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Dog mauling victim feared for her life

Published: Monday, February 10, 2014 @ 1:15 PM
Updated: Monday, February 10, 2014 @ 9:35 PM


            Andrew Nason, 28, and Julie Custer, 25, both of Dayton.

Klonda Richey, killed in a dog mauling Friday morning, regularly filed complaints about her next-door neighbors and their dogs and made numerous statements that she feared for her life.

"If you want to hurt me, shoot or stab me. Leave cats in peace," Richey apparently wrote in an undated letter to her neighbors Julie Custer, 25, and Andrew Nason, 28, 35 E. Bruce Ave. The letter was included in hundreds of pages of court documents, a civil complaint order and other complaints and dispatch logs from the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center and Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.

The paper trail obtained by News Center 7 and the Dayton Daily News documents a consistent effort by Richey, 57, to call attention to what she considered threats to her safety. The dogs were never removed from the home as a result of her many complaints.

She was naked when her body was found in the snow Feb. 7 outside her home, 31 E. Bruce Ave., by a passer-by. When police arrived, two mixed-Mastiff breeds charged at them, prompting the officers to shoot and kill them.

Custer and Nason, owners of the dogs responsible for the mauling, were arrested Friday. They were released from jail Sunday evening.

"Due to the complex nature of the laws concerning animals, we just felt that at this point it would be better off to get our ducks in a row before we proceeded any further," Dayton Sgt. Richard Blommel said, explaining why Custer and Nason were released. "We're still investigating and we'll meet again with the prosecutors when they feel that we have enough to move forward for an indictment."

Meantime, detectives are trying to determine what led the dogs — identified by the county coroner's office as Cane Corsos, a breed in the Mastiff family — to fatally maul Richey.

News Center 7 and the Dayton Daily News have learned that Richey filed complaints with the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center and sought a civil stalking protection order denied by a magistrate in February 2013. Richey appealed, but was denied by Judge Michael Krumholtz in April 2013.

Custer and Nason, in the protection order, stated that Richey had been harassing them.

"At one point she also stated to Andrew Nason 'the world would be better off [if] you died,' Custer wrote in a letter to the court as part of the protection order documents.

Richey, who worked for Montgomery County's Job & Family Services, regularly called the regional dispatch center in the past two years with concerns about Custer and Nason and numerous complaints about the dogs running loose in the neighborhood. Many of the complaints, dating as far back as 2012, were called in by an anonymous female who said the dogs were loose and charged at her. Other complaints involved the dogs barking or not having adequate food.

In one report from March 16, 2013, a woman called the ARC to report that the mailman would not longer deliver mail to the street until a loose dog was taken care of.

"The dog has come after (the complainant) before and she states that now (the owner) will let his dog loose to go after her and her cats," the report states. The ARC employee who handled that report noted that ARC officials left a warning on the door of 35 E. Bruce after knocking and receiving no answer. They could hear a dog barking inside.

Friends of Richey described her as an animal lover and dedicated volunteer in Montgomery County's Republican Party.

Monday night, Ted Richey, of Indianapolis, said he tried for years to persuade his sister to move out of the neighborhood. He said his sister kept a large number of cats in her home, which brought her attention.

"She had a cat door, if they were outdoor cats they could come and go… Some neighbors, especially when houses are close together like that, don't appreciate that," Ted Richey said. "She had some run-ins with neighbors, but I certainly didn't expect anything like this to come of it.

"She considered it as much of the cat's house as it was hers. That was their home and there wasn't any reason she should leave just because some of the neighbors didn't like her cats. She could be stubborn in those kind of things," he said.

The autopsy on Klonda Richey was performed Saturday by the coroner's office, which said Monday that she died of blood loss.

"The injuries were severe and multiple," Coroner Kent Harshbarger said. "This is one of the worst that we've ever seen."

The crime lab is working to match dental impressions left on the body with the teeth of the two dogs. Their carcasses have been preserved as evidence.

