Final autopsy reports out in Pike County killings

Published: Friday, September 23, 2016 @ 1:28 PM
Updated: Friday, September 23, 2016 @ 2:52 PM

Final autopsy reports out in Pike County killings

Update Sept. 23, 2016:

The final autopsy of the eight Rhoden family members killed execution-style in Pike County, Ohio, April 22, 2016, were released Friday by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The release comes months after numerous requests by Ohio media outlets.

The lengthy reports prepared by the Hamilton County Coroner have much of the autopsy findings redacted from the record, but a final cause of death for each victim is shown, including information on where each victim was shot.

Christopher Rhoden, Jr., 16

Cause of death:

Multiple gunshot wounds to the head

Toxicology results redacted from record.

Christopher Rhoden, Sr., 40

Cause of death:

Multiple gunshot wounds to the head, torso and upper extremity.

Toxicology results redacted from record.

Clarence Franklin Rhoden, 20

Cause of death:

Multiple gunshot wounds to the head

Toxicology results redacted from record.

Dana Rhoden, 37

Cause of death:

Multiple gunshot wounds to the head and neck

Toxicology results redacted from record.

Gary Rhoden, 37

Cause of death:

Multiple gunshot wounds to the head

Toxicology results redacted from record.

Hanna Rhoden, 19

Cause of death:

Multiple gunshot wounds to the head

Toxicology results redacted from record.

Kenneth Rhoden, 44

Cause of death:

Single gunshots wound to the head

Toxicology results redacted from record.

Hannah Hazel Gilley, 20

Cause of death:

Multiple gunshot wounds to the head

Toxicology results redacted from record.

The Pike Co. murder case remains unsolved, but last month, we reported on similarities to a killing in Kentucky.

Previous report Aug. 9, 2016:

“It really is like putting together a big, say thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle,” he said. “We’re putting in pieces. A piece here, a piece here, a piece here. At some point it becomes clear. You start seeing a picture and at some point, you figure it out.”

In response to a question on whether the shooters knew the victims, DeWine said certainly those responsible “knew the territory.”

“Someone was involved who knew that area, and probably knew those homes and at least some of the people who were victimized. But beyond that I really can’t say.”

As for the marijuana plants found growing on two properties where bodies were found, DeWine said, “Clearly, this was a serious commercial operation.”, who would not confirm any connections to international drug cartels.

“I don’t want to be in a position where we confirm or deny any kind of theory. I don’t think that would be fair as far as our investigation is concerned and our ability to find out who did this,” he said.

Pastor Fulton said he continues praying for the Lord to “direct the law enforcement.”

“Give them eyes to see, ears to hear, the things that they need to make the arrest of those who committed this tragically evil, grotesque act,” Fulton said.

Fulton said those capable of killing eight people at close range, would likely do it again.

“Because if they’ve done it once, they’re not going to stop. They’ll do it again … They’ve sent a message,” Fulton said. “No doubt that message has went far and wide.”

Fulton said the April deaths are a stark reminder to the dangers of drug dealing.

A $10,000 reward remains for information leading to an arrest.

“We’re in the fourth month now. They’ve confiscated the trailers … surely they could have found something by now,” Fulton said.

Abducted baby abandoned under overpass, saved by homeless man: reports

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 5:24 PM

Abducted Baby Abandoned Under Overpass, Saved By Homeless Man: Reports

A homeless man’s call to police on Monday morning ended an hours-long search for a Louisiana infant who was kidnapped and then abandoned underneath a highway overpass, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Authorities in Shreveport were called Monday morning by a homeless man who said that another man told him he had left a baby under a bridge in Minden, about 30 miles east of Shreveport, KTBS reported.

The child and a man identified by authorities as 25-year-old Kyshaun Wilson had been reported missing around 3:30 a.m. Monday after Wilson left a home in Minden with the 2 1/2-month-old boy, according to the news station. KTBS described Wilson as a friend of the family who lived at the home on Columbia Street, but KSLA reported that he was not a blood relative to the boy.

He was visiting the home on Sunday night and got up around midnight Monday to get the infant a bottle, according to KTBS.

“For some reason unknown at this time, he walks out with the baby,” Minden police Chief Steve Cropper told the news station.

Investigators told KSLA that Wilson walked for miles before he left the baby under an overpass on Interstate 20 around 3 a.m. He got a ride to Shreveport and went to Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino, where he met a homeless man and confessed to leaving the infant, the news station reported.

The homeless man, who was not identified, called police, who were able to find Wilson.

Wilson initially denied any knowledge of the missing child, but later admitted that he had left him under the overpass, the Minden Press-Herald reported.

Police found the child wrapped in a blanket and sleeping underneath the Sibley exit bridge, according to KTBS and The Press-Herald.

“The scariest thing about it -- if he were able to roll off that ledge, he would have hit that concrete retaining ledge and probably would have rolled right out into interstate,” Cropper told the Press-Herald.

However, he told KTBS, “the child was fine. He had only a few minor abrasions.”

The baby has since been released to his mother.

Cropper told the Press-Herald that Wilson was arrested on one count of aggravated kidnapping.

As authorities took him to police headquarters, Wilson said that “God told me to do it,” according to the Press-Herald.

Related

Dayton’s Sam Miller guilty of disorderly conduct, avoids jail, expresses remorse

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 4:34 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 7:38 PM

JAIL CELL VIDEO: UD player in jail incident

UPDATE @ 7:30 p.m.: Sam Miller expressed his remorse to the court in pleading guilty and is “working hard to make sure nothing like this ever happens again,” his attorney, Dennis Lieberman, said.

