Man convicted of “racially motivated” double murder gets new trial

Published: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 @ 3:05 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 @ 3:05 PM

A Jefferson Twp. man sentenced to 38 years to life in prison for the slaying of two men who offered to help him after a drug ripoff will get a new trial.

The Ohio 2nd District Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of Gregory Leet, agreeing with Leet that the trial court erred when it overruled Leet’s motion to suppress. The decision was handed down Friday.

At issue are statements that Leet made to Montgomery County Sheriff’s investigators in March 2010. The decision, written by Judge Mary E. Donovan and joined by Judge Thomas J. Grady, states that questioning should have broken off immediately when he asked for a lawyer during his second conversation with detectives. The decision also states that the record shows that Leet’s initial waiver, before his first conversation, was not made in a knowing, intelligent and voluntary fashion, as required by law. Therefore, all of those statements should have been excluded from the trial.

Judge Jeffrey E. Froelich concurred that the questioning should have stopped during the second conversation, but did not agree that the statements from the first conversation should be suppressed.

“I’ll be back in two years because I’m innocent,” Leet told Judge Mary Katherine Huffman at his June 7, 2011 sentencing, promising he would be out of prison within five years.

Huffman told Leet that the slayings were “so racially motivated.” Leet, 29, is white. Victims Nathan E. Gay and Harvey Sims Jr. were black. So was the man who ripped off Leet, and another man Leet beat up after his money was taken.

The bodies of Gay and Sims were found Feb. 26, 2010, along a bank of Bear Creek in Jefferson Twp.

A jury convicted Leet on May 27, 2011 of two counts of purposeful murder, two counts of felony murder, four counts of felonious assault and one count of tampering with evidence. He was exonerated on one count of aggravated robbery.

Leet’s friend Tylor Blevins and Blevins’ cousin Kenneth Bailey testified they saw Leet shoot Gay and Sims. The defense contended Bailey was the killer and Blevins was helping frame Leet.

Blevins testified that he, Bailey and Leet had left Hammerjax nightclub, 111 E. Fourth St., when Leet approached a man to purchase cocaine. That man, Abdul Jihad, testified he took Leet into the Wilkinson Apartments on West Fifth Street, took Leet’s money then ran off.

Unable to find Jihad, Leet then attacked an elderly man who was walking on the sidewalk, according to trial testimony.

Blevins said that Gay, 49, and Sims, 54, approached and said they knew who had taken the money.

Leet offered them each $100 to find the man, but said he’d have to go to his house in Jefferson Twp., according to witness testimony.

Witnesses said the victims got in Leet’s SUV, and the five men drove to Leet’s house. After stopping at the house, Leet drove to an area near 2701 Germantown-Liberty Road, according to trial testimony. Leet and the two victims got out of the vehicle, and Leet fired several shots, according to witness testimony. Blevins said he heard one of the men begging for his life.

Boy stops man to get help for Dayton gunshot victim

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 4:57 PM
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 1:00 AM

FROM SCENE: Child stops man to get help for Dayton gunshot victim

UPDATE @ 1 a.m. (Oct. 20)

Anthony Watson Jr., a 25-year-old man who was shot two times in the leg, was listed in serious condition early today at Miami Valley Hospital.

Crews were dispatched to the 3400 block of Valerie Armes Drive around 4 p.m. after a boy alerted an adult to call for help.

UPDATE @ 11 p.m.

An 11-year-old boy stopped a man this afternoon to get help for a gunshot victim.

According to a Dayton police report, the victim was 25-year-old Anthony Watson Jr.

There was no information about any suspects.

UPDATE @ 5:20 p.m.

A child alerted an adult that a man had been shot late this afternoon in Dayton. 

The 911 caller said the child told him the man was shot twice in the leg. 

Crews were dispatched just before 4 p.m. to the 3400 block of Valerie Arms Drive. 

The shooting victim, a man in his mid-20s, was taken to Miami Valley Hospital. His injuries are not life-threatening, police said.