"We want to be able to say without a doubt, these two animals were involved, and that both animals were involved and not just one," Harshbarger said.

The licensed dogs belonged to Custer, who lived at the single-family home at 35 E. Bruce Ave. with Nason, according to police.

Said Blommel of Nason: "He is just as responsible for them as she is."

Owners have the responsibility to make sure their dogs are confined and that they abide by licensing and restraining laws, said Blommel, who noted the fencing at 35 E. Bruce was not secure.

Tom Hagel, a professor with the University of Dayton School of Law, said fatal dog bite cases are rare and the prosecution is likely taking extra time to make sure they have the correct charges before proceeding. "The problem is, in cases that are based on reckless behavior, you as a prosecutor have to be able to prove that the defendants knew or had very good reason to know, in this case, that their dogs were a threat to the community and didn't take appropriate actions," he said.

Blommel said the nature of a call about an animal will determine who responds to the complaint.

"If it's an aggressive dog that's chasing people, the police will be sent," Blommel said. "But if it's just dogs barking, dogs running up and down the street, it can go either way. Some people call the Animal Resource Center, some call dispatch. Some they send to them (the center) and some they send to us (police)."

Florida ‘teen doctor’ sentenced to one year in Virginia prison

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 8:45 PM

A 20-year-old West Palm, man accused by local authorities of posing as a doctor was sentenced to one year in prison Monday after he pleaded guilty to fraud charges in Virginia.

Malachi Love-Robinson was sentenced to the prison term after he pleaded guilty in March to charges of making false statements to obtain credit and of passing a forged document. He still faces criminal proceedings in Palm Beach County, where authorities allege he practiced medicine without a license and defrauded patients.

>> Read more trending news

Love-Robinson, who turned 20 on May 12, was out on bail when he reportedly traveled to Stafford, Virginia, in September and tried to purchase a used car. Virginia authorities say he provided fraudulent information while trying to purchase the vehicle and claimed that an elderly relative accompanying had agreed to be a co-signer.

He reportedly tried to buy a $26,000 Lexus from a used-car dealership. He initially asked about buying a Jaguar, but was told the dealership did not have any left in stock, a dealership employee told The Palm Beach Post in September.

Authorities say he also used the relative’s credit cards to purchase two iPads and a cellphone.

Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Edmondson said Monday that Love-Robinson will be extradited to Palm Beach County but would not comment on when that would occur.

Love-Robinson received national attention after being arrested in February 2016 by Palm Beach County authorities. He allegedly gave medical advice and a physical exam to an undercover officer.

Authorities say Love-Robinson was practicing without a license in an office at the West Palm Medical Plaza, near JFK Medical Center North. He is also accused of defrauding an elderly woman of nearly $35,000 after examining her after she complained of stomach pains.

Authorities say he also stole nearly $43,000 from the business account of New Directions, a Boynton Beach, Florida, addiction-treatment center.

Love-Robinson was briefly employed as a program director at New Directions. He left to open his own practice called New Life Holistic and Alternative Medical Center.

Following his Palm Beach County arrest, Love-Robinson made an appearance on “Good Morning America.” He defended his actions, saying he had only practiced alternative medicine and had the proper certifications to do so.

Fentanyl disguised as OxyContin in drug bust

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 3:04 AM

A November traffic stop on Interstate 77 in North Carolina's Iredell County turned into a drug bust.

>> Watch the news report here

That drug bust was considered the biggest OxyContin bust in the county’s history.

But WSOC-TV anchor Allison Latos has learned that the drugs seized in the bust turned out to be fentanyl, which is up to 100 times more powerful than heroin.

Thousands of pills were packed into a paint can with a false bottom.

Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell said he is shocked that 5,000 pills were disguised as OxyContin but were actually fentanyl.

“Bad guys don't want other bad guys to know what they have, so that's why they disguise their products,” Campbell said.

>> Read more trending news

Deputies arrested Anthony Prettyman and Corey Laurenson, of Elmira, New York.

