crammed in trailers in the desert.
“There was no brutality. There was no physical cruelty,” Goraleski said. “Certainly you can argue about the harm that the victims claim they suffered.
“They had every opportunity to leave that residence and one did and came back.”
A co-defendant, Iesha Heard, was sentenced last week to three years in prison.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 11:06 AM
SAN ANTONIO — Police are investigating after a 6-year-old boy and three of his family members were shot Sunday evening in the parking lot of a Texas Roadhouse steakhouse in San Antonio.
Police Chief William McManus said Sunday that the shooting, which happened as people were waiting outside the restaurant to eat, left the 6-year-old with a gunshot wound to his leg. Police said two of the boy’s three injured family members, all adults in their 20s, were hospitalized Sunday in critical but stable condition.
The shooting happened around 8:40 p.m. outside the Texas Roadhouse steakhouse on Cinema Ridge, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
“We do not believe that this shooting is random,” McManus said. “There were a number of people that were standing (outside the restaurant). All the people that were hit were from the same family.”
The gunman, who has not been identified, fired about 10 shots at the family within 15 feet of the front of Texas Roadhouse, the Express-News reported. He was masked at the time of the shooting, according to the newspaper.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 2:29 PM
MIDDLETOWN — The Middletown music community is mourning the loss of one of its members.
John Fugate, 46, a musician who booked bands at the Old Crow Bar on Jackson Lane, died Saturday morning after an incident in the bar, according to Middletown police and friends.
Fugate allegedly was punched while he was standing on stage around 1 a.m. Saturday, said Maj. Scott Reeve from the Middletown Division of Police. Fugate fell backward off the stage and hit his head on the concrete floor, Reeve said. He was transported to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where he died, police said.
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Reeve said police know who allegedly punched Fugate, but no charges have been filed. After the investigation is complete, the facts will be presented to the Butler County Grand Jury for consideration, Reeve said.
The bar posted on its Facebook page Saturday that the death of Fugate is a “devastating loss.”
Fugate had worked as a route driver for 13 years at Bonbright Distributors, said Bill Manley, vice president of operations. He said Fugate was a reliable employee. His delivery route included Hamilton and Middletown, Manley said.
He called Fugate’s death “unbelievable” and “tragic.”.
“I can’t get over it,” said Manley, his voice cracking.
Fugate had volunteered at the Old Crow since its former stage manager, John Howard, died from lung cancer last year, friends said.
Another friend, Chris Lester, owner of Lester’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Shop on Central Avenue, said he had known Fugate for about 30 years. Fugate was a frequent customer, Lester said.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 11:34 AM
SPRINGBORO — The teen son of Springboro teacher Amy Panzeca has appealed his juvenile court conviction in their drug case to the Twelfth District Court.
In December, her son, now 16, was sentenced to 30 more days in the local detention center as part of his sentence in Warren County Juvenile Court. He had pleaded no contest to charges of trafficking in drugs and possession of controlled substances.
He was also ordered to complete an in-patient treatment program, placed on probation, possibly until he turns 21, and fined $250.
He was accused of selling drugs to students at Springboro High School, including LSD allegedly purchased with Bitcoin, an on-line currency that his mother purchased for him with a credit or debit card.
Before the no-contest plea, his lawyer Kevin Hughes urged Judge Joe Kirby to suppress statements made to police and agents of the Warren County Drug Task Force and a search warrant supporting a raid of the Panzeca home in Settler’s Walk planned community.
Copies of both motions are included with the appeal filed with the court.
The charge came after a raid last May of the Panzeca home in the Settler’s Walk planned community in Springboro, culminating an investigation in which kids were questioned after being stopped by police after leaving the home.
Amy Panzeca, 48, is pressing for the identity of confidential informants in her case and suppression of statements to police. A suppression hearing is scheduled for Feb. 28 in court in Lebanon.
Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 3:39 PM
BUTLER COUNTY — Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones today said he will take steps to bolster local school safety by training those who work there.
Jones posted to social media that his office will offer free conceal-and-carry class to a limited number of teachers in Butler County. He also said training regarding on how to react during school shootings would be provided.
He said the details would be coming soon online and suggested that people could visit the Butler County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page for more information for CCW for teachers.
Jones on Saturday said he has “been saying this for years” as he tweeted a Fox News story that Polk County, Fla. Sheriff Grady Judd said it would be a “game changer” to allow some hand-picked teachers to carry firearms in the classroom.
Been saying this for years https://t.co/1oVN2AbEfd— Richard K. Jones (@butlersheriff) February 17, 2018
Jones, in a video posted Thursday, urged local schools to act now to improve school security in the wake of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school on Wednesday.
He said local schools should stop doing fire drills and allow armed former police and military veterans into buildings to help protect students.