Beyond that, Miller had no additional comments, Lieberman said.

INITIAL REPORT

Suspended Dayton basketball player Sam Miller pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct Tuesday after an incident in the Greene County Jail that originally landed him with an assault charge.

Miller, 20, will not serve additional jail time and will pay a $250 fine, according to court records.

UD Men's basketball player Sam Miller arrested and becomes insubordinate in back of cruiser.

MORE: Read about Miller’s arrest here

Miller was accused of assaulting a fellow inmate on Sunday, July 30, in the Greene County Jail after an initial arrest for disorderly conduct by intoxication and underage consumption at Caddy’s Taphouse in Beavercreek.

“The university has suspended me for one semester, a decision I have accepted without appeal. In addition, my scholarship has been revoked by the athletic department and, therefore, I will not be a part of the Men’s Basketball program at the University of Dayton this fall,” Miller said earlier this month in a statement to the Dayton Daily News and WHIO. The scholarship was revoked for one year.

MORE: Dayton Flyers’ Sam Miller suspended for semester, won’t play this fall

On Monday, Dayton Head Coach Anthony Grant told the Daily News’ Tom Archdeacon that Miller “is a good kid who made a very, very bad decision.”

“I think he has some personal issues that need attention and hopefully this incident will make him more aware of the things previous coaches and other people have seen,” Grant told Archdeacon.

ARCHDEACON: Eventful summer has Dayton’s Anthony Grant eager to begin

Miller appeared in 53 of 65 games the last two seasons, averaging 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds. Miller averaged 3.2 points and 1.4 rebounds as a freshman.

Last season, he averaged 4.5 points and 2.3 rebounds as a sophomore. Miller was one of five returning players who averaged double-figure minutes. A sixth, junior forward Ryan Mikesell, will miss the season after undergoing two hip surgeries.

With Miller and Mikesell out for the season, Dayton will have 11 scholarship players available when the season begins.

Six of those, including five true freshmen, have never played for Dayton. The other newcomer is redshirt freshman Kostas Antetokounmpo, who sat out last season as a NCAA partial qualifier but did practice with the team starting in January.

Staff Writer David Jablonski contributed reporting.

Manhunt suspect, accused of gun thefts from retired cop, sentenced

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 10:01 AM


            Randy Lee Sellars Jr.
Randy Lee Sellars Jr.

A 30-year-old man in jail and accused of stealing guns and ammunition from a former Moraine deputy police chief has been found guilty of other charges.

Randy Lee Sellars Jr. was sentenced to nearly six months in custody Tuesday, about two weeks after being booked in Montgomery County Jail following a multi-jurisdictional manhunt that started when he escaped custody in Moraine.

RELATED: Guns, ammunition stolen from home of retired deputy chief

Sellars in late July stole guns and ammunition from the home of retired Moraine Deputy Police Chief Tracy Harpster, police in that city said Tuesday.

The defendant was booked in the county jail Aug. 6, fewer than 24 hours after be apprehended in Kettering following his escape in Moraine.

RELATED: Fugitive suspect found after escaping police

Sellars’ arrest this month followed “quite a little spree” that has drawn the interest of authorities in German Twp. and Centerville as well, said Moraine Sgt. Jon Spencer.

On Aug. 8, his bond was set at $500,000, according to court documents.

Jail records indicate felony charges of escape and burglary. The latter charge stems from the theft at Harpster’s home, where a rifle, two pistols and “several thousand” rounds of ammunition were taken, Moraine records show.

MORE: Other articles by Nick Blizzard

Kettering Municipal Court Judge James Long on Tuesday sentenced Sellars to 163 days in jail and fined him $100 after finding him guilty on four misdemeanors, court records show.

“There are other agencies in the south suburbs that he is a suspect in,” current Moraine Deputy Police Chief Jason Neubauer said. “I’m anticipating more charges will be coming his way.”

Sellars initially pleaded not guilty to receiving stolen, criminal damaging/endangering, obstructing official business and criminal trespassing. But Tuesday he changed his pleas on all counts to no contest, court records show.

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Woman hit by car, killed while watching eclipse; 1 injured

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 9:25 AM

Woman Watching Eclipse Hit by Car and Killed, Another Injured

A 23-year-old woman died and a second woman was injured Monday when a driver lost control of her car and struck them while they watched the solar eclipse in Kentucky, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Authorities told WLKY that Alyssa Noble, 38, lost control of her car while driving on Main Street in Hyden on Monday afternoon, striking a utility pole and a pair of women who were watching the eclipse.

Officials pronounced 23-year-old Mackenzie Hayes, of Hazard, dead at the scene of the crash. Rhonda Belcher, 41, of Wooton, was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Hospital, Kentucky State Police said in a news release obtained by The Courier-Journal.

The newspaper reported that Hayes and Belcher were watching the eclipse around 1:15 p.m. near the courthouse in Hyden when the crash happened.

It was not immediately clear what caused Noble to lose control of her vehicle. WKYT reported that Noble was taken to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee, after the collision.

Hayes and Belcher worked at Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky, according to the news station. They were on their lunch break when they were struck while stopping on the sidewalk to watch the eclipse, WKYT reported.

In a statement obtained by the news station, Barry Martin, CEO of Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky, called the crash “a tragic accident.”

“We are asking that everyone keep all of those involved in your prayers and be respectful of their privacy,” Martin said.

Police continue to investigate the crash.