Ohio Chief Justice helps kick off county’s mental health court docket

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 9:55 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:15 PM

            Montgomery County Common Pleas Court is adding a mental health court docket.
Montgomery County Common Pleas Court is adding a mental health court docket.(MARK GOKAVI/STAFF)

County jails were never meant to be de facto mental institutions, but they have become them, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor said Thursday.

O’Connor was the keynote speaker as the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court inaugurated its mental health docket — the fourth specialty court after drug treatment, veteran’s court and the women’s therapeutic docket.

O’Connor, Judge Gregory Singer and Dayton Municipal Court Judge Carl Henderson presided over the ceremony for the docket starting next month in Singer’s courtroom.

“The mental health courts are, I think, essential to our system because there’s no bigger mental confinement institution than our jails and our prison system,” O’Connor said in an interview with the Dayton Daily News before speaking to an audience of service and treatment providers plus probation, court and judicial staff members along with judges and politicians.

RELATED: County kicks off women’s therapeutic court

“That’s the beauty of the concept of the mental health courts — is that they are answering for what they did as far as their criminal activity,” O’Connor added. “But the treatment component is a condition of their participation … and it addresses the root cause of why they are acting in an anti-social manner. So I think they are essential; they truly are.”

Judge Mary Katherine Huffman said the common pleas court added the drug court in 1996, the veterans’ treatment court in 2013, the women’s therapeutic court in 2014 and now has Ohio’s 40th mental health docket.

“Judge Singer has been a leader in the area of specialty courts,” Huffman said. “In 2014, he spearheaded … he was very passionate about beginning our women’s therapeutic court.”

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court administrator James Dare complimented Singer and his staff for starting the new docket and getting it certified by the Ohio Supreme Court.

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“This population has been under served,” Dare said. “And we want to make sure that those services are right there, up front, when people are going in front of the judge.”

O’Connor noted that Henderson oversees a municipal court mental health docket started by former Judge John Pickrel and that Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi has a similar initiative.

O’Connor said Singer fits the mold of the county’s judicial innovators.

“He is in tune with what I would call the deep dive that is necessary these days to get at the complicated facts of each case,” O’Connor said. “As our society, our shared problems in our judiciary become much more complex, this is what specialized dockets are all about — getting closer to the root causes of society’s problems as they expand.”

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The chief justice said that among the mental health dockets goals are: diverting non-violent offenders away from the traditional criminal justice track; reducing the length of confinement of offenders with serious mental illness; improving mental health and the well-being of the participants; increasing access to treatment services; and creating effective working relationships between the treatment community and the criminal justice system.

“These measures are designed to reduce recidivism, which improves public safety,” O’Connor said, adding that efforts also should reduce the jail and prison population.

“It does sound daunting, doesn’t it? Well, it is,” O’Connor said. “But with mental health courts and other specialized dockets, we can bring together greater resources to solve these problems.”

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WATCH: Security camera captures two men who terrified kids home alone

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:43 PM

WATCH: Home secuirty cameras help police close attempted burglary case in Dayton.

It’s any parents, and kids, worst nightmare. Strangers, trying to bust down the front door of a dayton home, just minutes after parents left for work, and their 11-year-old kids home alone.

TRENDING: Students charged with felony crimes amid rash of local school threats

Dayton police have opened an investigation. A security camera on a neighbor’s house on holly avenue in dayton captured the faces of two men, wearing lanyards, going door to door. They avoided homes with visible security cameras.

TRENDING: Family member arrested after two burned in house fire

They moved on to the house where two kids were home alone. They began banging on the front door for approximately ten minutes, according to a Dayton Police report. Then the men began thrusting their shoulders against the door.

WATCH: Security camera captures two men who terrified kids home alone

"When you do that to our front door, our whole house shakes, so our kids were pretty upset,” said Christina Baine, the children’s mother. 

Her two kids never approached or opened the door, just as they were taught.

“After a few times of doing that, he did retreat and leave," added Baine. 

Surveillance video is the best lead police have to go on right now. We’ve blurred their faces because they have not been charged with a crime. When we showed the video to neighbors along Holly Avenue, the remembered the men walking the sidewalks and thought they looked suspicious.

Now the Baine family has installed its own security cameras. 

WHIO’s Kate Bartley will continue following this story. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

If you have information regarding the suspicious activity on Holly Ave., contact Dayton Police at 333-COPS.

