Logan Co. superintendent accused of not reporting rape on unpaid leave

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 10:19 AM
Updated: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 3:37 PM

Heather O'Donnell on unpaid leave

A Logan County superintendent accused of not reporting child sexual abuse was placed on unpaid leave last week.

Heather O’Donnell, the superintendent at Midwest Regional Educational Service Center, has been charged with two counts of child endangering in connection with child rape charges lodged against her husband, Indian Lake Superintendent Patrick O’Donnell.

MORE: Logan County superintendent suspended after endangering charges

She was suspended by the Midwest Regional board on July 14 and the board agreed to place her on voluntary unpaid leave on Aug. 17.

“The justice system will proceed and determine her guilt or innocence and the ESC reserves the right to take further action depending on the outcome,” a news release issued by the Midwest board says.

Her attorney, Sam Shamansky, said his client is innocent and he is confident a jury will find her innocent of any wrongdoing.

“Heather is wrongly accused,” he said. “She had never engaged in any sort of criminal behavior that is alleged in the indictment. She is ready to go before a jury of her peers.”

He said his client never hid any sexual assault.

“When this case is fully and fairly presented during a jury trial, people will have the full story,” Shamansky said.

Calls to the Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart weren’t returned. The school board previously said in a statement that the charges filed against Heather O’Donnell were “horrible.”

MORE: Logan County school superintendent indicted on child rape charges

“The ESC remains committed to our first priority — partnering with school districts to improve outcomes for students and families,” the news release says. “We are committed to working with any member district, staff member, student or family who has concerns about anything surrounding our ESC, including this issue.”

Calls from the Springfield News-Sun to the attorney for Patrick O’Donnell weren’t returned.

A Logan County grand jury indicted Heather O’Donnell and Patrick O’Donnell on July 11. Patrick O’Donnell faces several charges — four counts of rape-victim under 13, four counts of sexual battery and six counts of gross sexual imposition. Indian Lake Local Schools board of education has moved to terminate him but he has filed an appeal of that process, according to school board meeting minutes.

Investigators have said the alleged rapes occurred over a three-year period and involve a single child who’s now 13. That child isn’t a student at Indian Lake and was known to both O’Donnells, according to police.

MORE: Indian Lake superintendent on leave after arrest on sex charges

The police have alleged the child went to Heather O’Donnell at least two times to report the abuse to her but Heather O’Donnell allegedly didn’t report the accusations to authorities.

Middletown police: Beware tree-trimming scam

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 1:03 AM

Middletown police are warning residents of “unscrupulous tree trimmers” who have been taking advantage of elderly people.

The police department posted its warning Tuesday on its Facebook page.

One incident was thwarted, but the culprits were paid in another incident.

Police remind residents that door-to-door solicitors need a permit in the city. Call police if tree trimmers knock on your door uninvited.

>>>2 elderly residents found dead in apparent murder-suicide in Hamilton

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine offers tips to avoid tree-trimming scams. Beware of a tree trimmer who:

  • Comes to your door unexpectedly
  • Says your trees are diseased
  • Requires a large down payment
  • Accepts only cash or check
  • Says nothing about your right to cancel
  • Starts work immediately

Brother is one of two charged in South Lebanon homicide

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 6:55 PM
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 11:20 PM

Christopher and Jacqueline Kirby
WARREN COUNTY JAIL
Christopher and Jacqueline Kirby(WARREN COUNTY JAIL)

A Warren County couple remained in the Warren County Jail on Tuesday, charged with murder in the killing of a relative Friday in South Lebanon.

MORE: 2 arrested in South Lebanon; Woman killed, man in critical condition

Christopher Kirby and Jaqueline R. Kirby, 30, who are married, are charged with murder, attempted murder and two counts of aggravated robbery.

Deborah Power, 63, of South Lebanon was found under a blanket and “cold to the touch with blood underneath” by sheriff’s deputies called to a home at 59 W. Broadway just before midnight Friday, according to a search warrant filed in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Her husband, Ronnie Power, remained in critical condition Tuesday, according to WCPO-TV.

