Dayton woman sent to prison for shooting boyfriend

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 6:47 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 9:21 AM

Nina Davis, right, is comforted in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court on Monday, March 20, 2017. Davis is accused of the shooting death of her boyfriend last year in Dayton.
Nina Davis, right, is comforted in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court on Monday, March 20, 2017. Davis is accused of the shooting death of her boyfriend last year in Dayton.

UPDATE @ 10:25 a.m. (April 11)

Nina Davis has been sentenced to 7 years total for involuntary manslaughter and a gun specification in the April 29, 2016 death of Travis Smith. Davis was accused of killing Travis Smith during a domestic disagreement in their home. Davis’ murder trial was stopped in March when a plea deal was struck. 

UPDATE @ 9:19 a.m. (March 23)

Nina Davis’ murder trial ended Thursday morning when her attorney and prosecutors struck a plea deal which will limit her prison time from six to 14 years.

Davis, 35, pleaded guilty by bill of information to one count of involuntary manslaughter with a three-year gun specification. In exchange for her guilty plea, prosecutors dropped charges of murder, felonious assault and tampering with evidence.

Prosecutors said a stipulated sentence would be three to 11 years for the first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter count plus a mandatory three years for the gun specification.

Davis was accused of killing Travis Smith during an argument in their home. Anthony VanNoy, Davis’ attorney, had said the killing was accidental. The defense was scheduled to begin Thursday morning and VanNoy had said Davis would take the stand.

EARLIER REPORT

Travis Smith died in his bathroom on April 29, 2016 — his birthday — from a bullet fired after had just used the toilet.

After that, prosecutors said the story of Smith’s live-in girlfriend and mother to their children changed several times. Nina Davis’ defense attorney said the shooting was an accident that happened during an argument.

Davis, 35, was indicted on two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault and one count of tampering with evidence. Her trial began Monday in the courtroom of Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Gregory Singer.

RELATED: Judge doesn’t allow information about victim

A Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy — even though it was in the city of Dayton — was only a block and a half from the residence on Patton Avenue in Dayton when dispatchers said someone called saying they needed medical assistance after a shooting.

“Over the course of the next 24 hours, the defendant would do everything she could to convince Dayton police officers that this shooting was an accident,” Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Kraig Chadrick told jurors. “But as each piece of evidence was collected and analyzed, it became clear that the shooting death of Travis Smith wasn’t an accident. It was a murder.”

Law enforcement officers testified about how Smith was found in a fetal position on the floor of the bathroom with his underwear around his ankles and that a discharged bullet, shell casing and broken cell phone also were located.

RELATED: Nina Davis arraigned on murder charges

Chadrick said the path the bullet took hit Smith’s right lung, the right side of the heart, his liver and exited out the lower portion of his lower left back near his buttocks was not not consistent with an accidental discharge.

Defense attorney Anthony VanNoy told jurors the path of the bullet proves his position.

“Clearly from the evidence, the firearm is either picked up or taken from Travis, and as she’s taking that firearm from Travis, the shot is fired,” VanNoy said. “It’s an accident. You don’t shoot somebody in the shoulder to kill them. You shoot them in the chest, you shoot them in the face. It was an accidental shooting. It was not intentional.”

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The deputy and Dayton police officers testified that Davis was frantic when they arrived and begging for the ambulance to get Smith. Cruiser cam video showed Davis first telling officers Smith was shot when he came into the house.

“There’s a reason why Ms. Davis’ version of events changes,” Chadrick said. “It’s because she’s not telling the truth.”

VanNoy said Smith had a blood-alcohol level of .29 — more than three times the legal limit to drive a car — and that his phone went off. Then, he said, Davis saw that it was another woman calling, smashed it and took it to Smith, who had told her to come into the bathroom.

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VanNoy said that Davis initially was scared to tell police the truth, but quickly told them it was an accident. He told jurors his client will take the stand to testify.

“She grabbed it. She picked it up. And you’re going to hear she’s a novice with a firearm, but she didn’t intentionally or knowingly shoot Travis,” VanNoy said. “Listen to Nina after the call, after the shots are fired. She calls 911 and she is a wreck. She’s asking, begging, pleading for help for Travis.”

A detective testified he found the gun under a shirt in an open dresser drawer. The detective showed the jury the gun, and pointed to where the safety mechanism is.

Testimony is scheduled to resume Tuesday afternoon in a trial scheduled to last until Thursday.

Trenton police search for Fifth Third Bank robber

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 1:40 PM
Updated: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 2:08 PM

Man reportedly robbed Fifth Third Bank on Saturday

Trenton police are searching for a man who robbed the Fifth Third Bank on Saturday morning.

