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Paid suspension for local teacher accused in fatal hit-and-run crash

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 5:41 PM
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 6:52 AM

Kristine Baggs was arraigned in Clark County Common Pleas Court.

UPDATE @ 1:00p.m. (Nov. 22):

Kristine Baggs, a Kenton Ridge High School science teacher, has been put on paid administrative suspension according to Northeastern School District officials Wednesday after making her first court appearance.

Baggs is facing charges related to a deadly hit and run pedestrian accident that killed Lawrence Mason, 45, of Medway, in September 2016.

The Ohio Attorney General prosecutor on the case against Baggs spoke about the charges filed against the educator in court Wednesday. 

Paid suspension for local teacher accused in fatal hit-and-run crash

“These are very serious charges,” prosecutor Leigh Bayer said. 

She asked the court to handle Kristine Baggs’ case like the court has handled similar cases in Clark County. 

"There was a victim who died as a result of being hit by a car driven by Ms. Baggs," Bayer said in court. "And the car was hidden from view several days afterward." 

She also asked that Baggs not be allowed in any establishment that serves alcohol as a condition of her bond. 

Baggs doesn’t admit to the allegations, her defense attorney Richard Mayhall said in court. He asked the court to release her on her own recognizance bond. 

“She has been employed as a teacher in Clark County for the last 15 years,” Mayhall said. “She’s married, she has two children, she has no prior record. Since this incident occurred nearly 15 months ago, she has had no other allegations.” 

A magistrate set Baggs’ bond at $100,000. 

UPDATE @ 12:00 p.m. (Nov. 22):

Kristine Baggs, a Kenton Ridge High School science teacher, has been put on paid administrative suspension according to Northeastern School District officials Wednesday.

Baggs made her first court appearance Wednesday morning on charges related to a deadly hit and run pedestrian accident that killed Lawrence Mason, 45, of Medway, in September 2016.

UPDATE @ 10:57 a.m. (Nov. 22):

Kristine M. Baggs appeared in court Wednesday morning for her arraignment.

Baggs pleaded not guilty and bond was set at $100,000.

UPDATE @ 6:53 a.m. (Nov. 21)

Our newsroom is working to gather more information on the arrest of Kristine M. Baggs, 40, of Springfield. She was booked into Clark County Jail Monday afternoon around 5 p.m. 

Kristine Baggs (Contributed Photo)

She is listed as a teacher in family and consumer science at Kenton Ridge High School. She made $52,788 in 2016, according to the Dayton Daily News and Springfield News-Sun Payroll Project.

EARLIER REPORT (Nov. 20)

A Northeastern School District teacher has been indicted in a deadly hit and run pedestrian accident that killed a man standing on North Tecumseh Road in Bethel Twp. last year.

Kristine Baggs is charged with failure to stop after an accident, tampering with evidence and two counts of vehicular manslaughter, according to the Clark County Common Pleas Court website. 

Lawrence J. Mason, 45, of Medway was struck and killed by a silver 2015 Dodge Durango in September 2016, according to an Ohio State Highway Patrol crash report. The vehicle and driver left the scene, according to investigators.

The vehicle was later traced to the Baggs family, and Mason’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Baggs was arrested Monday afternoon, more than a year after the deadly accident.

"I'm hoping the family may have some justice for their loved one with Ms. Baggs going to jail for this indictment and charges," said Lt. Brian Aller, commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Springfield post. 

Kristine Baggs is a teacher in the Northeastern School District, Superintendent John Kronour said. 

Kronour said he couldn't comment until he knows more about the situation. 

She hasn't been suspended or put on leave at this time. 

"Not yet, but I anticipate that might be forthcoming," Kronour said.

OVI check: Passenger zooms off in car, crashes as driver takes sobriety tests

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:47 PM

Dayton OVI crash

A passenger in a car detained at an OVI checkpoint Friday night hopped in the driver’s seat, took off and crashed into a pole while the driver was taking a sobriety test.

The driver was held for testing around 10 p.m. at a Montgomery County OVI Task Force check in the area of Salem and Hillcrest avenues in Dayton.

That’s when one of his two passengers got in the driver’s seat and drove off, Sgt. Matt Robinson of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Dayton Post said.

The four-door sedan then crashed into a pole in the 3300 block of North Main Street. The car glanced off the pole into the middle of the street, blocking the southbound lanes of North Main Street, which was covered in debris.

The two occupants bailed and evaded capture. However, the detained driver provided police with their names.

Law enforcement that responded to the scene included the highway patrol, Dayton police and Montgomery County deputies.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

SPCA: Animal abuse calls spike in Clark County

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 7:59 PM

Rising number of local animal abuse calls

The SPCA averages a call a week for possible animal abuse cases. But in the last two weeks, there’s been almost nine times the number of cruelty complaints.

“As soon as the weather started changing it started getting cold and the phones have been ringing off the hook,” Krissi Hawke, director and animal cruelty officer for the Clark County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said.

The SPCA takes every call seriously to watch out for house pets and livestock.

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The dogs at the shelter are mostly strays picked up by the dog warden. The shelter tries to reunite the pets with owners on Facebook.

