Guards in Dante Price killing take plea deal

Published: Friday, October 10, 2014 @ 1:04 PM
Updated: Friday, October 10, 2014 @ 7:04 PM

            Security guards take plea deal in Dante Price killing

Two security guards who killed a man two years ago as he attempted to leave an apartment complex agreed to plea deals Friday afternoon that will guarantee they spend at least three years in prison.

Justin Wissinger, 26, and Christopher Tarbert, 34, were working as private security guards for Ranger Security at the Summit Square Apartment complex the night of March 12, 2012 when they encountered Dante Price in the parking lot. The 25-year-old father was trespassed from the property, and the guards ordered Price from his car at gunpoint. When he did not comply with their orders and attempted to drive away, Tarbert and Wissinger fired 17 rounds into the car, hitting Price three times and killing him.

On Friday, the men each entered guilty pleas to counts of involuntary manslaughter at a hearing in Montgomery County Common Pleas County. They also agreed to plead guilty to an abduction charge. In exchange, the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office dropped the murder charges the two faced, along with the weapons specifications that would have added an additional mandatory three years to their sentences. The men also waived their right to appeal as part the agreement.

The deal guarantees the two men will face between 3 to 11 years in prison — significantly less than if they'd been convicted of murder. The case was set to go to trial on Oct. 21. If convicted, Tarbert and Wissinger would have faced 15 years to life in prison. The agreement was reached after defense attorneys approached prosecutors. The prosecutor talked with Dayton police and Price's family before agreeing to the deal, officials said.

Price's mother, Saprena Riley, said for two years she prayed for a deal because she knew she wouldn't be able to bare hearing and seeing the details surrounding her son's death in open court.

"If you're not a mother who had (your) child murdered the way I had my child murdered, and what that would look like with that many bullets, to endure them having to show you, nobody would want to see that," she said. "I want to remember him as he was."

Riley and other family members wept as Judge Timothy O'Connell read the charges and accepted Tarbert and Wissinger's pleas. While the time in prison will be less than what they could have faced, Riley said at least she knows her son is guaranteed justice.

"Even though I laid my son to rest two years ago, today I actually laid my son to rest. He can rest. I'm just so grateful to God. He answered my prayers," she said.

At the time Wissinger and Tarbert were arrested, county Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said they had exceeded their legal authority trying to detain Price, and by using deadly force to try to make him comply. Heck and Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said Price's shooting was not a hate crime. Price was black. The two guards are white.

Ranger Security officials could not be reached for comments Friday, and Tarbert and Wissinger's attorneys reserved comment until sentencing.

The newspaper has reported that police reports show Tarbert had numerous encounters with Price in the six months before Price's death. Both Wissinger and Tarbert were permitted by the state Private Investigator Security Guard Services to carry handguns. Both had the required training.

According to state records, Wissinger had been with Preble County-based Ranger Security for several months prior to the shooting; Tarbert worked for the company off and on for several years.

Nine months before Price's shooting, the state moved to have the license for Ranger Security, owned by Ivan Burke, revoked because of thousands of violations. The company's attorney classified those violations as "clerical." The matter failed because the state did not follow all its procedures.

Tarbert and Wissinger are scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 7 in O'Connell's courtroom.

Pike County Sheriff issues alert about criminal gang, heroin

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 3:30 PM

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader issued a warning Monday to residents regarding “gang members” coming to the area and “‘taking out’ believed snitches.”

The unusual message — posted on Facebook and confirmed as authentic by dispatchers — did not reference the April 22, 2016, murders of eight people that have become synonymous with the rural southern Ohio county.

MORE: Pike County murders: Reward for killers increases

“MS-13, an International Criminal Gang and or Konvicted Family gang members are allegedly coming into Pike County this weekend,” the alert reads. “Possibly planning on ‘taking out’ believed snitches and spread (sic) ‘HOTSHOTS’ of heavily laced Heroin into the area that could cause an extremely large amount of overdoses in Pike County and surrounding counties.”

“This is according to very limited intelligence deputies have gathered in recent drug related investigations across the area in the past weeks,” the notice stated.

A dispatcher at the Pike County Sheriff’s Office said no additional details are available.

Jill Del Greco, a spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, said, “We are not involved with this.”

MORE: Pike County murder investigation leads to drug arrests

Gang or cartel involvement have long been theories in the mysterious deaths of eight people in Pike County.

Initial reports that investigators found a large marijuana grow operation at the crime scene fueled speculation that Mexican drug cartels could be involved, considering the apparent sophistication of the crime and prior reports that Mexican organized crime was previously active in the area.

But Reader played down the Mexican cartel idea last year in an interview with WCPO in Cincinnati.

“With the nature of the investigation, and the things that’s been revealed while conducting the investigation, there would be no indication to me as to any type of Mexican drug cartel being involved,” he said. “It wasn’t because they had a couple little indoor grows, wasn’t because there was just a couple of cars on the property that may have been stolen. It’s much bigger than that.”

Read more coverage of the Pike County murders:

» Alaska, Ohio police ‘inundated’ with Pike County murders tips

» Alaska pastor says Ohio family attended church

» Who are the Wagners? Investigators want to know

Man who shot wife in Germantown sentenced

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 8:55 AM

Thomas A. Shockey (Montgomery County Jail)
Breaking News Staff

UPDATE @ 2:00 p.m.:

Thomas Shockey, 71, was sentenced to five years in prison for shooting his wife and hitting her in the head last September, according to court officials.


DAYTON — A 71-year-old Germantown man accused of shooting his wife in the stomach and hitting her in the head in their home will be sentenced in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court today.

Thomas Shockey, a Germantown resident, called 911 and admitted he shot his wife on September 4, 2016

RELATED: Germantown man calls 911, admits he tried to kill his wife

Shockey is facing a felonious assault charge. 

MC Sheriff’s Office looking for garage break-in suspect

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 12:45 PM

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help identifying a suspect in a recent garage break in. 

The break in occurred on Lago Mar Drive in Washington Township. The suspect is seen carrying a flashlight as he walks around the garage and opens a vehicle's door.

The unknown male subject then notices the surveillance cameras and leaves the scene.

He is identified as a male who has a beard and is wearing a baseball style hat, a long sleeve shirt, and blue jeans. A vehicle was not seen leaving the area.

If you have any information regarding the person seen in the photos you are asked to contact Detective Ridgeway at 937-432-2766.

Police: Man allegedly hit wife with prosthetic leg

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 1:01 PM

Westend61/Getty Images/Westend61

A man in Ohio is accused of striking his wife with one of his prosthetic legs, police said.

>> Read more trending news

Police responded Friday to a home in Sandusky on a disorderly conduct call, The Associated Press reported. Ronna Wilson told police that her husband, Richard T. Wilson Sr., 63, threw one of his prosthetic legs at her, striking her in the head. She claimed she suffered wrist injuries while trying to defend herself when her husband attempted to hit her with his other prosthetic leg.

Police arrested the man on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence. He denies assaulting his wife, The Associated Press reported.