Former deputy gets life in Ohio cold case homicide

Published: Thursday, April 28, 2016 @ 5:50 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 28, 2016 @ 5:50 PM

A former deputy is going to prison for life in an Ohio cold case homicide believed to be one of the oldest of such cases involving the slaying of a law enforcement officer ever to be successfully prosecuted, the state attorney general’s office said.

Mitchell Ruble, 65, convicted by a jury in March of aggravated murder in the 1981 killing of Washington County sheriff’s Lt. Ray “Joe” Clark, was sentenced Thursday morning.

In addition to the life sentence, Judge Randall Burnworth also sentenced Ruble to a concurrent 11 months on a charge of unlawful possession of a dangerous ordinance. Ruble pleaded guilty to the weapons charge today.

The charge was part of a separate case relating to Ruble’s illegal possession of a modified AR-15 fully automatic rifle. Investigators found the weapon when they served a search warrant in the murder investigation.

“Many people, including the defendant himself, likely thought that this case would never be solved, but today, there is justice,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a prepared statement.

“Cold cases can be very difficult to solve, but as this case shows, it’s not impossible when you have law enforcement and prosecutors who refuse to give up and are committed to finding the truth.”

Clark was shot to death at his Marietta home on Feb. 7, 1981. Investigators determined that Ruble waited outside Clark’s home and fired a shotgun through the kitchen window.

Ruble had worked as a Washington County sheriff’s deputy until December 1979, when Clark terminated his employment because of the use of excessive force while on duty.

Special prosecutors with DeWine’s Special Prosecutions Section prosecuted the case. The sheriff’s Cold Case Unit and Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigated the case, which was part of DeWine’s Ohio Unsolved Homicides Initiative.

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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Troy man sentenced, called ‘reprehensible’ for sex acts with 9-year-old girl

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 11:28 AM
Updated: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 11:32 AM

            Charles C. Cox, 43, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years to life by a Miami County judge who called his actions “abhorrent and reprehensible.” CONTRIBUTED
Charles C. Cox, 43, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years to life by a Miami County judge who called his actions “abhorrent and reprehensible.” CONTRIBUTED

TROY – A Troy man convicted of sexual conduct with a 9-year-old girl he was babysitting – taking sexually graphic photos and making a video of the child on his phone – was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years to life by a Miami County judge who called his actions “abhorrent and reprehensible.”

Charles C. Cox, 43, earlier pleaded guilty in common pleas court to five charges in a plea deal in which six other felony charges would be dismissed and a prison term of 10 years to life suggested. He pleaded to one count of rape, one count of pandering sexually oriented material and three counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material or performance.

Cox told Judge Jeannine Pratt he was sorry for his actions.

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“I regret it but also found The Lord while I was in jail,” he said.

The girl’s mother, in a written statement read by a victim advocate, said Cox was “one of the very few people we trusted with our children.”

The girl blames herself and “it will take some time for her to understand he is the monster,” she said.

County Prosecutor Tony Kendell said Cox’s conduct supported a life sentence.

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Pratt said Cox had a history of criminal convictions, showed no genuine remorse and violated a position of trust with the child.

“Your conduct is abhorrent and reprehensible,” she said.

The sentence is 10 years to life with the adult parole authority charged with determining how many years he will serve, Pratt said.

Cox was classified as a Tier III sex offender. The designation requires lifetime registration with the sheriff’s office in the county where he would live following any release from prison.

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

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

Decatur Municipal Court Judge Lindsay Jones poses in this undated photo. (WSBTV)
Decatur Municipal Court Judge Lindsay Jones poses in this undated photo. (WSBTV)(WSBTV)

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

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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.

Police arrest, release 2 in slaying of Dayton man found shot in his home

Published: Friday, December 08, 2017 @ 1:31 PM
Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 6:48 PM

Police arrest, release 2 in slaying of Dayton man found shot in his home

UPDATE @ 6:30 p.m. (Dec. 11): Police now say two young men arrested in the investigation of a homicide on Grafton Avenue have been released pending further investigation. 

They were booked into the Montgomery County Jail on Friday on suspicion of murder. They were released Sunday, according to Dayton police homicide investigators. 

Neither man has been formally charged, according to the county prosecutor's office, in the death of Sayed Villanueva, 42, who was found dead Friday afternoon on the second floor of the house in the 1100 block of Grafton.

According to the autopsy report, Villanueva had been shot in the neck.

Sayed Villanueva (Courtesy/Family)

Monday, his fiance said she is confident the person or persons responsible will be caught and that justice will be served. 

"I don't know whether or not it will be served today but it will definitely be served," Tawana Callaway said. "It will come, you will get your time, trust and believe that, you will get your time because he did not deserve this," she said.

Multiple people were detained and questioned after Villanueva was found by family members shortly before 1 p.m.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Police investigating body found in Great Miami River