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Dayton mom who police say shot her children had volatile relationships

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 7:12 PM


            A makeshift memorial Friday for two children shot in their Dayton home included balloons and stuffed animals. STAFF
A makeshift memorial Friday for two children shot in their Dayton home included balloons and stuffed animals. STAFF

The 30-year-old Dayton woman suspected of shooting her two young children in the head on Thursday was formally charged Friday with two counts of attempted aggravated murder and four counts of felonious assault, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

Claudena Helton’s children, 8-year-old Khmorra and 6-year-old Kaiden, remained in critical condition at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

Helton has had a history of volatile relationships and showed signs of mental illness at the crime scene and afterwards, according to police and court records and officials.

RELATED: Dayton chief after 2 kids shot in head: ‘This is one of the toughest’

Mental illness likely is a factor in the incident, said Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl.

He said the assessment is based solely on the behavior and statements from the mother at the scene of the shooting and afterward.

Helton faced child abuse allegations in 2014. Montgomery County Children Services has an open and active case involving Helton, and officials said they were working with the family, though would not say more about the case.

“Montgomery County’s Children Services Division is truly disturbed by the unimaginable tragedy that occurred,” said Kevin Lavoie, spokesman for the Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services. “Our thoughts and prayers are with this entire family, and very clearly the young children who were the victims of this violent act.”

MORE: Mom had faced earlier child endangering allegations

Residents in the neighborhood Friday were trying to come to terms with the shootings.

“I just decided to pay my respects and hopefully they come through,” said Alisha Linton, who was placing flowers and toys near the home at 3821 Lori Sue Ave. “I have a 3-year-old, and it’s just heartbreaking to hear a parent, a mother, injure their child.”

Stephanie Fontenot, who lives nearby, said: “I don’t know what could have been going through her mind. I don’t know,” she said. “Only thing I can say to everybody is when somebody comes to you and talks to you, always have an open ear, because you never know what a person is going through.”

Lavoie urged citizens to contact authorities if children show signs of abuse or neglect or seem withdrawn.

He also encouraged citizens to contact children services if an adult seems to need parenting assistance or intervention. Citizens can report suspected abuse or neglect to 937-224-KIDS.

FIRST REPORT: Mother shoots 2 of her children, police say

All service providers, if they have concerns about the safety of a minor, are required to report it to the local public children services agency, said Jon Keeling, spokesman with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

When abuse or neglect concerns are reported, county agencies conduct assessments that determine if a caregiver needs to be evaluated for mental illness and whether that can affects ability to care for a child, Keeling said.

A search of court and police records revealed Claudena Helton was involved in a series of incidents that put her in contact with local police.

PHOTOS: Police respond to scene, neighbors react

In July 2006, Trotwood police responded to a call of a drive-by shooting on Chaplen Drive and spoke with Sheila Helton, Claudena Helton’s mother.

Sheila Helton told police she heard three gunshots fired in front of her home and that the father of Claudena Helton’s child was likely responsible, a police report states. A bullet damaged a car belonging to Claudena Helton’s new boyfriend.

Claudena Helton told police her child’s father, whom she broke up with four months earlier, threatened to shoot her boyfriend’s car and her home.

Later, Claudena Helton was charged with domestic violence, but pleaded to lesser charges of disorderly conduct, according to court records. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail, with all 30 days suspended.

The following May, Trotwood police were called to the 100 block of Fieldstone Court on a report of an assault.

Claudena Helton told police her an ex-boyfriend became upset while at a party at her place and pushed her up against the wall and took her car keys, the report states.

Claudena Helton, who at the time worked as a home health aide, said her ex took her car without permission.

Authorities filed misdemeanor charges against the suspect for driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent and assault. Both charges were later dismissed.

Three years later, on May 23, 2010, Trotwood police responded to a call from a friend of Claudena Helton’s who was worried about her safety.

The friend received a text from Claudena Helton instructing her to call the police. Claudena Helton’s message said she feared her boyfriend would hurt her.

The day before, the live-in boyfriend, Stephen Fletcher, walked around the apartment complex waving what looked like a gun yelling, “if anyone called the police, he was going to shoot them,” according to the friend’s statement to police.

The friend called police.

Claudena Helton told police Fletcher had hit her in the face after earlier arguing at a family party. She told police he choked her until she nearly fainted.

“He pushed me in the room and continued to threaten me with his weapon,” Claudena Helton’s statement reads.

He took her to the hospital but threatened to kill her if she explained how she got her injuries, according to Claudena Helton’s statement to police. Claudena Helton said she texted her friend while her boyfriend was asleep, fearing he had a gun.

Fletcher was charged with misdemeanor counts of aggravated menacing and domestic violence. He was found guilty one one of the counts and sentenced to 123 days in jail.

Police found an unloaded BB gun in the home when it was searched. Claudena Helton said she thought it was real.

The report says that Claudena Helton was pregnant and Fletcher is presumed to be the father. Claudena Helton had at least two children at the time.

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Sheriff: I’ll offer conceal-and-carry class to local teachers

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 3:39 PM

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones talks about school safety and threats to schools and what they are doing to address the problem.

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.


Posted by Butler County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, February 18, 2018

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.

MORE: Here’s what area schools have done to boost security measures

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.


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.

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Dog, suspect unharmed after brief standoff with Dayton police

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 1:04 PM

East Dayton Standoff

Update@1:25 p.m.:

Police officers were initially sent to scene Saturday night for on domestic violence-related incident call, and the suspect wasn't home. But once he returned home Sunday afternoon, neighbors called police, and officers returned to the scene, said Sgt. Kyle B. Thomas of the Dayton Police Department.

