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.

OSP cruiser hit in Dayton after I-75N pursuit from Middletown

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 12:01 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 2:21 AM

Pursuit ends on Keowee St in Dayton

A trooper’s cruiser was struck Wednesday night in Dayton during a pursuit that began in Middletown.

The chase involved a white Chevrolet Camaro, which began on northbound Interstate 75 south of exit 32 (Ohio 122).

>> Report: Thousands in jewelry stolen from Rogers Jewelers in Middletown

Three people were taken into custody, and the trooper was not hurt, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Hamilton Post.

>> Local news: Shots fired, 3 injured in crash on Germantown Street in Dayton

Keowee Street was closed just north of Third Street and police had taped the area off for the investigation.

A Miamisburg man said he was in his vehicle at East Third and Keowee streets when a white Camaro — its headlights out — raced by him from behind.

>> Police: 9-year-old boy brings loaded handgun to school

T.C. Cavinder said the sports car narrowly missed his and another vehicle, hit curbs along Keowee and stopped near a bridge. A man in the Camaro hopped out and threw up his hands, Cavinder said.

We are working to find out what led to the pursuit.

Convicted rapist won't have joint custody of victim's child after judge rescinds ruling

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 1:49 AM

Woman’s Rapist Gets Joint Custody Of Child He Fathered In Assault

The Michigan judge behind a controversial ruling last month, which granted a convicted sex offender joint legal custody to the child conceived by his 12-year-old victim in 2008, has rescinded his decisionCBS News reports.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Woman’s rapist gets joint custody of child he fathered in assault

Sanilac County Judge Gregory Ross ruled Tuesday that 27-year-old Christopher Mirasolo will not have any parental rights to the 8-year-old boy. However, he will still be expected to pay for child support.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Lawyer: Rapist granted joint custody of boy he fathered will not seek visitation

Mirasolo was not seeking custody of the child. This odd scenario started when the mother, now 21, sought state assistance for her son. Ross ruled for joint legal custody after a DNA test verified Mirasolo was the boy’s biological father.

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Why did Ross initially grant Mirasolo legal custody? John Nevin, a spokesman for the Michigan Supreme Court, said that Ross wasn’t aware of Mirasolo’s two convictions, nor of how he and the mother were connected. After learning of Mirasolo’s record, Ross put the order on hold and rescheduled a hearing for Tuesday.

In a statement released to the Port Huron Times Herald, Sanilac County Prosecutor James Young said he wanted to “express [officials’] apologies for the manner in which this case was handled.”

>> Read more trending news 

The mother, identified only as Tiffany, spoke to CBS News earlier this month and expressed dismay that the judge would grant her attacker joint custody of her son. She said she had to provide the father’s name as a condition of receiving state financial assistance.

“I was receiving government assistance, and they told me if I did not tell them who the father was of my child, that they would take that away from me,” Tiffany said.

She said “horrible things” and “flashbacks” still come to mind when she hears Mirasolo’s name.

Police: 9-year-old boy brings loaded handgun to Middletown school

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 6:14 PM

A 9-year-old boy who said he was being picked on brought a loaded handgun to school.

A teacher at Rosa Parks Elementary School on Monday morning noticed a bulge in the boy’s pants pocket. When she reached for it, the third-grader grabbed her arm, Middletown police Lt. David Birk said.

“The teacher confiscated the gun, gave it to the SRO (school resource officer) and the incident was reported to police,” Middletown City Schools spokeswoman Elizabeth Beadle said.

The incident happened at 10:40 a.m. inside a classroom at the school, 2210 Verity Parkway, Middletown.

>>Middletown woman fires gun into air as break-in suspects flee home

The boy was taken to the Butler County Juvenile Justice Center, where he is being held on suspicion of felonious assault, conveyance of a weapon into the school and carrying a concealed weapon, Birk said.

Beadle would not provide information on what discipline the student could face, citying privacy laws.

The boyfriend of the boy's mother also was arrested on suspicion of child endangering, according to a Middletown police report. Jerron Dean, 29, had his arraignment continued to Nov. 1, according to online Middletown Municipal Court records.

(Staff Writer Michael Clark contributed to this report)

Fire in vacant Dayton dwelling ‘suspicious in nature,’ district chief says

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 6:52 PM
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 9:21 PM

An investigator has been called to a fire in the 2800 block of Salem Avenue, at Parkhill Drive, in a dwelling believed to be vacant.

UPDATE @ 9:15 p.m.: The fire in a vacant dwelling in the 2800 block of Salem Avenue is being investigated as “suspicious in nature,” Dayton Fire District Chief Tim Rose said. 

The building, at Parkhill Drive, was boarded up and 30 firefighters successfully prevented flames from damaging two adjacent properties, Rose said. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Area Puerto Rican group collects aid for island

An investigator was called because witnesses told fire crews that people were seen in the area of the dwelling. 

There were no injuries, Rose said. "We sent nobody in the building." 

He estimated damage to the structure at $40,000.

INITIAL REPORT

An investigator has been called to a fire in the 2800 block of Salem Avenue, at Parkhill Drive, in a dwelling believed to be vacant.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Boy, 9, brings loaded gun to school

Dayton crews were dispatched just before 6 p.m. on a report that flames were said to be showing from a two-story dwelling. 

We're hearing that crews went to a defensive posture, allowing the structure to burn, because it was vacant. 

We will update this report as information becomes available. 

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