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Driver in crash that killed Graham student suspected of alcohol use

Published: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 @ 5:19 PM
Updated: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 @ 5:26 PM

Driver in crash that killed Graham student suspected of alcohol use

Champaign County deputies are investigating the possibility that one of the drivers in a crash that killed a Graham High School student might have been drunk.

Sara Hess, 15, was killed Nov. 3. A crash report obtained by the Springfield News-Sun says 17-year-old Gabe Wier, who was driving a 2006 Accord that Hess was in, was attempting to make a left hand turn off of Ohio 235 when his car was rear-ended by a 1997 Honda Civic driven by Dylan Lambert.

REMEMBERING SARA: Sara Hess of Graham High School remembered at funeral

“(Lambert) struck (Wier) in the right rear, forcing (Wier) off the roadway to the left,” the report says. “(Wier) struck a ditch, which caused the vehicle to roll over and came to a final rest on its tires.”

The report says Lambert was trying to pass the Accord at the time of the crash and allegedly crossed a double yellow line to do so. It also says Champaign County deputies allegedly suspect Dylan Lambert, 27, of being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.

The crash report says Lambert tested at a .232 level of alcohol, which is almost three times the legal limit for driving.

No charges have been filed.

“We are still investigating, it will have to be presented to a grand jury,” Champaign County Sheriff Matthew Melvin said.

MOREUrbana teen killed in Champaign County

Hess was wearing her seat belt at the time of the crash, according to the report. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lambert didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Sara’s death hit the Graham community hard, Graham Superintendent Kirk Koennecke said, and will have a lasting impact on the school.

READ: Graham student killed in crash, school closing

Students and teachers at the school are still mourning her death, he said.

“If we find there are other new developments in the case where this horrible tragedy could have been avoided, we are going to mourn even more,” Koennecke said. “It will be a senseless loss of life that could have been avoided.”

Springfield man accused of whipping pregnant woman with belt

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 7:40 AM

A collection of crime stories from the Springfield News-Sun.

A Springfield man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly whipped a pregnant woman with a belt.

MORE: Springfield man arrested, accused of robbing Fifth Third bank

Ethan S. Gavin, 20, is facing one count each of domestic violence, resisting arrest and obstructing official business. He’s expected to appear in court at 10:30 a.m. today.

The Springfield Police Division was called to the 2600 block of Lagonda Avenue at about 10 a.m. Monday morning about an argument between a man and a woman, according to a police report.

A police officer took the victim to a back bedroom to get more information about the situation, the report said. Gavin then went outside, but later back inside and attempted to enter the bedroom. A police officer had to stop him with his hand, but he refused to leave the room.

MORE CRIME: Springfield man accused of striking mom with cane over drug money

Gavin was then placed under arrest, but refused to cooperate. He then began wrestling with officers and was eventually tased by officers.

Gavin allegedly choked the victim with both hands, punched her in the head and whipped her with a belt on the arms, legs and stomach, the report said. The victim also told police she is eight weeks pregnant.

Gavin was placed in the Clark County Jail.

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Philadelphia Eagles fan punches horse, police officer after ejected from game

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 2:50 PM

Philadelphia Eagles Fan Ejected From Game After Punching Horse, Police Officer

A Philadelphia Eagles fan attacked a horse after being ejected from the Eagles-Falcons playoff game in Philadelphia on Saturday.

>> Read more trending news 

According to WPVI, police said 22-year-old Taylor Hendricks was ejected from the game and became violent as he was leaving. WTXF reported Hendricks struck a mounted police officer in the legs and repeatedly hit the horse in the face and neck.

Police said Hendricks has been charged with aggravated assault, illegally taunting a police horse, simple assault and defiant trespass. He may also face animal cruelty charges.

Manager pleads guilty in Franklin strip club case

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 6:27 PM


            Michael Reese, 37, of Miamisburg, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine, two counts of permitting drug abuse, and illegally operating a sexually oriented business.
Michael Reese, 37, of Miamisburg, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine, two counts of permitting drug abuse, and illegally operating a sexually oriented business.

