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

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Lavoie urged citizens to contact authorities if children show signs of abuse or neglect or seem withdrawn.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

Missing Florida teen considered in danger, may be with man she met on Facebook

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 1:45 AM

Victoria Stites
Palm Bay Police Department

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a Florida teen who is missing and considered to be in danger.

>> Watch the news report here

Victoria Stites, of Palm Bay, is 19, but her mental capacity is lower than her age, Palm Bay police say. She is possibly traveling to Jamaica, New York, with a man she met on Facebook.

>> Read more trending news

She was last seen Saturday leaving her Palm Bay home, north of Vero Beach, wearing a green shirt and black jeans, and carrying a purple duffel bag. 

She has blonde/brown hair and brown eyes. She is about 5-foot-7 and weighs 135 to 140 pounds. 

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call 1-800-423-TIPS. 

Related

Deputies: Naked, bloody man is suspect in Jefferson Twp. hammer attack

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 10:11 PM
Updated: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 11:45 PM

UPDATE @ 11:45 p.m.

A man was taken into custody tonight after employees at a wastewater treatment facility in Jefferson Twp. reported a naked, bloody man was trespassing.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded around 7:30 p.m. to Clean Water Ltd., 300 Cherokee Drive, and determined the trespasser was the suspect in an earlier felonious assault in the township. Deputies with the assistance of Trotwood and Dayton police searched the complex and were able to find him. They took the suspect into custody without incident, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies responded around 6:15 p.m. to an assault in the 20 block of South Northampton Avenue after one person hit another in the head with a hammer, the sheriff’s office said.

The suspect -- later identified as the man trespassing at the wastewater treatment  plant -- fled and the victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital.

The names of the suspect arrested and the victim were not released.

Deputies said the incidents remain under investigation.

FIRST REPORT

One person was taken into custody tonight after a report of a bloody and naked man at a wastewater treatment facility in Jefferson Twp.

The incident was reported around 7:30 p.m. at Clean Water Ltd, 300 Cherokee Drive, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center. 

It's not clear why the man was bloody and nude, nor why he showed up at the business. 

Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies took one person from the scene to the county jail. 

We are working to learn more about the incident.

Police seek robber who held up Chase Bank in Dayton

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 6:27 PM

A masked man held up a Chase Bank branch Friday morning in Dayton.

The suspect demanded tellers to empty several money drawers before he fled through the front entrance of the bank, 1078 Patterson Road, according to a Dayton police report.

The suspect is described as a man with an athletic build standing 5 feet 10 inches. He was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, black pants, black gloves and a mask, the report stated.

He was last seen running towards apartment buildings behind the bank and may have fled in a vehicle.

Anyone with information is urged to call Miami Valley CrimeStoppers, 937-222-STOP (7867).

OSP: Man crashes into Middletown police cruiser, admits drug abuse

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 9:03 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 7:10 PM

A driver who admitted to law enforcement he was impaired while driving struck a Middletown Division of Police cruiser Saturday morning, June 24, 2017, which forced the cruiser to strike a pickup truck in Middletown. FACEBOOK
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UPDATE @ 7:10 p.m.

The Middletown Division of Police used social media today to say all of Middletown needs to take a stand against opioid abuse after an impaired driver crashed into a cruiser this morning. The officers in the cruiser were on their way to a report of an overdose when the crash happened.

“Very definition of ironic. Thankful our two officers made it out safely after being hit by a person suspected of opioid abuse while en route to an overdose call early this morning,” police posted to its Facebook page.

UPDATE @ 1:55 p.m.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Lebanon Post Sgt. Tom Bloomberg said charges likely will be filed Monday in Middletown against a man who admitted to being under the influence of drugs when he crashed into a Middletown Division of Police cruiser early this morning. 

Adam Danner, of Middletown, allegedly ran a red light around 4:20 p.m. at Grand Avenue and Breiel Boulevard and struck the cruiser. The cruiser then careened into opposing traffic and struck a southbound pickup truck.

“There are going to be charges,” Bloomberg said. “There will definitely be OVI because he admitted to being impaired and obviously showed signs of impairment.” 

Officers and the truck driver were treated by medics at the scene. Danner was taken to a Middletown hospital for treatment of injuries. As of this afternoon, Atrium Medical Center no longer has Danner listed as a patient.

EARLIER

A Middletown man is believed to have been on drugs when he crashed into Middletown Division of Police cruiser in a three-vehicle crash this morning. 

The crash occurred around 4:20 a.m. when the Ohio State Highway Patrol said Adam Danner ran a red light at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Breiel Boulevard and struck the cruiser.

According to a release from the highway patrol’s Hamilton Post, the impact sent the cruiser into the opposite lane of traffic and into a southbound truck. 

The two officers in the cruiser and the pickup truck driver were treated at the scene. Danner was taken to Atrium Medical Center in Middletown with minor injuries. 

Deputies said while in the hospital, Danner admitted to using drugs before driving.

The crash remains under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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