Mom charged with murder of 2 young children competent for trial

Published: Friday, December 01, 2017 @ 4:08 PM

Dayton mother accused of killing two children ruled competent

The 30-year-old Dayton mother accused of killing two of her children has been ruled to be “presently competent to stand trial” after the judge reviewed a psychiatric report, but reports about her plea of not guilty by reason of insanity were not finished.

Claudena Helton was to be in court Friday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, but her appearance was continued after an in-chambers meeting of attorneys.

»RELATED: Dayton woman accused of killing her two kids pleads insanity

Defense attorney Anthony VanNoy said Friday he asked for the continuance until mid-January for more time for reports to be complete.

A Nov. 3 docket entry by Judge Dennis Langer ruled that Helton was “presently competent to stand trial” after reviewing a psychiatric report often used in cases that don’t also include an insanity plea.

»RELATED: Police say mom admitted to killing 2 kids, asking third to help with bodies

Dayton police said Helton admitted to shooting 8-year-old daughter Khmorra and 6-year-old son Kaiden in their heads — and asking her third child to help drag their bodies outside. She was indicted on six counts of aggravated murder. No trial date has been set.

»RELATED: Dayton chief after 2 kids shot in head: ‘This is one of the toughest’

In court documents, Dayton police wrote that Helton said she shot them to “save them from the evils of the world.”

VanNoy asked Langer to allow a psychological evaluation of Helton, whichLanger granted, according to court documents.

»INVESTIGATION: Who is protecting our children? Adults with a history of abuse have killed hundreds of Ohio kids

Helton’s attorney wrote that his client “does not understand what she is being charged with or what acts constitute the crime. ...

“Defendant has a history of mental health issues and does not understand the consequences of her actions,’VanNoy wrote.

Helton — who police said was naked and in what neighbors said was trance-like state when police arrived just after 10 a.m. May 18 — was interviewed not long after police said passersby performed life-saving measures on the children outside the home at 3821 Lori Sue Ave.

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Closing arguments Tuesday in Montgomery County Jail mattress lawsuit

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 3:47 PM


            David Cooper
David Cooper

The civil lawsuit of a former Montgomery County Jail inmate who was denied a mattress could reach a federal jury Tuesday.

Testimony wrapped up just after noon in David O. Cooper’s lawsuit against Montgomery County in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

RELATED: Inmate slept on toilet; jail staff hoped to protect him from himself

U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice released jurors until Tuesday morning, when Rice said jury instructions and closing arguments will commence.

Defendants rested earlier Monday before Cooper took the stand as a rebuttal witness. His attorney, John Helbling, asked Cooper about the conditions of his stay including how often he was able to shower, what the meal schedule was and the night he and other inmates in the holding cells were given hard mats.

RELATED: Jury selected in federal jail mattress case

Cooper said the mat he received in late September or early October 2012 was inflexible and had no stitching. Cooper also said he never tried to harm himself with the mattresses he had while in general population.

The defendants include Montgomery County, former jail commander Major Daryl Wilson and Capt. Chuck Crosby. Helbling suggested in opening statements that if jurors found the county liable that they could reward damages between $3 million and $4 million.

Court documents indicate the county argues that Cooper’s incarceration conditions do not rise to liability.

RELATED: Trial to start of inmate suing for not getting mattress in jail

The civil lawsuit is the first of several filed against jail staff in recent years for alleged abuse and/or neglect to go to trial.

Four other cases have settled for $888,000 plus the county spent another $444,000 on outside legal counsel and litigation costs, according to county records. Other cases are pending.

RELATED: County spending on lawsuits passes $1 million

JUSTICE IN THE JAILHOUSE: Lawsuits, accusations plague region’s county jails

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Walmart parking lot shooting involved stolen car, drug deal gone bad

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 12:37 PM

Fairfield Twp. police are looking for the suspect who shot a teenager in his leg Saturday after they met up for an alleged drug deal in the Walmart parking lot. The 17-year-old male was shot around 3 p.m. Saturday while he was in the driver s side of a car in the lot, 3201 Princeton Road. The suspect fled in a car that was stolen out of Cincinnati. DAN ACTON/CONTRIBUTED
Dan Acton/Contributed
Fairfield Twp. police are looking for the suspect who shot a teenager in his leg Saturday after they met up for an alleged drug deal in the Walmart parking lot. The 17-year-old male was shot around 3 p.m. Saturday while he was in the driver s side of a car in the lot, 3201 Princeton Road. The suspect fled in a car that was stolen out of Cincinnati. DAN ACTON/CONTRIBUTED(Dan Acton/Contributed)

Fairfield Twp. police are working to piece the different angles recorded by Walmart security cameras to get a better understanding of what happened when a 17-year-old boy was shot in a suspected drug deal gone bad on Saturday.

