breaking news


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.”

FOLLOW: Mark Gokavi on Twitter and Facebook

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.

DOWNLOAD OUR MOBILE APPS FOR LATEST BREAKING NEWS

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.

Two Darke Co. men wake up to arrests on felony charges

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 6:40 PM

(Jacob Evans, 23)(Randolph County Jail)
(Jacob Evans, 23)(Randolph County Jail)
(Dustin Sonner, 26) (Randolph County Jail)

Union City Police responded to the 500 block of S. Stateline Road Friday morning on call of a suspicious vehicle with two passed out subjects. 

According to police reports, three officers responded to the scene and found the two subjects, shouting several times in an attempt to wake them up. Officers finally made contact with the man in the driver’s seat, identified as Jacob Evans, 23, of Arcanum. The passenger was later identified as Dustin Sonner, 26, of Greenville. 

While speaking, the officers noticed a syringe lying in plain view inside the vehicle. A search revealed the vehicle contained 7 grams of crystal meth valued at about $700, and a small amount of heroin, as well as drug paraphernalia and scales. 

Both subjects were taken to Randolph County jail on charges of: dealing in methamphetamine, a level 3 felony, possession of methamphetamine, a level 5 felony, possession of heroin, a level 6 felony, and possession of a syringe, a level 6 felony. 

Reward offered in search for man suspected of raping, killing baby

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 2:20 AM

Joshua Gurto
Conneaut Police Department
Joshua Gurto(Conneaut Police Department)

Police in eastern Ohio are looking for a man suspected of raping and killing a baby girl.

According to WFMJ, the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest of Joshua Gurto.

>> Read more trending news

Gurto is accused of raping and killing a 13-month-old girl in Ashtabula County. He is wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Conneaut Police Department on aggravated murder and rape charges, WFMJ reported.

Police said he has ties to western Pennsylvania.

Gurto is described as:

  • 37 years old
  • 5 feet, 10 inches tall
  • 145 pounds
  • Deformed right year
  • Misaligned jaw
  • Tattoos on right forearm

Anyone with information on Gurto’s whereabouts is asked to call the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 866-4WANTED or text keyword WANTED and the information to 84711.

Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Related

Warrant alleges mother put 2 toddlers in oven, turned it on

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 6:52 PM

Lamora Williams, 24, is charged with two counts of murder and is accused of placing two of her children into an oven and turning it on, according to an arrest warrant.
Fulton County Sheriff’s Office
Lamora Williams, 24, is charged with two counts of murder and is accused of placing two of her children into an oven and turning it on, according to an arrest warrant.(Fulton County Sheriff’s Office)

A 24-year-old mother of four is accused of killing her two youngest sons “by placing them in an oven and turning it on,” according to an arrest warrant obtained Monday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

An official autopsy is pending.

Fulton County jail officials said Lamora Williams waived her first appearance in court Monday on felony murder charges.

>> Read more trending news

The arrest warrant alleges Williams put her sons in the oven sometime between midnight Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday.

Williams called her sons’ father, Jameel Penn, on Friday night and showed him by video chat that something was wrong in her Atlanta apartment home.

Penn said he immediately called the police.

2 Children Found Dead in Apartment; Mother Charged

When officials arrived at the Oakland City West End Apartment complex, the boys, 2-year-old Ke’Younte Penn and 1-year-old Ja’Karter Williams, were dead.

Related: 2 children found dead in Atlanta apartment; mother charged

Friends and family members of Williams told the AJC she suffered from undiagnosed mental health problems that were exacerbated by her father’s death when she was 19 and by having four children younger than 7. They said she was also a single mother who had some help from Penn, but not enough considering her mental health.

Williams’ longtime friend Neesa Smith said Williams quit a job about a month ago because she couldn’t find a babysitter for the kids. 

“Nobody could tell what she was going through,” Smith said.

Williams’ sister, Tabitha Hollingsworth, said Williams is at risk and should be put on suicide watch in the Fulton County Jail, where she remains without bond.

Want to avoid getting hacked while driving? Check this out

Published: Sunday, October 15, 2017 @ 8:00 AM
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 5:56 PM

David Barzilai, Karamba Security, co-founder & executive chairman
David Barzilai, Karamba Security, co-founder & executive chairman

Computers control an increasing number of vehicle functions now, and will do so even more in the future when autonomous — or self-driving — cars and trucks become more common. Given that technology in the vehicles we drive is ever increasing, how safe are we from cyber intruders? 

RELATED: The newest frontier for hackers: your car

David Barzilai, Chairman and co-founder of Karamba Security

“We’ve enabled hackers to gain access to the car by a small set of controllers. Once one of them is compromised then hackers can gain control of that controller and then manipulate the other controllers (and) start sending commands to the car. In essence we as drivers are now losing control. Because (hackers can cause the) car to stop on the highway, airbags may disengage, the steering wheel could start go to one direction or another without us having any control of it.”

RELATED: ‘Smart car’ technology may make roads safer, but some fear data hacks

Vance Saunders, director of the cybersecurity program at Wright State University

“The world has changed. Everything is so interconnected and with that comes the potential for bad things to happen. So therefore there is a responsibility for all auto manufacturers – it doesn’t mean just cars – people who make anything. It’s going to get connected to the internet and they have responsibility to address security because the environment that their products were being used in has changed.”

RELATED: Would you ride in a car with a brain?

Carla Bailo, assistant vice president for mobility research and business development at Ohio State University

“(Safeguards are needed) to protect the data. To ensure that these products are not hacked. That the bad guys won’t try do something either to the vehicle or infrastructure. Because either way it can create dire consequences.”

Carla Bailo Assistant Vice President Mobility Research and Business Development at Ohio State University(HANDOUT/Handout)

RELATED: Experts say self-driving cars will save lives: Would you ride in one?

Seth Hamman, assistant professor of computer science Cedarville University

“It will be a long time before they exhaust all of their attack vectors….There’s no shortage of different avenues to try.”

RELATED: Experts say self-driving cars will save lives: Would you ride in one?

C. Emre Koksal, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Ohio State University

“One way to cause chaos is to go out there and inject fake messages (into vehicle computers).”