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NEW DETAILS: Police used GPS data to find Dayton man’s body in creek

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:18 PM

Charles Romine
Charles Romine

GPS data was received during the 911 call Charles Romine made Sept. 18 when he was confused about where he was, but dispatchers “are trained that the primary source of location information comes from the caller,” according to a statement sent out Friday afternoon by Dayton police.

Romine, 71, was found dead two days later — Sept. 20 — at least three miles northwest of the downtown Dayton location he described in his 2:22 p.m. call Sept. 18.

The statement said historical GPS data was used by a Special Victims Unit detective to locate Romine’s deceased body in Wolf Creek near the area of Philadelphia Drive and James H. McGee Boulevard. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said it will not comment until its investigation is complete.

RELATED: Family, friend talked to 911 the day before man’s body was found in creek

“The Dayton Police Department extends our sincere condolences to the family of Charles Romine regarding their loss,” the Friday release said. “Several attempts have been made to meet in person with members of Mr. Romine’s family to inform them about the investigation and the extensive efforts of the Dayton Police Department to locate Mr. Romine.”

The statement said: “In examining the original dispatch record, it was learned that GPS data which contains longitude and latitude information was received during the initial 911 call from Mr. Romine’s cell phone.”

Dayton police denied a public records request from this news organization for internal emails about the efforts to get information from Romine’s cell phone provider.

When Romine called 911, he said: “I need a rescue. I’ve been on these rocks for, like, three hours.”

RELATED: Vigil for Dayton man found in Wolf Creek turns into call for justice

He also said he didn’t want to be humiliated, but that he knew he needed help. “I don’t want to be looking embarrassed, that’s the main thing,” Romine told the dispatcher. “But I don’t want to lose my life, either.”

Dayton police’s Friday statement also said: “At times, the GPS coordinates are not available or can be less accurate than the information provided by a caller. Hence, Montgomery County Regional Dispatch personnel relied upon location information as provided by Mr. Romine.”

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

The statement provided a series of some events “after an internal review of records and information from Montgomery County Dispatch Center.” They included: Romine called 911 and said he was in the alley across from the Community Blood Center; A Check Welfare call was generated and two officers responded; Dispatchers called Romine’s number twice but could not get through.

On Sept. 19, Romine’s relatives reported him missing and two Dayton officers were dispatched. At the request of officers, the regional dispatch center attempted to locate current GPS coordinates from the cellular phone provider, but Romine’s cellular phone was not communicating with the network, according to the statement.

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Romine’s family planned to meet at 1 p.m. Saturday on the bridge over Wolf Creek to march to the Dayton police department and City Hall. The family has told this news organization that they feel the case was an injustice.

Dayton police said the investigation into Romine’s death is still open pending a coroner’s report..

Driver, dog killed in 3-vehicle crash in Greene County

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 12:54 PM

SKY 7 FOOTAGE: Driver, dog killed in 3-vehicle crash in Greene County

UPDATE@2 p.m.:

The motorist killed in the crash has been identified as a 25-year-old man whose name has not been released. 

He was traveling east on Clifton Road in an SUV when he drove in front of a dump truck that was northbound on state Route 72. The dump truck struck and pushed the SUV in front of a southbound semi, killing the 25-year-old man and one of his two dogs, police said.

Neither of the other two drivers was injured. 

UPDATE @ 1:14 p.m.:

Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers confirmed a male driver and a small dog inside a SUV died at the scene of a three vehicle crash in Miami Twp. in Greene County Wednesday afternoon.

The accident occurred shortly after noon at the intersection of SR 72 and S. River Road. 

S.R. 72 and S. River Rd. in Miami Twp. in Greene County. A three vehicle crash is reported. Google Map

Our reporter on scene said it appears the SUV became sandwiched between a semi truck and a dump truck.

We will continue to update this site with new details.

FIRST REPORT

A semi truck, dump truck and SUV have reportedly collided near the intersection of S.R. 72 and S. River Rd. in Greene County.

The driver of the SUV is unconscious, according to dispatchers, and a dog in the car is severely injured.

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A medical helicopter has been put on standby, and traffic is being diverted from the area.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

Check this site for new information as it becomes available.

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 recognizes 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.

Mother accused of using kids to steal from Macy’s, police say

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 3:58 PM

Authorities in Austin, Texas, are searching for Martha Monique Lopez, 27, in connection with a shoplifting incident on Nov. 12, 2017.
Austin Police Department
Authorities in Austin, Texas, are searching for Martha Monique Lopez, 27, in connection with a shoplifting incident on Nov. 12, 2017.(Austin Police Department)

Police in Austin, Texas, are looking for a woman who they say stole merchandise from a Macy’s department store with the help of another woman and four children no older than 10 years old.

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Investigators are looking for 27-year-old Martha Monique Lopez, who is charged with robbery by assault, according to an arrest affidavit filed this week.

On Nov. 12, police received a call around 2 p.m. from a store employee who watches for shoplifters at the Macy’s in the Domain shopping center. She told police she was watching the children, who were between 7 and 10 years old, through a security camera. According to the affidavit, they re-entered the store and met two women near the hotel bedding and pillow area.