According to an incident call log, the suspect vehicle is described as a black 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix with temporary tags and a large scratch on the rear. Two men in their 20s were inside.

FIRST REPORT

A shooting victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital this afternoon.

The incident was reported around 4 p.m. in the 3400 block of Valerie Arms Drive in Dayton.

>>Mom’s boyfriend charged after third-grader brings gun to school

The victim’s name, age and condition were not available.

It’s not clear whether police have a shooting suspect.

63-year-old Dayton gunshot victim fights for her life

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:48 AM

63-year-old Dayton woman in critical condition after shooting

A shooting victim was critically hurt Thursday night in Dayton.

Crews were dispatched shortly after 8:15 p.m. to the 1600 block of Tennyson Avenue.

>>Boy stops man to get help for gunshot victim

According to a Dayton police report, 63-year-old Rosemarie Harris was “shot by another, resulting in life-threatening injuries.”

Harris was taken to Miami Valley Hospital, where she was undergoing surgery late Thursday night.

No suspect information was available.

Springfield police seek recruits to bolster force

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 11:50 PM

Springfield police seek recruits to bolster force

The Springfield Police Division is down nearly 20 officers.

“It essentially makes the officer on the street busier,” said Capt. Lee Graf, who has been with the division for more than 20 years.

There are currently 113 officers, down from the city’s ideal 131-member roster, due to retirements and officers leaving for other departments.

“Our response with the critical calls hasn’t been affected, but on some days when we’re right at bare minimum, certainly it will have an effect,” Graf said.

Springfield resident Lisa McKeen said she would like to see more officers.

“Sometimes I don’t think there’s enough because it seems like they can’t patrol everywhere, and they can’t be everywhere at the same time,” she said.

Graf said one of the biggest problems is the pay compared to other police agencies. Officers in Springfield make a maximum of $58,000, compared to the starting pay up to $64,000 in Kettering.

“When you’re competing with some of the more affluent suburbs and things like that, that’s hard to do,” Graf said.

Springfield will begin testing for new recruits in early December.

Convicted rapist won't have joint custody of victim's child after judge rescinds ruling

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 1:49 AM

Judge Rescinds Ruling, Convicted Rapist Won’t Have Joint Custody of Victim’s Child

The Michigan judge behind a controversial ruling last month, which granted a convicted sex offender joint legal custody to the child conceived by his 12-year-old victim in 2008, has rescinded his decisionCBS News reports.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Woman’s rapist gets joint custody of child he fathered in assault

Sanilac County Judge Gregory Ross ruled Tuesday that 27-year-old Christopher Mirasolo will not have any parental rights to the 8-year-old boy. However, he will still be expected to pay for child support.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Lawyer: Rapist granted joint custody of boy he fathered will not seek visitation

Mirasolo was not seeking custody of the child. This odd scenario started when the mother, now 21, sought state assistance for her son. Ross ruled for joint legal custody after a DNA test verified Mirasolo was the boy’s biological father.

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Why did Ross initially grant Mirasolo legal custody? John Nevin, a spokesman for the Michigan Supreme Court, said that Ross wasn’t aware of Mirasolo’s two convictions, nor of how he and the mother were connected. After learning of Mirasolo’s record, Ross put the order on hold and rescheduled a hearing for Tuesday.

In a statement released to the Port Huron Times Herald, Sanilac County Prosecutor James Young said he wanted to “express [officials’] apologies for the manner in which this case was handled.”

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The mother, identified only as Tiffany, spoke to CBS News earlier this month and expressed dismay that the judge would grant her attacker joint custody of her son. She said she had to provide the father’s name as a condition of receiving state financial assistance.

“I was receiving government assistance, and they told me if I did not tell them who the father was of my child, that they would take that away from me,” Tiffany said.

She said “horrible things” and “flashbacks” still come to mind when she hears Mirasolo’s name.