When officers arrived, the unidentified suspect refused to come out and was concerned about the safety of his dog. So officers asked him to secure the dog in the house so it wouldn’t get injured, Thomas said. 

The dog’s breed and name were not released.

Officers then continued negotiating with the suspect and he subsequently came out of the house, and was taken in to custody. 

SWAT was not called to the scene. But the K9 unit as well as the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center were there make sure the dog’s well taken care of while the investigation takes place, Thomas said. 

There were not injuries to the dog, suspect or officers, Thomas, said, thanking the community for getting involved. 

“The community stepped up,” he said. “They were aware that we were looking for this guy and they made some calls and let us know where we could find him. Without their help we wouldn’t have him in custody right now.” 

It is unclear if the suspect has been charged. We will bring you the information as soon as charges as well as the 

First report:

We are hearing reports of a possible police standoff at an apartment complex located at Superba Court and North Irwin Street in Dayton. 

Multiple callers to our newsroom said there are several officers in the area, and they are using a loudspeaker to get someone to come out of a building. Although a police dispatch sergeant acknowledged that officers were called to the area, he couldn’t confirm that there is a standoff. 

We have sent a photographer to the scene, and we will bring you the latest information as it becomes available. 

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Police: Woman said she was frustrated when she tossed dog out of moving car

Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 2:36 PM

Woman Accused of Tossing Dog Out of Moving Car

A woman in Texas has been arrested after she was caught on camera tossing her small dog named Pumpkin out of a moving vehicle.

The Chihuahua-mixed breed survived the incident and was found Thursday roaming a family's rural property in Weatherford, WFAA reported. Surveillance cameras on the property provided clear identification of the vehicle. The dog's microchip further confirmed the owner's identity. 

>> Read more trending news 

When questioned by Sgt. Ricky Montgomery, Janet Byas, 43, initially denied tossing the dog out of the vehicle. When the evidence of her involvement was presented to her, Montgomery said she admitted that she threw the dog out of the car because she was frustrated with it. She said Pumpkin would not stay on her property and she "couldn't handle it anymore," WFAA reported.

When WFAA asked for Montgomery's reaction to Byas' reasoning for throwing the dog out of the car, Montgomery said, "Grow up."

Byas was arrested and charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Pumpkin is recovering from the ordeal and will eventually be available for adoption, Parker County Animal Control said.

Related

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2nd person charged with threatening juvenile judge on social media

Published: Thursday, February 08, 2018 @ 11:53 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 5:51 PM

Devin Wilson
Devin Wilson

UPDATE @5:49 p.m. (Feb. 17)

A mugshot has been released of a second man charged with making threats on social media toward juvenile court judge Anthony Capizzi.

Marquan Cooper, 22, is wanted on a charge of intimidation. 

RELATED: ‘Not going to sugarcoat:’ Judge tells teens they could face years in prison

UPDATE @ 5:02 p.m. (Feb 16)

A second person has now been charged with making threats on social media toward juvenile court judge Anthony Capizzi.

Marquan Cooper, 22, of Dayton was charged with one count of intimidation.

Cooper was said to have made threats toward Capizzi and his family on social media using the alias “Quannie Coop”, according to the prosecutor’s office.

UPDATE @ 3:35 p.m. (Feb. 16)

Devin Wilson was indicted in Montgomery County for intimidation. He will be arraigned Feb. 22.

UPDATE @ 1:30 p.m. (Feb. 9)

Devin Wilson, 24, of Dayton has been formally charged in a threat made against a juvenile court judge, said Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney Mat Heck, Jr. in a release. 

The alleged threat against Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi was made on Feb. 2 on social media under the alias of "Ball Meezy," the release said. 

Wilson is charged with one count intimidation, a third‐degree felony. His case will now be presented to a grand jury. 

Wilson is currently on probation for a drug trafficking offense.

Heck’s release said his office will be seeking that Wilson be taken off probation and sentenced to 18 months in prison. 

"The defendant, on probation for less than one month, threatened a judge about a case, which is an assault on the entire criminal justice system. We have to take these matters very seriously, whether someone is threatening a judge, a prosecutor, a police 

officer, or any other court officer,” Heck said in a release.

EARLIER REPORT

A 24-year-old Dayton man was arrested Wednesday in connection with social media threats against a juvenile court judge, according to Dayton police.

Devin Wilson was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on a possible third-degree felony charge of intimidation or bribery of a public servant.

RELATED: Social media threats made against judge in Huber Heights robbery case

Social media posts advocating violence against Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi were reported to several law enforcement agencies, according to an email obtained by this news organization.

Capizzi is handling the juvenile court portion of the Huber Heights AT&T armed robbery case involving six juveniles and one adult.

A Dayton police report shows Wilson was arrested at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday at his residence on Edison Street. 

“If I ever see him I’m beating the (expletive) outta him he better pray I don’t catch him downtown coming out of that building,” said one post that included a photo of Capizzi.

RELATED: Man who shot Ohio judge is father of HS football player convicted in rape

Another post discovered by this news organization said, in part: “Somebody need to split Judge Capizzi wig when he get off work.”

Capizzi declined to comment.

RELATED: 3 dead after shooting at Michigan courthouse

Wilson was on probation after pleading guilty in January to aggravated trafficking of drugs. Wilson received five years’ community control as part of a plea in which a charge of trafficking of cocaine was dropped.

If found guilty of violating his probation, Wilson could face 18 months in prison plus whatever sanction is imposed if he is found guilty of a crime, according to a judge’s ruling in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

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In another case that was considered in Wilson’s probation, he was found guilty of possession of less than five grams of cocaine and aggravated possession of drugs.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

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