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Teen charged in connection with crash that killed Greenon student

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 1:34 PM

A 16-year-old Greenon High School student was killed Sunday in a car crash in Enon — the third student in the district to die in a fatal accident this school year.

A Greenon High School student has been charged in connection with a crash that killed another student in October.

Andrew J. Scott, 16, faces charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter in Clark County Juvenile Court.

Teen charged in connection with crash that killed Greenon student

RELATED: Greenon mourns 3rd student death in 2 months in fatal car crashes

Kendal “Kenny” DePhillip, a junior, died while a passenger in a car that crashed shortly before 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, on Fowler Road between Rebert Pike and Broadway Road in Clark County.

Scott allegedly went off the right side of the road, clipped a telephone pole and then hit another pole, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers said. Scott sustained non-life threatening injuries, troopers said.

DETAILS: Teens killed in car crashes remembered, reminder of safety needs

DePhillip was the third Greenon student to die in a fatal crash last fall in a few months. His death followed a crash in August that killed David Waag and Connor Williams, both Greenon students.

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NEW DETAILS: Owner, one of two killed in auto dealership shooting, served in military

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 3:19 PM

            Frank D. Buck
Frank D. Buck

The auto dealership owner found shot to death inside his business on Monday was a U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran who loved horses and cars, according to an online obituary.

Frank D. Buck, 71, and his friend, Lester Golson, 59, were both found dead of apparent gunshot wounds inside of Buck-I Auto Sales after what Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputies said was a struggle involving a gun.

Investigators were not searching for anyone after the shooting, believing that the incident was “contained” inside the dealership at 2801 N. Dixie Drive.

RELATED: Two men shot to death on North Dixie Drive were friends

Buck operated his car dealership for more than 30 years, the obit said. Services were pending at Newcomer North Chapel, 4104 Needmore Rd. The obit said contributions to help pay for expenses can be made through the funeral home’s website.

Buck is survived by his children, Shelly Buck, Laura Hurst, Candace Buck and Frank DJ Buck, six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, ex-wife Penny Buck and many relatives and friends, according to Buck’s obituary.

“My father was a loving man would do anything in the world for just about anybody, he was loved by a lot he was always smiling, laughing, and joking around,” Candace Buck told this news organization earlier this week. “My condolences are with the Golson family during this very hard time.”

FIRST REPORT: 2 men found shot to death inside auto dealership

Golson’s obituary is not yet available. Efforts to get comment from his family or friends have been unsuccessful.

Buck-I Auto Sales was broken into Jan. 5, 2016, according to a sheriff’s incident report that said one of the windows in an overhead door was smashed.

A friend, not Golson, of Buck’s who was watching the business while Buck was out of town called police. That report said there were no surveillance cameras on the property.

Nearly three weeks later from the first incident, another report said a car was stolen but recovered from the Jan. 5, 2016 crime and that it appeared that the dealership was vandalized again as part of an effort to steal a car. A different stolen car was located in November 2016, according to sheriff’s office incident reports.

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“It is my understanding Mr. Buck was putting up cameras,” a Jan. 23, 2016 report read, adding that there were no suspects and no leads.

A woman who tried to get into the business Monday and saw one man point a gun at another then called 911 to report that she saw people get into a “tussle” before she heard three gunshots.

LISTEN: The 911 call about the North Dixie shooting

In the sometimes frantic 6-minute call at 1:22 p.m., the woman said, “I was trying to get to my car and get to the phone to call the police then I heard gunshots.”

Deputies investigating the shootings earlier this week did not locate any surveillance cameras at the property.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office on Thursday said the two men’s cause and manner of death were still listed as “pending” due to the ongoing investigation.

LISTEN: The 911 call about the North Dixie shooting

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Father intentionally killed 5-year-old son, police say

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:54 AM

Police: 5-Year-Old Son Intentionally Killed By Father

father is in custody after police say he intentionally killed his 5-year-old son at a DeKalb County, Georgia, home Wednesday night.

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It was not immediately clear what led to the homicide or how the boy was killed.

According to police, the child lived at a home on Rocky Pine Drive in Lithonia with his grandmother. His parents drove from California for an unannounced visit Wednesday, authorities said.

The boy’s mother and grandmother left the home, returned and “learned that the child had been murdered,” police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell told WSBTV.

Three other children were inside the home at the time of the killing, but were not injured, the news station reported. 

Police have not released the names of the father and child.

"Right now, the father is in custody,” Campbell said. “He is a 25-year-old male.” 

Authorities continued to investigate the incident Thursday.

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