Weny Elmira Narcotics helped feds break up a large drug ring there, where police raided homes and arrested four men accused of dealing tens of thousands of pills.

“To have a sort of relatively rural smaller city, such as Elmira, be a source location for drugs was something we hadn't seen very frequently,” said U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr.

Police are still investigating if the ring is to blame for several overdoses in New York, but Campbell is grateful deputies stopped the pills from being sold here.

“Over 5,000 pills taken off the street and who knows what that could have led to and how many countless lives it saved,” Campbell said.

The sheriff said the pills were headed for Charlotte, a distribution city for the East Coast.

Fentanyl is so powerful, had deputies touched those pills, they could have become ill.

Deputies take precautions and wear gloves during drug investigations.

Last week, officers in Rock Hill were on heightened alert because an officer in Ohio went to the hospital after he brushed fentanyl off his uniform.

Rock Hill police said every officer has a kit with a mask, gown and gloves

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Pike County murders: State pressuring Manley family, lawyer says

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 12:50 PM
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 4:44 PM


            James Manley faces charges of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and vandalism, a fifth-degree felony, for allegedly destroying a state GPS tracker on his truck.

Investigators are attempting to pressure a Pike County murder victims’ relative into talking by charging him with evidence tampering and vandalism — charges that cost James Manley a job in Troy — his attorney alleged after learning Manley’s case would go before a grand jury.

Manley’s case was dismissed Monday from Pike County Court and will go directly to grand jury for an indictment, perhaps as soon as within the next two weeks. Manley, 40, was released Wednesday from Ross County Jail after his wife posted 10 percent of his $80,000 bond.

Manley — the brother of Dana Manley Rhoden, one of eight killed April 22, 2016 — turned himself in on charges of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and vandalism, a fifth-degree felony, for allegedly destroying a GPS tracker state investigators placed on his truck.

The decision means evidence or witnesses against Manley would be presented in closed session, instead of in open court at a preliminary hearing scheduled to have taken place Monday.

Manley is not charged in the murders, nor is anyone else. The Ohio Attorney General’s office has not said if Manley, or any other person, is a suspect in the murder case.

Pike County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Junk did not immediately return a call. A spokesman for Attorney General Mike DeWine declined to comment.

James Boulger, Manley’s attorney, objected to the state’s request the case go directly before the grand jury, noting prosecutors have demonstrated no evidence to support the charges.

Asked if his client was innocent of the tampering and vandalism accusations — Manley’s father has said his son destroyed the GPS device — Boulger took an extended pause.

“I believe that he is, but I have not seen any of the evidence that would have supported probable cause that is supposed to exist before you file a criminal complaint,” Boulger said.

“I think they want to put some pressure on him,” Boulger said. “Try to induce him to give them information that they think that he has. That’s what I think that they’re up to.”

And does he have any information that is of interest to investigators?

“Apparently not,” the attorney said.

Manley, a logger like his retired father, lost a job in Troy due to the publicity surrounding the case, Boulger said.

Using a synonym for people who are reserved or quiet, he called his client a “reticent” individual.

“He seems like a hard-working fellow who’s concerned about his family and has done well by them,” Boulger said.

In addition to Manley’s sister, those who died in the massacre were Hannah Gilley, 20, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20, Hanna Rhoden, 19, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, Gary Rhoden, 38, and Kenneth Rhoden, 44.

Indianapolis 500 drivers robbed at Taco Bell

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 5:15 PM

Indianapolis 500 drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti were robbed at gunpoint while in a Taco Bell Drive Thru late Monday night, according to WTTV the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis. Also in the car was Dixon’s wife and all three were unharmed. 

Authorities report the incident occurred just before 10 p.m. and that two younger men approached Dixon’s car demanding his wallet and phone. Two boys ages 15 and 14 were arrested a short time later. 

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is currently reviewing charges in this case. 

The 2017 Indianapolis 500 (the 101st Indianapolis 500) is scheduled for this Sunday, May 28, 2017, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.