The store worker told police that she saw the women point to some pillows, which the children then picked up before they “exited the store past the last point of purchase without attempting to pay for the items,” the affidavit said. The worker said in the affidavit that she confronted the children and identified herself as a Macy’s employee, after which point she said the children complied and started to come back with her to a store office.

The employee told police that as they were going back to the office, the two women approached her and one of them told her to let the children go and then pushed her, according to the affidavit. The other woman and the children began running away, the employee told police. She tried to grab the children, but the “female who told her to let her children go began to punch (her) on the left side of her face, chest and left arm with a closed fist causing (her) pain and redness,” the affidavit said.

The employee told police that she “tried to grab the female to detain her but the female took off running and (she) ripped (the woman’s) shirt off of her and the female ran out of the store wearing just a black bra,” the affidavit said.

A customer saw the woman running from the store and saw her and the children get into a white 2009 Chevy Malibu with a Texas license plate that matched a car registered to Lopez, according to the affidavit. Lopez was also identified by the store worker from a photo taken during a previous arrest, police said.

2 guilty in firefighter’s death: ‘While we were planning a funeral, they were gambling in Las Vegas’

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 1:55 PM

Lester Parker and William Tucker found guilty in Hamilton firefighter murder trial

Nearly two years after a fire killed a Hamilton firefighter, homeowner Lester Parker and his nephew, William Tucker, were convicted of aggravated arson and murder and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 15 years.

The jury of five women and seven men deliberated a little more than two hours before delivering the verdict Wednesday morning. The courtroom was packed with the family and fellow firefighters of Patrick Wolterman, who died on Dec. 28, 2015, when he fell through the floor of Parker’s burning home on Pater Avenue in Hamilton.

MORE: Tears, screams fill courtroom in Hamilton arson trial

Parker, 68, stood first with his attorney, David Washington, when the verdict was read. Then Tucker, 50, of Richmond, Ky., stood with his attorney, Tamara Sack. Neither defendant showed emotion when he heard the guilty verdicts.

Many in the courtroom cried, including Wolterman’s widow, Bre, and several family and friends. Parker’s wife, Bertha, and Tucker’s mother, Mae, also sobbed.

Parker was convicted of conspiring with Tucker to set his house on fire for insurance money and Tucker was convicted of setting the blaze for payment in pain pills.

Washington told Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Greg Stephens before sentencing: “It’s a sad day, but we respect the process.”

MORE: Hamilton homeowner, nephew take stand in firefighter murder trial

Sack also expressed a similar sentiment. “We respect the verdict,” she said. “It wasn’t an easy case by any means.”

Both defense attorneys indicated they would file appeals. Parker and Tucker declined to make a statement before sentencing.

Bre Wolterman told the judge she was 31 when firefighters knocked on her door two years ago and told her her  husband Patrick had fallen through the floor. They couldn’t tell her if he would live.

“We had been married not even seven months,” she told Judge Greg Stephens. “These two men robbed me of my whole future. They not only took my husband from me they took my life away. We didn’t even have children, they took that away. I ask you to impose the maximum sentence on them.”

MORE: Experts testify about ‘burner’ phones, Facebook messages in Hamilton arson trial

Patrick Wolterman’s mother, Debbie, also addressed the judge before sentencing.

“I wish I could asked for leniency, I can’t,” Debbie Wolterman said. “While we were planning a funeral, they were gambling in Las Vegas. They have shown no remorse. It think the only thing they are sorry about is that they got caught.”

Cheryl Sullivan, Parker’s daughter, testified during the trial that she drove her parents to the airport on Dec. 27, 2015, for the couple’s trip to Las Vegas. She testified that she noticed things missing from the house that had been there on Christmas Eve.

“Some things were moved around, some things not where they were supposed to be,” Sullivan said, adding that angel figurines had replaced family photos in the living room and a “butler” statue was gone.

Prosecutors say Parker packed up items he held dear, including pictures of his two daughters, and removed them from the house before the fire.

Sullivan testified that her father handed her four envelopes with bills in them, including the mortgage and insurance, and told her to “hold them.”

Before boarding the plane, Sullivan said her father called her and told her: “The important papers are in the garage if something happens.”

Weeks later, when her parents moved to another home in Hamilton, Sullivan said she found a bag that her parents had taken to Las Vegas and in it were several framed family photos, including those that she and her sister had noticed missing from the Pater Avenue home’s living room.

MORE: Daughter of man on trial in Hamilton firefighter death testifies about missing items

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser also addressed the judge before sentencing.

“This was never a case where the state of Ohio suggested there be payback or vengeance for Patrick Wolterman,” Gmoser said, referring to an argument made earlier by a defense attorney. “He is indeed an American hero. He went into that house with the full understanding in his mind that he was was going to save a life — or lives — of occupants. Unknown to him, they were in Las Vegas.”

Gmoser said Wolterman lost his life for a few “lousy, miserable pills by a couple drug dealers and for gain.”

While the men were each convicted of two arson charges for igniting the house and for causing serious physical harm in the act, by law they could only be sentenced for murder because the aggravated arson led to the murder.

MORE: Woman tells jury she gave ride to Hamilton arson suspect for $300 in pills

Judge Stephens then sentenced the men with the mandatory sentence required by law — life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years.