The manager of a Franklin strip club pleaded guilty on Tuesday to trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine, two counts of permitting drug abuse, and illegally operating a sexually oriented business.

Judge Timothy Tepe is to sentence Michael Reese, 37, of Miamisburg on March 9 in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

In January 2017, Reese, a night manager at the New York, New York strip club in Franklin, was observed by plain-clothes law enforcement officers on multiple occasions handing cocaine to a co-defendant in the case, Courtney A. Rogers, a dancer with the stage name “Giselle,” according to a press release issued Tuesday by the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.

RELATED: Strip club, employees indicted on drug trafficking charges

Rogers , would then allegedly sell the cocaine to customers. Reese told officers that the dancers received a portion of the proceeds from the drug transactions, according to the release. Reese was also allowing nude dancing to occur past midnight, in violation of the law, the release said.

“Today’s guilty plea by the manager of New York, New York conclusively demonstrates that the club, its management, and its dancers engaged in numerous instances of drug trafficking and other illegal activity that law enforcement and Franklin city officials had long suspected was regularly occurring at the club,” said Warren County Prosecutor David P. Fornshell in the press release.

MORE: Franklin strip club’s liquor license challenged

“Our office will continue to proceed with the prosecution of the related cases in order to hold to account the club and the remaining defendants for their role in perpetuating this criminal enterprise,” Fornshell added.

Rogers is scheduled for a hearing on a treatment in lieu of conviction plea hearing on Feb. 7.

NEW DETAILS: Witness saw husband, wife before her death, sheriff says

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 3:45 PM

NEW DETAILS: Witness saw husband, wife before her death, sheriff says

Investigators believe they have witnesses who can place a husband at the scene where his wife was found dead in a car, Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said Tuesday.

Randy Freels faces a charge of one count of murder in the death of his wife, Samantha Freels, 52, who was found in a wrecked car with a gunshot wound Friday.

Bail for Randy Freels, 57, was set at $1.5 million Tuesday in Miami County Municipal Court. He pleaded not guilty.

EARLIER: Miami County woman found dead, husband held

Miami County Prosecutor Tony Kendell asked Judge Gary Nasal to set “a substantial cash bond as high as the court is willing to give. This is based on his conduct and the charge itself.”

Duchak said a check of available department records to 2010 did not show any sheriff’s office calls to the Freels’ residence.

WATCH: Husband gets $1.5M bond in death of Samantha Freels. Randy Freels has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of his wife who was found inside her car last Friday.

One of the witnesses told investigators she stopped on Ohio 55 around 2:50 p.m. Jan. 12 to ask a man and woman in the road if they needed assistance, then heard “six to eight popping sounds” a short time later after pulling into her nearby driveway, according to a sheriff’s office report.

The witness said the woman “appeared nervous and the male did not make eye contact with her and did not speak,” according to the report. The witness, after viewing a photograph, said she believed the woman was Samantha Freels of Union Twp.

MORE: Suspect in 30-hour standoff demanded ‘thousands’ in cash from 10-year-old boy’s mother

Emergency crews were called just after 3 p.m. Friday for a report of a car into a creek in the area of Ohio 55 and Elleman Road — near where the woman had encountered the couple earlier.

Investigators initially thought the driver, Samantha Freels, died because of the crash but later found she had a gunshot wound.

A sheriff’s investigator at the scene noticed a “fresh bullet hole” on the vehicle’s trunk lid.

Randy Freels was arrested Friday evening at the couple’s home on South Rangeline Road.

Duchak said Tuesday that the investigation continues after a search of a car driven by Samantha Freels, a truck also found near the crash scene and registered to Samantha Freels and the Rangeline Road, Ludlow Falls, residence.

The sheriff said numerous weapons were found in the search of the home, including long rifles and pistols. He did not have an exact number but said it would be “in excess of 40.”

“We have several witnesses we believe will place him at the scene,” Duchak said Tuesday.

Samantha Freels was employed as a digital sales specialist for Cox Media Group Ohio, the parent company of WHIO-TV and Dayton Daily News.