Police said the suspect in the robbery reported just after 10:20 a.m. is a white man with a gray jacket, sunglasses and an orange Titleist ball hat. The bank is located at 805 State St.

MORE: Man in van tried to lure Hamilton kids with promise of ice cream, residents tell police

The man was reported to have fled on foot westbound behind the Lee’s Famous Recipe and possibly got into a vehicle near Hathaway Drive.

Police are continuing their investigation. Anyone with information about the robbery is urged to call the Trenton Police Department at 513-988-6341 or call Detective Sean Gill at 513-428-0129.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Police: Florida man drives through bedroom with 3 children inside

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 1:50 PM

The wreckage is seen after a Florida man allegedly plowed through a bedroom with three children inside early Saturday, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
WFTV
The wreckage is seen after a Florida man allegedly plowed through a bedroom with three children inside early Saturday, the Florida Highway Patrol said.(WFTV)

A Florida man is facing a charge of reckless driving after plowing through a bedroom with three children inside early Saturday, the Florida Highway Patrol said. 

Johnny Woodberry, 44, was driving a 2005 Cadillac in Cocoa around 2 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and drove into the house, troopers told WFTV
>> Read more trending news 

The three children were asleep inside the bedroom when the car drove through it, but troopers said they only sustained minor injuries.

Troopers said the children were transported to Wuestoff Hospital and later released, WFTV reported. 

Teen killed in Dayton shooting

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 3:20 PM

Dayton police and SWAT have surrounded a home in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue where investigators said a suspect from an overnight shooting is believed to be barricaded inside.

An 18-year-old woman died after being shot in the neck early Saturday in a Dayton apartment and police continued a manhunt throughout the day for a suspect they first thought was cornered by a SWAT team in a house five miles from the crime scene.

Police and medics called to the 5000 block of Caliph Court at about 1:25 a.m. found Dontiaunna Brown suffering from a gunshot wound.

Dayton police investigate the apparent shooting death of 18-year-old Dontiaunna Brown at an apartment building on Caliph Court early Saturday morning. JEFFERY BROWN / STAFF

A caller to 911 was heard telling someone to “breathe, breathe,” then told a dispatcher: “I need help, somebody got shot!”

Brown was later pronounced dead at the scene, according to Dayton police Sgt. Theodore Trupp, who said investigators were working to determine what led to the shooting.

» CRIME: 25 years after Christmas murder spree: ‘It will never be forgotten’

Later at about 8 a.m., Dayton police and SWAT surrounded a home in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue where investigators believed a suspect had barricaded himself inside. Officers blocked off the area and ordered occupants out of the house.

Dayton police surround a house in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue on Saturday morning after a suspect in a fatal shooting was believed barricaded inside, according to authorities. The man police were looking for was not in the house. JEFFERY BROWN / STAFF

Police entered the house about 10:30 a.m. and found four men, but not the shooting suspect. One person was arrested on an unrelated traffic charge, police said.

» MORE: 2-month-old boy found dead at Dayton home

Lamichea Childs, a friend of Brown’s sister, said the 18-year-old “didn’t even get to live life.”

“When I met her as a little girl, she was a sweetheart. She was always happy, sweet. Loved kids. Loved life,” Childs said. “This wasn’t supposed to happen to her.”

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said Brown’s cause of death is pending until completion of an autopsy.

2-month-old boy found dead at Dayton home

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 2:03 PM

Dayton 2-month-old found dead in home

UPDATE @ 2:25 p.m.

The child found dead this morning was 2 months old, according to a Montgomery County Coroner’s investigator.

The investigator also said the Dayton child’s name is spelled Silas Snyder. An autopsy has not yet been performed, he said, and a preliminary cause of death is not available.

FIRST REPORT

A 3-month-old boy was found dead this morning on a love seat inside his home.

Police and medics were dispatched around 8:30 a.m. to the 600 block of Bowen Street after a woman said she found the baby unresponsive.

The baby, identified as Sylas P. Snyder, was pronounced dead at 8:37 a.m. and was taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

>> TRENDING: 18-year-old killed in overnight shooting; standoff ends

According to a Dayton police report, the mother told police when she got home from work at midnight Sylas was asleep on a love seat so she lay down on a couch to sleep. At 3 a.m. when she checked on him, she said he was fine.

The baby’s grandmother said she checked on Sylas around 8:30 a.m., and found him on his belly. She rolled him over, noticed he was cold to the touch and immediately called 911, according to the report.

The infant’s death remains under investigation.

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