Judge hears testimony in school threat case

Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 @ 5:25 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 @ 5:25 PM

Tipp City school and police officials testified Tuesday that a seventh grader admitted writing a threat on a cafeteria table Feb. 20, stating at one point it was “a dumb choice.”

The testimony came in Miami County Juvenile Court during the an adjudication hearing for a 14-year-old charged with felony inducing panic along with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and aggravated menacing.

The teen sat at the defense table with his mother and attorney Andrew Wannemacher. He did not testify. He has been released from juvenile detention on electronically monitored house arrest.

Judge W. McGregor Dixon Jr. took the testimony from six witnesses and verbal arguments of Wannemacher and Rob Long, an assistant county prosecutor, under advisement. He will issue a written decision. If convicted of the felony, the teen could be sentenced to detention until age 21.

The boy is one of two Tipp City schools students accused of making five threats at Tippecanoe High School and Middle School between Feb. 13 and 20. Each boy is accused of making one threat.

Charges have not been filed in three threats. Tipp City police continue to investigate.

The second student charged, a 15-year-old high school freshman, is being held at the West Central Juvenile Detention Facility north of Troy. A hearing on a motion for his release is scheduled for Wednesday.

The 14 year old was accused of writing a threat in pencil on a cafeteria table during study hall near the end of the school day Feb. 19. A sixth grader found the threat the following morning and told a teacher. The 15 year old is accused of writing the first threat Feb. 13 on a high school bathroom wall.

Shane Mead, Tippecanoe Middle School assistant principal, testified he interviewed the 14 year old after school staff determined who had been at the table in the hours before the threat was found.

Mead said the boy initially denied involvement, but then came clean. “He looked right at me and said, ‘I did it,’” Mead said.

The boy also wrote a confession and at one point said he “was screwin’ around … trying to be funny,” Mead added.

Police Detective Sgt. Chris Graham said the boy told him he “didn’t know why” he wrote on the table and had “made a dumb choice.”

Wannemacher asked the judge to dismiss the charges, a motion that was denied.

Fentanyl disguised as OxyContin in drug bust

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 3:04 AM

A November traffic stop on Interstate 77 in North Carolina's Iredell County turned into a drug bust.

>> Watch the news report here

That drug bust was considered the biggest OxyContin bust in the county’s history.

But WSOC-TV anchor Allison Latos has learned that the drugs seized in the bust turned out to be fentanyl, which is up to 100 times more powerful than heroin.

Thousands of pills were packed into a paint can with a false bottom.

Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell said he is shocked that 5,000 pills were disguised as OxyContin but were actually fentanyl.

“Bad guys don't want other bad guys to know what they have, so that's why they disguise their products,” Campbell said.

>> Read more trending news

Deputies arrested Anthony Prettyman and Corey Laurenson, of Elmira, New York.

Weny Elmira Narcotics helped feds break up a large drug ring there, where police raided homes and arrested four men accused of dealing tens of thousands of pills.

“To have a sort of relatively rural smaller city, such as Elmira, be a source location for drugs was something we hadn't seen very frequently,” said U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr.

Police are still investigating if the ring is to blame for several overdoses in New York, but Campbell is grateful deputies stopped the pills from being sold here.

“Over 5,000 pills taken off the street and who knows what that could have led to and how many countless lives it saved,” Campbell said.

The sheriff said the pills were headed for Charlotte, a distribution city for the East Coast.

Fentanyl is so powerful, had deputies touched those pills, they could have become ill.

Deputies take precautions and wear gloves during drug investigations.

Last week, officers in Rock Hill were on heightened alert because an officer in Ohio went to the hospital after he brushed fentanyl off his uniform.

Rock Hill police said every officer has a kit with a mask, gown and gloves

Related

Pike County murders: State pressuring Manley family, lawyer says

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 12:50 PM
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 4:44 PM


            James Manley faces charges of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and vandalism, a fifth-degree felony, for allegedly destroying a state GPS tracker on his truck.

Investigators are attempting to pressure a Pike County murder victims’ relative into talking by charging him with evidence tampering and vandalism — charges that cost James Manley a job in Troy — his attorney alleged after learning Manley’s case would go before a grand jury.

Manley’s case was dismissed Monday from Pike County Court and will go directly to grand jury for an indictment, perhaps as soon as within the next two weeks. Manley, 40, was released Wednesday from Ross County Jail after his wife posted 10 percent of his $80,000 bond.