“The biggest problem that we’re seeing right now are that they are being left outdoors. In the cold,” Hawke said.

Breeds with short coats are particularly susceptible to the elements, she said.

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“A lot of it is just educating the public on what’s proper and what’s not proper,” she said. “The best outcome would be for the animals to be kept in the home.”

Typically calls from community members are concerns about a lack of food, water and shelter for animals outdoors.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

2nd trial in Miami County child rape case ends in hung jury

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 1:05 PM
Updated: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 5:52 PM


            Charles Hiser, right, seated at the defense table in Miami County Common Pleas Court earlier this year. STEVE BAKER/STAFF
Charles Hiser, right, seated at the defense table in Miami County Common Pleas Court earlier this year. STEVE BAKER/STAFF

The second trial in the child rape case of Charles Hiser, 37, of Troy ended in a hung jury.

Jurors in Miami County Common Pleas Court sent a note to Judge Christopher Gee around 2:45 p.m. Friday saying they were unable to agree on a verdict. The jury foreman told the judge a short time later in court that additional deliberations would not likely end the disagreement.

EARLIER: Mistrial declared in case against man accused of child rape

Earlier Friday deliberations were interrupted by a family emergency of a juror who was replaced by an alternate juror. The jury deliberated 4½ hours Thursday followed by around six hours on Friday. They were told after the alternate juror arrived that deliberations needed to start from scratch.

Lawyers for the prosecution and defense declined comment after the hung jury was declared.

Hiser, 37, faces eight felony rape charges for alleged sexual contact and sexual conduct with a person under age 10 and then under age 13 between February 2012 and late 2016 in Piqua and Troy.

Gee said a pretrial hearing will be held Wednesday, Dec. 20, to determine the next steps in the case.

Hiser will remain in jail in lieu of $550,000 bail.

EARLIER: Victim says sex abuse happened more times than she could count

Gee said he would consider a request for a reduced bond next week.

Public defender Steve Layman asked for reduced bail or a recognizance bond for Hiser, saying he had been jailed since Feb. 9. Layman said Hiser was willing to follow whatever conditions were set by the court. “It is difficult. He has been incarcerated quite some time.”

Janna Parker, assistant county prosecutor, opposed the request for reduced bail. She cited the “severe nature” of the allegations and the possible penalty faced by Hiser, if convicted.

A trial in October ended in a mistrial after some jurors said they had seen or heard about media accounts of the case.

Hiser is a registered sex offender following a 2007 conviction for misdemeanor sexual imposition. The jury was not permitted to hear that information.

In closing statements Thursday, Parker said the girl may have said she assumed why the sexual acts began and could not provide specific dates and times for the alleged acts, but that is not unusual for sexual assault victims.

“There were no assumptions as to what happened between her and the defendant. She was very clear it happened too many times to count,” Parker said.

Layman said there was not an objective fact finding process followed in the investigation by police, who he argued displayed a lack of effort.

“Charles was assumed guilty from moment of disclosure. Why didn’t they dig deeper?” Layman said.

He questioned why corroborating evidence was not sought about allegations that he said could have been fabricated.

Parker said the girl’s account, if believed by the jury, told the story. “She is worth listening to,” she said.

2 arrested, accused of Dayton porch package thefts

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 8:19 AM
Updated: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 5:30 PM

2 arrested after packages stolen off Dayton porches

UPDATE @ 5:30 p.m.:

One of two suspects arrested at 2500 John Glenn Road in Dayton is in the Montgomery County Jail.

Lawrence J. Pulaski(MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL)

Lawrence J. Pulaski, 55, was arrested at 2:50 p.m. and booked into jail on suspicion of five misdemeanor counts of receiving stolen property. He is schedule to appear Monday in Dayton Municipal Court.

UPDATE @ 3:54 p.m.:

Police said they’ve arrested two people they believe are involved in a series of package thefts from porches in East Dayton Thursday.

The suspect’s identities were not released, however officers tracked the men down after a person reported a suspicious vehicle in their neighborhood.

The two men were arrested on John Glenn Road in Dayton and police said they found packages in their vehicle.

Doorbell camera captures thieves stealing packages from Dayton porches

INITIAL REPORT

A bearded man in a red hooded sweatshirt is stealing packages off of porches in Dayton. 

The man struck around 5:10 p.m. Dec. 14 in the 1600 block of Rosemont Boulevard. 

Minutes later around 5:24 p.m. he reportedly hit a second house around in the 3500 block of Cleveland Avenue. Both homes are within blocks of each other.

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In both cases the victims were alerted via phone applications to activity on their porches — backed up by video of the acts, according to police reports.

At the first house the caper got away with three packages — containing a pair of Giani Bernini boots, Christmas ornament and a Nike gym bag — valued at about $100.

The 27-year-old woman whose packages were stolen on Rosemont told police she received a phone notification of activity on her front porch. She reviewed video that showed a man take three packages off her porch and get into the passenger side of a red convertible, according to the report.

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The suspect in both cases is described as a white male with a beard, wearing a gray zip jacket, red hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. He was riding in a red, two-door convertible.

At the second home, the suspect stole a package containing only batteries

The 29-year-old male victim said he uses the phone app Ring Door Bells.