Deborah Power’s parents adopted Christopher Kirby, 38, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell told WCPO.

“Our two defendants were interested in taking some property basically for the purposes of buying drugs ultimately went in and beat our female victim to death, beat our male victim to the point to where he’s in very very critical condition and obviously we’re hopeful that he’ll survive these injuries but it’s still looking pretty dire,” Fornshell told WCPO on Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, Warren County Judge Gary Loxley set bond for the Kirbys at $250,000 each during hearings in Warren County Court.

MORE: Indictment issued in Franklin stabbing

The case began at 11:50 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, when an 8-year-old boy called 911, according to Fornshell.

Deputies responded to the residence -- where the Kirbys also lived, according to earlier reports -- to find Ronnie Power bleeding from the head.

MORE: Murder trial delayed due to defense lawyer problem

After “rendering aid” to him, deputies found the body of Deborah Powers, who also lived there, according to a press release issued Monday by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

Deborah Power apparently died of blunt force trauma, but tests are pending, according to Doyle Burke, chief investigator for the Warren County Coroner’s Office.

Ronnie Power’s truck was found the next day at the West Chester Hospital, where he was taken for treatment.

Investigators suspect the Kirbys traveled to the hospital in the truck. They seized clothing and the passenger side seatbelt and took swabs from the truck, according to the search warrant inventory.

The Kirbys are scheduled to return to county court at 3 p.m.Friday.

Warren County couple being held on bond in woman’s slaying

Published: Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 5:29 PM
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 12:33 PM

Christopher and Jacqueline Kirby
WARREN COUNTY JAIL
Christopher and Jacqueline Kirby(WARREN COUNTY JAIL)

A Warren County couple has been arraigned in connection with the killing of a South Lebanon woman on Friday.

MORE: 2 arrested in South Lebanon; Woman killed, man in critical condition

Bond for Christopher G. Kirby, 38, and Jaqueline R. Kirby, 30, was set at $250,000 during hearings Tuesday in Warren County Court.

They are both charged with murder, attempted murder and two counts of aggravated robbery.

The deceased was identified on Monday as Deborah Power, 63, of South Lebanon.

Power apparently died of blunt force trauma, but tests are pending, according to Doyle Burke, chief investigator for the Warren County Coroner’s Office.

MORE: Indictment issued in Franklin stabbing

About 11 p.m., Friday, Sept. 15, deputies responded to a 911 call of a person in need of help at 59 W. Broadway in South Lebanon. The Kirbys both lived at this residence.

MORE: Murder trial delayed due to defense lawyer problem

After “rendering aid” to a unidentified man who lives there, deputies found the body of Power, who also lived there.

The unidentified man is still in critical condition and being treated at a local hospital, according to a press release issued Monday by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

The Kirbys are scheduled to return Friday to the county court.

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Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to contact the sheriff’s office at 513-695-2525.

Father high on heroin pushes son in stroller down 7-foot hill, police say

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 6:30 PM

Police say Charles Brookbank was high on heroin while with his 5-year-old son, putting him in danger.
Butler City Police Department
Police say Charles Brookbank was high on heroin while with his 5-year-old son, putting him in danger.(Butler City Police Department)

A Butler, Pennsylvania, father was arrested and jailed Sunday after he was accused of putting his 5-year-old in son danger.

He allegedly pushed his son, who was in a stroller, over a 7-foot hill while high on heroin, according to the Butler City Police Department.

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Butler police said Charles Brookbank had his son strapped into the stroller. He had visitation with his son that day.

Detectives said that while he was walking with the stroller, Brookbank ran into telephone poles, bushes and stopped to buy heroin before taking the drug.

Multiple people said they saw the erratic behavior.

“He even left the child at a busy intersection at a stop sign for a while,” Butler City Deputy Police Chief Dave Adam said.

Police said that as they arrived on the scene, Brookbank was overdosing. He lost his footing, fell on top of the baby stroller and plummeted down a hill. 

Police said the boy was taken to the hospital to be checked out. He is OK and back with his mother.

“It’s the kids, it's the families, this is what heroin does,” Adam said. “These are the victims.”