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Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 10:07 AM
BUTLER COUNTY — The last of three men charged in a Middletown crime spree in the fall of 2016 that ended in the slaying of two people has been sent to prison.
Charles Ray Graham, 28, of 2002 Pearl St., pleaded guilty in November to being part of a criminal gang in Butler County Common Pleas Court.
Graham was one of three men indicted for crimes in late October and November 2016 in Middletown that ended with the deaths of Tiffany Hoskins and Joseph Romano.
Prosecutors say Graham and co-defendants Douglas Best and Derrick Brown were members of gang called the Cincinnati White Boys.
On Tuesday, Judge Greg Stephens sentenced Graham to three years in prison. He was taken away from the courtroom to begin serving his sentence. He faced a maximum of eight years in prison.
Graham was indicted for attempted burglary for allegedly trying to break into Romano’s residence just days before the homicide and participating in a criminal gang. He pleaded guilty to participating in a criminal gang, a second degree felony. The attempted burglary charge was dropped
Douglas Best, 29, of Richmond Street, pleaded guilty in October to two counts of aggravated murder with gun specifications for the death of Romano at his Lafayette Avenue home and for the shooting death of Hoskins, whose body was found inside a Jacoby Avenue house.
In April, Derrick Brown, 22, of 815 Crawford St., pleaded guilty as charged to attempted burglary, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and aggravated murder for his part in the death of Romano.
Both men are serving prison sentences of life with the possibility of parole after 51 years.
Romano was shot to death on Nov. 4. He was hit four times by bullets, with three of them striking him in the chest, leg and neck. He was killed in his kitchen at 1517 Lafayette Ave., according to Middletown police.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 10:17 PM
XENIA — A 33-year-old Xenia man who evaded capture, which led to a manhunt in Xenia, was taken into custody by Xenia police and the U.S. Marshals.
Charles E. Dameron was arrested Wednesday night without incident, Xenia police Capt. Alonzo Wilson stated tonight in a news release.
Charles will be facing additional charges as a result of this arrest, Wilson said.
Kazia M. Dehart, 30, who was with Charles was arrested on outstanding warrants, police said.
Dameron fled in a vehicle Jan. 5 when Greene County Sheriff’s deputies tried to stop him on U.S. 35 E. He was a suspect in a gun-related incident in Riverside.
Police found the vehicle idling with a child inside on North Richard Drive. Dameron had been baby-sitting the child, who was not hurt.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 9:30 AM
Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 6:00 PM
SPRINGFIELD — UPDATE @ 6 p.m.
Charges have been dropped against a juvenile, but an 18-year-old Springfield resident remains accused of shooting a man in the chest last week.
Elrashawn T. Dover, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Sunday in Clark County Municipal Court. His bond was set at $250,000 and a public defender was appointed. He also was ordered to have no contact with the victim, should he post bail.
The victim was stepping out of his car shortly after 2 p.m. Jan. 8 in the 300 block of West Grand Avenue in Springfield. He told police he heard gunfire and then felt a gunshot to his chest, according to court documents.
"He said he grabbed his chest and could see blood on his hand," police say in court records.
The victim's brother then drove him to the Springfield Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the right side of his chest and was expected to recover, police said.
Court records showed the victim identified Dover as the shooter after reviewing a photo lineup.
Dover already was in the Clark County Jail on several unrelated charges.
Springfield police also arrested last week a male juvenile who a witness identified as involved in the shooting and booked him into juvenile detention on an attempted murder charge, according to court records.
Clark County prosecutors requested to dismiss the charges against the teen, which the juvenile judge granted.
"Right now everything is looking and pointing toward (Dover) and we dismissed at this point to give us more time to make sure whether the juvenile is involved or not," Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Bill Merrell said. "We don't know that yet."
Two people, including a juvenile, were arrested and charged with attempted murder in connection to a Jan. 8 shooting on West Grand Avenue in Springfield.
The victim was stepping out of his car in the 300 block of West Grand and heard gunshots and then felt a gunshot to his chest, court documents read.
Last Friday, the victim identified Elrashawn T. Dover, 18, as the person who shot him after reviewing a photo lineup, court records showed.
Police arrested the juvenile the day after the shooting and booked him into juvenile detention.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 3:51 PM
MIDDLETOWN — When the Middletown police chief and two new City Council were having lunch Wednesday on the fourth floor of the City Building, they noticed through a window that it appeared two subjects were climbing a fire escape and entering a window on the upper floors of the former Manchester Inn.
So Chief Rodney Muterspaw, who was meeting with council members Joe Mulligan and Ami Vitori, called police dispatch to report the suspicious activity at the hotel that closed seven years ago.
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As the two suspects were illegally trying to enter the Manchester Inn, the police department’s K-9 team was training along with eight agencies of the Southwest Regional K-9 Training Team at the city’s K-9 training center near the Middletown Regional Airport.
“Bad timing,” Muterspaw said with a laugh. “Real bad.”
Middletown’s K-9 officers Bear, Chase and Koda, along with dogs from the other police agencies, entered the building, said Officer Ryan Morgan, Chase’s handler. Morgan said there were 11 dogs stationed in and around the Manchester Inn.
“Dogs were barking everywhere,” Morgan said.
While Morgan and Chase were on the second floor, Chase, a 4-year-old German shepherd, indicted he smelled human scent, Morgan said. When they found the subjects hiding in a hotel room, Chase “showed force” and the subjects quickly surrendered, Morgan said.
Morgan said there is “no better training than real life scenarios.”
Nicholas Tsakeris, 18, and a juvenile were charged with criminal trespass, police said.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 2:45 PM
LEBANON — A judge today denied a Springboro teacher facing criminal charges in a drug case also involving her son treatment in lieu of conviction during a hearing in Warren County Common Pleas Court.
Amy Panzeca, 48, of Springboro, is facing charges of permitting drug abuse, contributing to the unruliness of a minor and endangering children in Warren County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Donald Oda II denied the motion for lack of evidence that Panzeca’s alleged drinking problem contributed to her permitting drug abuse in her home.
The case stems from traffic stops last year by Springboro police and a raid last May by the Warren County Drug Task Force of the Panzeca home in the Settlers Walk community in Springboro.
In December, her son, now 16, was sentenced to 30 more days in the local detention center as part of his sentence in Warren County Juvenile Court after pleading no contest to charges of trafficking in drugs and possession of controlled substances.
He got credit for 15 days already spent in detention, but was ordered to complete an in-patient treatment program.
Panzeca is accused of converting her son’s money, including a birthday gift, to Bitcoin, which he used to buy LSD, some of which he sold to about 20 Springboro students.
In December, Oda found an oral motion by Panzeca’s lawyer “to be well-taken, in part” and ordered the long-time teacher be examined.
Her lawyer, Andrea Ostrowski, filed a motion that said: “Drug or alcohol usage by the defendant was a factor leading to the instant offense.”
Offenders granted treatment in lieu of conviction must abstain from drugs and alcohol for 12 months, take part in treatment programs and submit to random testing in order to complete the diversion program. It also can include community service and financial restitution.
If offenders complete the program, the court dismisses the original charges and can potentially seal the records related to the case.
Since August, Panzeca has been free on her own recognizance, pending trial. She had been pressing for the identity of confidential informants in the case and suppression of statements made to police.