The teenager, according to witnesses, allegedly set up a drug deal at 3 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Walmart on Princeton Road. The alleged deal was set up through a social media interaction, said Fairfield Twp. Police Capt. Doug Lanier.

INITIAL REPORT: Police looking for Walmart shooter

“I believe it occurs quite frequently, which could occur in any parking lot,” he said of alleged drug deals set up via social media. “People do it because they feel it’s a safe place to make the transaction in public, but of course it still doesn’t prevent problems like this one, which was in broad daylight.”

During the alleged drug deal, a male subject shot the teen in the leg. The teen then accelerated his vehicle forward and struck multiple vehicles and a shopping cart corral.

The alleged shooter is described as a light-skin, mixed-race male, possibly 16 to 19 years old, around 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-7 and 135 pounds with black curly hair and a goatee. The suspect, who was wearing a dark jacket and dark sweatpants, fled the scene on foot, running westbound across the Walmart parking lot.

Lanier said the suspect was dropped off at Walmart in a stolen red four-door 2007 Toyota Camry with a sunroof. The vehicle was stolen on the west side of Cincinnati on Friday, Lanier said. Police found the stolen vehicle.

Lanier said the 17-year-old’s name is not being released because he is a juvenile victim, and he has been released from West Chester Hospital. When asked if he could be charged with selling drugs, Lanier said, “It’s still under investigation.”

Flares, not improvised explosive devices, ignited at Florida mall, FBI says

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 9:33 AM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 1:04 PM

FBI Says Flares Ignited At Florida Mall

 

Lake Wales police are searching for those responsible for igniting two marine flares Sunday evening near the entrance of the JC Penney at the Eagle Ridge Mall Sunday evening.

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Firefighters responded to reports of an explosion at the mall on 451 Eagle Ridge Drive around 5:20 p.m.

Firefighters initially said that an improvised explosive device had been detonated in a corridor located next to the mall entrance of JC Penney.

The FBI later determined that there was no explosion and no pipe bombs were discovered. Officials also said that the incident didn’t appear to be terrorism-related.

"It appears two items, believed to be marine flares, were ignited in a mall hallway, creating a large amount of smoke, and a backpack was located at the scene," said Andrea Aprea, an FBI spokeswoman. "Bomb technicians examined the contents of the backpack and determined it did not contain any incendiary or explosive devices."

A witness who called 911 told WFTV that she heard a fire alarm sound and saw orange smoke billowing from an object.

The mall was evacuated. No one was injured, but a ceiling and a wall were damaged by the flares, officials said.

After speaking with witnesses, police said they are looking for a person of interest described as a stocky, middle-aged white man wearing a gray shirt and a hat.

Detectives said they will review surveillance footage recorded at a jewelry store in the mall.

The investigation is ongoing.

Related

Fairfield Twp. police still looking for couple involved in SWAT call

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 2:08 PM


            Fairfield Twp. called on the Butler County SWAT team when officers could not make contact with the occupants of home after a report of a domestic violence incident. The house was empty, but witnesses said they “heard fighting” and then left the house to contact police. PHOTO PROVIDED BY WCPO
Fairfield Twp. called on the Butler County SWAT team when officers could not make contact with the occupants of home after a report of a domestic violence incident. The house was empty, but witnesses said they “heard fighting” and then left the house to contact police. PHOTO PROVIDED BY WCPO

Fairfield Twp. police are still looking for the couple involved in a report of domestic violence on Sunday afternoon that ended with SWAT officers breaching a home that evening and finding no one inside.

Capt. Doug Lanier said his Fairfield Twp. officers responded around 2 p.m. Sunday after friends and family of a couple that resides in the 1800 block of Pater Avenue reported they “heard fighting, and that led them to believe violence was occurring.”

INITIAL REPORT: Hostage report leads to SWAT call

The friends and family left the house to contact the police, but in the five to 10 minutes they left the house, the couple is believed to have left the home, Lanier said. However, that was not known to police at the time.

“We didn’t know if it was empty, or if someone was hurt inside,” Lanier said.

After officers did not get a response, Lanier said they contacted Butler County SWAT. SWAT officers also made attempts to garner a response, including using a bullhorn, before making what Butler County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Mike Craft called a “dynamic entry.”

“We made a forcible entry into the house to see if there was a hostage taker in there,” he said.

Lanier said his department is continuing to investigate. According to Butler County Auditor records, the property is owned by a family trust.