Dayton woman’s trial starts in death of man shot on birthday

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 12:57 PM

            Nina Davis, accused of murder.
Nina Davis, accused of murder.

A jury has been selected in the murder trial of Nina M. Davis, a Dayton woman accused of shooting and killing Travis Smith in June 2016. Opening statements were expected to begin at 1:45 p.m.

Davis, 35, was indicted for two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault and one count of tampering with evidence. Smith was shot once on his 34th birthday with a .45-caliber handgun after an argument, according to prosecutors. Police located the weapon hidden inside a dresser drawer.

RELATED: Nina Davis arraigned on murder charges

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Gregory Singer ruled prosecutors will be able to present evidence that Davis had verbal altercations in which she threatened to kill Smith. Singer also ruled that Davis’ defense attorney can’t present evidence that Smith was a drug dealer.

“(Smith) informed neighbors he was moving out of the home he shared with (Davis) the day before the shooting,” Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Kraig Chadrick wrote in a motion to use so-called bad prior acts. “When interviewed by detectives following the shooting, (Davis) claimed it was an accident.

“It follows that the evidence set forth above goes to show (Davis’) motive for shooting (Smith) as well as a lack of mistake or accident and will be admitted by the State for reason other than (Davis’) character.”

Defense attorney Anthony VanNoy argued against such evidence, saying it would be highly prejudicial to Davis.

“It is impermissible to allow the jury to decide her guilt and sentence, not on the specific facts of the incident she is charged,” VanNoy wrote. “But rather by using unreliable, inaccurate accounts of a prior altercation made by bias neighbors, who grew up with Smith, and may have been taking money from him in exchange for their silence about his drug activities.”

In a written motion, prosecutors also asked Singer to deny information that Smith was involved in drug activity, such as “video surveillance systems, firearms and a safe containing suspected heroin.”

Chadrick wrote that “whether or not the decedent was involved in drug activity is not an essential element of any charge contained in the indictment.”

VanNoy argued Smith’s activities should be fair game.

“Smith’s daily drug activity is relevant because it highlights the lifestyle and toxic environment in which him and Davis had grown accustomed to living,” VanNoy wrote. “Drugs were a constant part of life in the household. Smith frequently carried his gun to protect himself while carrying out his drug activities.”

Chadrick also asked Singer to prevent VanNoy from “commenting on, questioning witnesses, or presenting evidence regarding battered woman syndrome,” which he said is a part of a self-defense claim and not consistent with an accidental shooting defense.

The judge said he would deny VanNoy’s motion unless he could provide evidence that other courts have allowed evidence of battered-women type activity without claiming that defense.

Shoplifting suspect leads Englewood police on chase in stolen car, officers say

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 4:06 PM
Updated: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 11:27 PM

WATCH: Shoplifting suspect leads Englewood police on chase in stolen car

UPDATE @ 11:20 p.m.: A man arrested on suspicion of shoplifting from a Walmart before ramming into a police cruiser at a Meijer gas station is in the Montgomery County Jail.

Michael Paul Williams, 40, is being detained pending the filing of formal charges of receiving stolen property and failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, according to online jail records.

Michael Paul Williams (Courtesy/Montgomery County Jail)

He was arrested in the area of Brandt Pike and Fishburg road just before 3:30 p.m., according to online jail records.


A man suspected of shoplifting at an Englewood Walmart on Tuesday led police on a brief chase after officers learned the getaway car was stolen, police said. 

MORE: Miami County crime: Judge calls Troy sex offender 'reprehensible'

After the suspect left Walmart, he stopped at a nearby Meijer gas station to get gas for the car, which was stolen, Englewood police said. The police chief, who was in the area, spotted the car and he attempted to blocked it in with his vehicle. 

However, the suspect backed into the chief’s car hard and sped off, prompting the chase, which ended on Brandt Pike in Huber Heights a short time later, police said. 

The suspect has been apprehended but his identity had not been released. 

No other information was immediately available. But we will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest information as it becomes available. 

Harem strip club defendant sentenced for drug trafficking, sex charges

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 5:06 PM

A judge said Samantha Childers was given “quite an opportunity” by not facing prison time after she pleaded guilty to felonies associated with a raid at The Harem.

A 31-year-old Dayton woman who pleaded guilty to several felonies and two misdemeanors involving drug trafficking and sexual activity after a 9-month investigation of The Harem strip club was sentenced Tuesday to probation.

Samantha Childers received up to five years’ community control sanctions after pleading guilty to cocaine and heroin trafficking plus illegal sexual contact with patrons.

RELATED: 11 arrested in Harem strip club raid: Where the cases stand

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara Gorman — filling in for Judge Erik Blaine who decided the sentence — told Childers:

“Good luck, ma’am. You’re getting quite an opportunity from Judge Blaine here,” Gorman said. “Don’t mess it up.”

Gorman also ordered Childers to undergo intensive probation supervision, that she must attend and complete women’s therapeutic court, that she complete 40 hours of community service, obtain her GED, submit to a curfew, not work in any gentlemen’s club or as an exotic dancer, follow an employment program and not be where illegal drugs, stolen property or firearms are present.

RELATED: Judge orders The Harem strip club shut down for a year

Gorman told Childers she must pay court and supervision costs, have no contact with her co-defendants, must abstain from alcohol and illegal drugs and to complete the MonDay program for drug treatment.

“The only reason I had these charges to begin with I was on drugs,” Childers said, saying she’s been locked up and off drugs for months, “and I am getting the treatment that I need.”

