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Ohio man charged in crash into Charlottesville crowd; 3 dead, 35 hurt

Published: Saturday, August 12, 2017 @ 5:00 PM
Updated: Sunday, August 13, 2017 @ 12:30 AM

Ohio man charged with plowing car into Virginia rally crowd

An Ohio man is accused of driving into a crowd of people, killing a 32-year-old Virginia woman and injuring 35 others.

  • Suspect identified as James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee
  • Fields faces second-degree murder, other charges
  • Woman killed is Heather Heyer of Virginia
  • 2 troopers die in helicopter crash linked to incident

UPDATE @ 12:30 a.m. (Aug. 13)

A woman who identified herself as the mother of James Alex Fields Jr. said she was aware her son was headed to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

Samantha Bloom said her son sent a text message last week that he had time off work and was going to the rally. Bloom told her son “to be careful” and peaceful, she said.

She and Fields had just moved to the Toledo area from Florence, Kentucky, not far from Cincinnati, she said.

RELATED: Wright State University men’s soccer team returns from Charlottesville, takes to the field

Fields is charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit and run attended failure to stop with injury, the Charlottesville Police Department announced Saturday. He is being held in the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail for the deadly crash at Fourth and Water streets in the city that claimed the life of 32-year-old Heather Hayer and injured 35 others.

RELATED: 3 dead, 35 injured after ‘Unite the Right’ rally sparks violence in Charlottesville

On Saturday, Virginia State Police also connected the deaths of two troopers who died in a helicopter crash to the rally. Police said Lt. Jay Cullen and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates were killed in the crash that happened outside Charlottesville a few hours after the car plowed into the group of people.

The organizer of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville told the Associated Press that the man who drove into the group of counter-protesters “did the wrong thing.” He also criticized law enforcement’s response to the event and its ability to control chaos to allow free speech.

UPDATE @ 9:10 p.m.

A 20-year-old Ohio man is identified as the suspect who rammed a car into a crowd of people Saturday afternoon as they dispersed in Charlottesville.

The suspect is James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, according to Superintendent Martin Kumer with the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail, CNN reported. Fields is held on suspicion of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death, CNN reported.

A 32-year-old woman who was crossing the street was killed and 19 people were injured, the Associated Press confirmed with hospital officials.

The car allegedly driven by Fields around 2 p.m. plowed into the crowd of counter-protesters of the “Unite the Right” rally, which opposed the state’s decision to remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Ohio plates on car that plowed Virginia crowd


A car that plowed into a group of people Saturday afternoon after crowds dispersed in Charlottesville has Ohio plates.

One person was killed and 19 injured when the car that appears to be a gray Dodge Challenger with Ohio plates crashed into a crowd of protesters leaving a “Unite the Right” rally. Officials declared the rally an “unlawful assembly” and shut it down before it began because of clashes between protesters and counter-protesters.

Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The rally was to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)(AP)

The driver, whose name has not been released, is in custody, according to state officials.

The Ohio license plate shows a county code of 48 in the bottom left; this corresponds to Lucas County in northwest Ohio, according to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Toledo is the largest city in the county, which has a border with Lake Erie.

The protest was sparked by the state’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

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Driver convicted in 55-mile police chase up Interstate 75 sentenced

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 6:37 PM

            David Nehmer, 27, of Paw Paw, Michigan was sentenced to 30 months in prison. CONTRIBUTED
David Nehmer, 27, of Paw Paw, Michigan was sentenced to 30 months in prison. CONTRIBUTED

A Michigan man who led state troopers on a 55-mile chase from Piqua to Allen County in November was sentenced Monday in Miami County Common Pleas Court to 30 months in prison.

David Nehmer, 27, of Paw Paw, Michigan, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer and six months in jail for driving while under the influence. The sentences will be served concurrently in the penitentiary. Nehmer’s driver’s license was also suspended for five years.

TRENDING: Officers descend on Dayton neighborhood following multi-city chase

Nehmer was arrested in the early morning hours on Interstate 75 near Bluffton. The pursuit began in Piqua after troopers received a report of a vehicle driving on its rims.

The pursuit of Nehmer — wanted on warrants out of Michigan — included speeds of more than 120 mph, troopers said.

Janna Parker, an assistant county prosecutor, said Nehmer was on parole in Michigan at the time of the chase that included what she called “insanely fast speeds” on tire rims. She said Nehmer put not only himself but multiple police officers and countless motorists at risk.

Judge Christopher Gee sentenced Nehmer, calling the pursuit “a horrific and very dangerous chase.” Gee said Nehmer was fortunate no one, including him, was injured.

“This kind of behavior cannot be condoned in any way,” Gee said.