Manley — the brother of Dana Manley Rhoden, one of eight killed April 22, 2016 — turned himself in on charges of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and vandalism, a fifth-degree felony, for allegedly destroying a GPS tracker state investigators placed on his truck.

The decision means evidence or witnesses against Manley would be presented in closed session, instead of in open court at a preliminary hearing scheduled to have taken place Monday.

Manley is not charged in the murders, nor is anyone else. The Ohio Attorney General’s office has not said if Manley, or any other person, is a suspect in the murder case.

Pike County Prosecuting Attorney Rob Junk did not immediately return a call. A spokesman for Attorney General Mike DeWine declined to comment.

James Boulger, Manley’s attorney, objected to the state’s request the case go directly before the grand jury, noting prosecutors have demonstrated no evidence to support the charges.

Asked if his client was innocent of the tampering and vandalism accusations — Manley’s father has said his son destroyed the GPS device — Boulger took an extended pause.

“I believe that he is, but I have not seen any of the evidence that would have supported probable cause that is supposed to exist before you file a criminal complaint,” Boulger said.

“I think they want to put some pressure on him,” Boulger said. “Try to induce him to give them information that they think that he has. That’s what I think that they’re up to.”

And does he have any information that is of interest to investigators?

“Apparently not,” the attorney said.

Manley, a logger like his retired father, lost a job in Troy due to the publicity surrounding the case, Boulger said.

Using a synonym for people who are reserved or quiet, he called his client a “reticent” individual.

“He seems like a hard-working fellow who’s concerned about his family and has done well by them,” Boulger said.

In addition to Manley’s sister, those who died in the massacre were Hannah Gilley, 20, Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20, Hanna Rhoden, 19, Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16, Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40, Gary Rhoden, 38, and Kenneth Rhoden, 44.

Florida ‘teen doctor’ sentenced to one year in Virginia prison

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 8:45 PM

Malachi Love-Robinson in a mugshot after his arrest in February 2016 when he allegedly gave medical advice and a physical exam to an undercover officer.
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

A 20-year-old West Palm, man accused by local authorities of posing as a doctor was sentenced to one year in prison Monday after he pleaded guilty to fraud charges in Virginia.

Malachi Love-Robinson was sentenced to the prison term after he pleaded guilty in March to charges of making false statements to obtain credit and of passing a forged document. He still faces criminal proceedings in Palm Beach County, where authorities allege he practiced medicine without a license and defrauded patients.

>> Read more trending news

Love-Robinson, who turned 20 on May 12, was out on bail when he reportedly traveled to Stafford, Virginia, in September and tried to purchase a used car. Virginia authorities say he provided fraudulent information while trying to purchase the vehicle and claimed that an elderly relative accompanying had agreed to be a co-signer.

He reportedly tried to buy a $26,000 Lexus from a used-car dealership. He initially asked about buying a Jaguar, but was told the dealership did not have any left in stock, a dealership employee told The Palm Beach Post in September.

Authorities say he also used the relative’s credit cards to purchase two iPads and a cellphone.

Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Edmondson said Monday that Love-Robinson will be extradited to Palm Beach County but would not comment on when that would occur.

Love-Robinson received national attention after being arrested in February 2016 by Palm Beach County authorities. He allegedly gave medical advice and a physical exam to an undercover officer.

Authorities say Love-Robinson was practicing without a license in an office at the West Palm Medical Plaza, near JFK Medical Center North. He is also accused of defrauding an elderly woman of nearly $35,000 after examining her after she complained of stomach pains.

Authorities say he also stole nearly $43,000 from the business account of New Directions, a Boynton Beach, Florida, addiction-treatment center.

Love-Robinson was briefly employed as a program director at New Directions. He left to open his own practice called New Life Holistic and Alternative Medical Center.

Following his Palm Beach County arrest, Love-Robinson made an appearance on “Good Morning America.” He defended his actions, saying he had only practiced alternative medicine and had the proper certifications to do so.

Indianapolis 500 drivers robbed at Taco Bell

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 5:15 PM

Indianapolis 500 drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti were robbed at gunpoint while in a Taco Bell Drive Thru late Monday night, according to WTTV the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis. Also in the car was Dixon’s wife and all three were unharmed. 

Authorities report the incident occurred just before 10 p.m. and that two younger men approached Dixon’s car demanding his wallet and phone. Two boys ages 15 and 14 were arrested a short time later. 

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is currently reviewing charges in this case. 

The 2017 Indianapolis 500 (the 101st Indianapolis 500) is scheduled for this Sunday, May 28, 2017, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.