Childers had violated her intervention in lieu of conviction (ILC) in a 2016 possession of cocaine case and already had been ordered to MonDay for that.

RELATED: The Harem shut down, 11 indicted on sex, drugs, food stamp charges

Gorman said Childers was on a “no-breaks status” and that any violation could lead to sanctions up to seven years in prison.

In a sentencing memorandum, Montgomery County prosecutors asked Blaine to impose a prison sentence, saying Childers “engaged in multiple sales of heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil to undercover agents from the Ohio Investigative Unit.”

The memo said during one arranged drug transaction, Childers had an infant child in the car with her. Wrote prosecutor Kelley Madzey, “Indeed, it appears her drug problem is the sale of drugs, rather than the use of them.”

RELATED: Agent describes sex, drug transactions at strip club

The prosecutor’s office also filed a civil case to shut the club down for a year and won.

Three other Harem defendants were scheduled to appear:

Aaron Crenshaw had a hearing continued until Jan. 9 and a jury trial scheduled for Feb. 12. His attorney said he may waive the jury and have a bench trial.

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Melvin Bibbs, who was declared not eligible for ILC, had a hearing continued for a week so his attorney could consider motions.

Samantha Clay’s case was continued for one week.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

Judge resigns after sending woman to jail over perjury, traffic ticket

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:08 AM

Judge Sends Woman To Jail Over Perjury & Traffic Ticket Then Resigns

A Decatur municipal court judge has resigned after jailing a woman for perjury, saying she’d lied about a traffic ticket.

>> Read more trending news

Judge Lindsay Jones offered his resignation to Decatur Chief Municipal Judge Rhathelia Stroud on Wednesday, Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jones had earlier told The AJC he was not stepping down.

The controversy began when Shari Hurston Tatum appeared in court Nov. 8 for a traffic ticket. She waived her right to an attorney and jury trial, but demanded a bench hearing, Jones said.

When Tatum reappeared in court Wednesday for that hearing, Jones played video of the traffic incident and decided Tatum was guilty of blocking the intersection and further that Tatum was guilty of perjury. He sentenced her to two days in jail.

>> Related: Woman spends 20th anniversary in jail for minor traffic violation

“Tatum’s perjury was characterized as misbehavior before the court, and treated as a contempt of court process, for which she was sentenced to two days in jail,” Jones said.

Tatum said she was embarrassed and ended up spending her 20th wedding anniversary in jail.

After The AJC on Thursday published an article about the incident, Jones sent a letter refuting the idea that he had resigned. 

“I have not offered my resignation to Ms. Merris or the City Commission, nor have I spoken with Ms. Merris or the Commissioners as of this date relating to my judgeship,” Jones wrote on Thursday.

But Decatur officials say Jones had resigned verbally in conversation the day before with Stroud.

“After listening to his report and sharing my concerns and subsequent expectations for what had gone forth in the Court earlier, Judge Jones tendered his verbal resignation to me last night,” Stroud said in an email to Merriss.

Stroud further said she accepted the resignation immediately on behalf of the city.

Jones said on Sunday he meant only to maintain that he would not change his order in Tatum’s case and that he intended to seek further clarification from Stroud.

“I had no intent to offer the resignation of my position to Judge Stroud, I was merely expressing my intent do so in the future if the political pressures being exerting upon me to change my order were to persist,” Jones wrote.

Based on his resignation, Jones is no longer a member of the City of Decatur Municipal Court, Merriss said.

Trotwood man accused of shooting at police in standoff pleads insanity

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 12:08 PM

            William D. Gibson
William D. Gibson

The man accused of shooting at police during a 2½-hour standoff in Trotwood in October has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

William D. Gibson, 42, has a hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. The results of a forensic evaluation of Gibson’s mental condition may be revealed.

RELATED: Man accused of firing shots at Trotwood officers indicted

Gibson’s attorney filed motions last month for a mental competency evaluation and to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

Judge Dennis Adkins ordered the Forensic Psychiatry Center for Western Ohio to examine the Defendant and return findings about Gibson’s mental condition “at the time of the alleged offense and other data or conclusions considered by the examiner(s) to be pertinent to the issue of insanity.”

Adkins also ordered a report to include facts “found by the examiner(s), interpretations, and conclusions as to (Gibson’s) competence to stand trial at the present time.”

RELATED: Trotwood active shooter standoff ends peacefully after 2½ hours

Gibson — who is being held in Montgomery County Jail on a $500,000 bond — was indicted on 10 counts of felonious assault against a peace officer, six counts of having weapons while under disability and five counts of discharge of a firearm on or near a prohibited premises.

At about 11:30 a.m. Oct. 13, Gibson called 911 to say his wife accidentally shot herself in the leg. When police arrived and started treating his wife outside the residence, police said Gibson told them they had one minute to leave or he would start shooting.

Gibson fired a shot inside the residence at 4645 Wolf Creek Pike, according to Trotwood police Chief Eric Wilson, who said his officers then felt they were being targeted in what officials said was an active shooter situation. Gibson fired approximately 11 times, according to emergency scanner traffic.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

Numerous agencies including multiple SWAT groups and the Dayton Bomb Squad responded after Trotwood officers dropped a “99” signal for additional assistance.

Adkins wrote examiners should determine if Gibson was insane at the time of the alleged offense, and separately, if he is presently incompetent to stand trial or could be within a year.

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