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.

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.

Pike County Sheriff issues alert about criminal gang, heroin

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 3:30 PM

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader issued a warning Monday to residents regarding “gang members” coming to the area and “‘taking out’ believed snitches.”

The unusual message — posted on Facebook and confirmed as authentic by dispatchers — did not reference the April 22, 2016, murders of eight people that have become synonymous with the rural southern Ohio county.

MORE: Pike County murders: Reward for killers increases

“MS-13, an International Criminal Gang and or Konvicted Family gang members are allegedly coming into Pike County this weekend,” the alert reads. “Possibly planning on ‘taking out’ believed snitches and spread (sic) ‘HOTSHOTS’ of heavily laced Heroin into the area that could cause an extremely large amount of overdoses in Pike County and surrounding counties.”

“This is according to very limited intelligence deputies have gathered in recent drug related investigations across the area in the past weeks,” the notice stated.

A dispatcher at the Pike County Sheriff’s Office said no additional details are available.

Jill Del Greco, a spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, said, “We are not involved with this.”

MORE: Pike County murder investigation leads to drug arrests

Gang or cartel involvement have long been theories in the mysterious deaths of eight people in Pike County.

Initial reports that investigators found a large marijuana grow operation at the crime scene fueled speculation that Mexican drug cartels could be involved, considering the apparent sophistication of the crime and prior reports that Mexican organized crime was previously active in the area.

But Reader played down the Mexican cartel idea last year in an interview with WCPO in Cincinnati.

“With the nature of the investigation, and the things that’s been revealed while conducting the investigation, there would be no indication to me as to any type of Mexican drug cartel being involved,” he said. “It wasn’t because they had a couple little indoor grows, wasn’t because there was just a couple of cars on the property that may have been stolen. It’s much bigger than that.”

Read more coverage of the Pike County murders:

» Alaska, Ohio police ‘inundated’ with Pike County murders tips

» Alaska pastor says Ohio family attended church

» Who are the Wagners? Investigators want to know

Man who shot wife in Germantown sentenced

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 8:55 AM

Thomas A. Shockey (Montgomery County Jail)
Breaking News Staff

UPDATE @ 2:00 p.m.:

Thomas Shockey, 71, was sentenced to five years in prison for shooting his wife and hitting her in the head last September, according to court officials.

INITIAL REPORT:

DAYTON — A 71-year-old Germantown man accused of shooting his wife in the stomach and hitting her in the head in their home will be sentenced in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court today.

Thomas Shockey, a Germantown resident, called 911 and admitted he shot his wife on September 4, 2016

RELATED: Germantown man calls 911, admits he tried to kill his wife

Shockey is facing a felonious assault charge. 

MC Sheriff’s Office looking for garage break-in suspect

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 12:45 PM

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help identifying a suspect in a recent garage break in. 

The break in occurred on Lago Mar Drive in Washington Township. The suspect is seen carrying a flashlight as he walks around the garage and opens a vehicle's door.

The unknown male subject then notices the surveillance cameras and leaves the scene.

He is identified as a male who has a beard and is wearing a baseball style hat, a long sleeve shirt, and blue jeans. A vehicle was not seen leaving the area.

If you have any information regarding the person seen in the photos you are asked to contact Detective Ridgeway at 937-432-2766.

Police: Man allegedly hit wife with prosthetic leg

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 1:01 PM



Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61

A man in Ohio is accused of striking his wife with one of his prosthetic legs, police said.

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Police responded Friday to a home in Sandusky on a disorderly conduct call, The Associated Press reported. Ronna Wilson told police that her husband, Richard T. Wilson Sr., 63, threw one of his prosthetic legs at her, striking her in the head. She claimed she suffered wrist injuries while trying to defend herself when her husband attempted to hit her with his other prosthetic leg.

Police arrested the man on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence. He denies assaulting his wife, The Associated Press reported.