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Mother distraught to learn daughter buried in wrong grave

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 5:57 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 6:30 PM

PHOTO COURTESY: Connie Rosellen
PHOTO COURTESY: Connie Rosellen

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office says a woman’s 3-month-old daughter who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1984 was buried in the wrong grave at a family plot in Glen Haven Memorial Gardens in Bethel Twp.

>>TRENDING: At least one dead in accident involving ambulance 

Connie Rosellen told News Center 7 she discovered the mistake after the death of her stepfather. During his burial, cemetery officials reportedly struck her daughter’s casket and broke it.

>>Live Doppler 7 Radar

Rosellen said she called deputies last week after arriving at the cemetery for her daughter’s disinterment and reburial and allegedly found the baby’s remains in what she described as a shallow grave, covered only by the blanket she was buried with, a tarp and and a plywood board.

>>TRENDING: Prosecutor: Local dad abused ‘fussy’ infant

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office says multiple deputies responded to the cemetery but they didn’t open a criminal case. According to their initial investigation, the cemetery followed all legal procedures.

After this news outlet has reached out to Glen Haven Memorial Gardens, 8200 W. National Road, for comment, they replied: “As part of our commitment to all our client families, we guard their privacy and because of this, we do not discuss specific client matters with the media.”

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Family files wrongful death suit in Moraine police shooting 

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 9:44 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 11:58 AM

Moraine police shooting: 1 man fatally shot

A wrongful death civil lawsuit has been filed in the October Moraine police officer-involved fatal shooting of a Dayton man.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court by the estate of Jamarco McShann alleges a conspiracy and misconduct involving several Moraine police officers.

“Defendant Officers John Howard, Jerry Knight, Michael Cornely, Justin Eller, Brian O’Neal, and unnamed officers willfully and maliciously shot Jamarco Dewayne McShann to death, and/or failed to intervene to prevent the use of deadly force against him despite the duty and the opportunity to do so,” the lawsuit states.

RELATED: Group rallies for man shot, killed by Moraine police

On Wednesday, the attorneys that filed the suit had a press conference that included other community activists and mothers of other Ohio men who have been shot and killed by police.

“Jamarco McShann’s rights were violated,” said attorney Andrew Stroth, who filed the lawsuit. “He was unjustifiably shot and killed. There was no provocation. There was no threat of danger. The officers shot and killed him through the back of his vehicle. And the lawsuit outlines the allegations.”

Rev. Jerome McCorry, president and CEO of the National Congress on Faith & Social Justice, said: "We will fight for justice until justice is done.” Attorneys for the family also said it was “unacceptable” that the officers who fired their guns were back on full duty.

Morraine Shooting Presser RECAP OF EVENTS

“The City of Moraine does not comment on pending litigation,” read a statement made Wednesday by Moraine law director Buzz Portune, “but is satisfied that all actions taken by its Division of Police and officers involved in the matter were fully compliant with all applicable law enforcement standards and appropriate under the circumstances.”

RELATED: An in-depth look at Moraine officers in fatal shooting

“The defendant officers otherwise acted both willfully, wantonly, recklessly, negligently, intentionally, and with malice and willful indifference in committing the acts alleged in this complaint, which resulted in the wrongful death of Jamarco McShann,” according to the suit.

The 23-year-old McShann, died from “multiple shotgun and gunshot wounds” after a confrontation with Moraine officers John Howard and Jerry Knight in the early-morning hours of Oct. 20, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation oversaw a probe into the matter at the request of the Moraine Police Division. That has been forwarded to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

RELATED: Young officer won praise before deadly shooting

The defendants “together with their unnamed co-conspirators, reached an understanding, engaged and continue to engage in a course of conduct, and otherwise jointly acted and/or conspired among and between themselves to unreasonably stop, seize, shoot, and kill Jamarco McShann in violation of his constitutional rights, complete false, inaccurate, and misleading reports, and to make false statements to superior officers in order to conceal their wrongdoing,” according to the suit.

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Piqua man guilty in rape case plea agreement

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 3:26 PM

            Dylan Cost, 21, pleads guilty in rape case. CONTRIBUTED.
Dylan Cost, 21, pleads guilty in rape case. CONTRIBUTED.

TROY — A Piqua man pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony rape in a case heard in Miami County Common Pleas Court.

Dylan Cost, 21, initially faced one count of rape for alleged sexual conduct with a person under age 13, in August in Piqua. As part of a plea deal, that charge will be dismissed.

The new charge does not specify the age of the victim and carries a shorter potential sentence. He could receive up to 11 years in prison at sentencing April 30. The original charge carried a possible life sentence.

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Judge Jeannine Pratt found Cost guilty and ordered a pre-sentence investigation.

He will be classified as a Tier III sex offender at sentencing. The designation will require him to register his address at the sheriff’s office in the county where he lives every 90 days for the rest of his life after prison release.

Cost remains in the county jail on $250,000 bail.

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