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PIKE COUNTY SHERIFF: ‘We are getting closer. We will find you.’

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 5:43 AM

Pike County Murders: Rhoden family makes plea for information

PIKE COUNTY — One year after eight members of the Rhoden family were murdered in their beds as they slept, the Ohio Attorney General and local law enforcement officers continue to search for answers. 

Pike County residents wonder if the killers will be caught.

"Yes I do think it is going to be a lot harder to find them,” said Annie Wilburn, a Piketon resident. “I really don't know if they're going to find them at all."

RELATED: In depth Pike County murders coverage

Stephanie Stanley, a reporter with The Pike County News Watchman newspaper, has tracked this case from the beginning and says it's been tough to deal with.

"People were slain in their beds with babies beside them,” Stanley said. “And it was crushing."

The key to this case may lie with what investigators found here when they responded after the murders – two commercial-sized marijuana grow operations. 

Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine says some people in Piketon are reluctant to talk out of fear of retaliation. Others may be purposely withholding information.

"It's going to be better for them if they come forward if they do it on their own accord than if we have to drag them in,” DeWine said. 

RELATED: DeWine on Pike Co. shootings: Someone involved ‘knew the territory’

The Rhodens lived at multiple locations along Union Hill Road in Pike County. 

DeWine says given the remoteness of the Rhoden family homes, the killers must have known the area well. 

During a news conference in April, DeWine and the county sheriff unveiled a poster of the victims and information about a $10,000 reward for information. 

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said he has a message for the killers:

"You came in like thieves in the night and took eight lives...some being children,” Reader said. “The most horrific way I have seen in my 20 plus years. We are getting closer. We will find you. The family and the victims will have justice one day."

RELATED: Final autopsy reports out in Pike County killings

Law enforcement officers have conducted nearly 500 interviews and received almost 900 tips making this the biggest case the Bureau of Investigation has ever handled, according to the attorney general. 

A reporter the local newspaper told us there have been many theories about who could have done it. Everything from Mexican drug cartels to rival factions within the victim's family.

RELATED: 4 possible motives in Pike County Ohio murders

"People keep swinging back to was it someone within the family?” Stanley said. “We hear that quite a bit.”

Done camera views of the Pike County murder scenes one year later.
 

 

Pittsburgh hospital employee accused of exposing himself to patient

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 7:18 PM

Patient Accuses Hospital Employee Of Exposing Himself

A food server at a Pittsburgh hospital is accused of exposing himself in front of a patient. 

Police said Michael Booker, 37, a dietary server at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy, approached the female patient at the walking bridge that joins the parking garage and the hospital. 

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WPXI reported that the woman told investigators Booker approached her, said something vulgar and started fondling himself. 

Booker is facing charges that include open lewdness. Officials said he has since been terminated from his position as a server. 

Booker faces a preliminary hearing next month.

’Lighten up:’ Justice Bill O’Neill lashes out at critics of sexual history Facebook post

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 12:59 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 8:00 PM

Justice Bill O’Neill posts sexual history on Facebook

UPDATE @ 8 p.m.
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill on Friday night made another Facebook post, this time about the calls for him to resign following his controversial post that detailed his sexual history as part of his defense of “all heterosexual males.”

His controversial statements about his intimate relations with 50 women were in response to the “dogs of war” going after Sen. Al Franken amid sexual misconduct allegations. 

>>RELATED: Justice Bill O’Neill recuses himself after controversy

He deleted his first post when he posted his new Facebook message. This one was to his critics, whom he told: “Lighten up folks. This is how Democrats remain in the minority.”

(Facebook)

O’Neill said he was a civil rights lawyer “before Anita Hill and before you were born” to those he called “sanctimonious judges.”

“When a United States senator commits a non criminal act of indiscretion; and when it is brought to his attention and he immediately has the integrity to apologize; and the apology is accepted by the victim: IT IS WRONG for the dogs of war to leap onto his back ...

“It is morally wrong,” he said.

FIRST REPORT

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill made a controversial Facebook post Friday in response to “the dogs of war calling for the head of Senator Al Franken.”

Ohio Justice Bill O'Neill makes a controversial Facebook post in response to the news surrounding Senator Al Franken. BILL O'NEILL FACEBOOK POST

In the post made just after noon Friday, Justice Bill O’Neill, who’s planning a run at Ohio governor, gave intimate details of his sexual past. 

In the Facebook post, O’Neill states he’s speaking up on behalf of all heterosexual males.

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Bill O’Neill writes in the post, “As a candidate for Governor, let me save my opponents some research time. In the last fifty years I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females.”

WHIO’s Jim Otte called Justice Bill O’Neill to ask if his Facebook page had been hacked.

“I did post it and I stand by it,” O’Neill told Jim Otte in a phone conversation. 

Less than an hour later, O’Neill made edits to his Facebook post.  See below.

Justice Bill O'Neill edits his Facebook post.

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O’Neill goes on to say, “now we can get back to discussing legalizing marijuana and opening the state hospital network to combat the opioid crisis. I am sooooo disappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago.”

O’Neill is already getting dozens of comments.

Facebook comments to Justice Bill O'Neill's post about his sexual past.

About an hour after news organizations broke the story regarding O’Neill’s Facebook post, his campaign communications director tweeted that he’d resigned.

“The comments made today by @BillForOhio were both disturbing and misguided. As a victim of sexual assault, I cannot in good faith remain a part of #TeamONeill,” Campaign Manager Chris Clevenger tweeted. 

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley sent a tweet just after 1 p.m. in response to O’Neill’s Facebook post.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor released a statement condemning O’Neill’s post.

“I condemn in no uncertain terms Justice O’Neill’s Facebook post,” the statement reads. “No words can convey my shock. This gross disrespect for women shakes the public’s confidence in the integrity of the judiciary.”

We are continuing to follow developments on this story and will post more information here. 

Dayton school teacher says she was assaulted at Thurgood Marshall

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 2:03 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 2:37 PM

Dayton school teacher says she was assaulted at Thurgood Marshall

Dayton Public Schools is investigating an alleged assault on a Thurgood Marshall High School teacher this month.

District officials are still probing two accounts of the Nov. 8 incident — one given by a teacher, another from a student the teacher said held her down while another student hit her four times.

“Our security people are still moving through both of these accounts,” said district spokeswoman Marsha Bonhart-Neilson. “There’s no conclusion being drawn yet.”

MORE: UD’s plans for a ‘shark tank’ in Dayton Arcade would turn it into innovation hub

The 63-year-old teacher told police she was in her classroom when four girls arrived. She told the girls to leave, when one of the students told the teacher to “get the (expletive) out of her face,” according to the teacher’s account to police. The teacher said a male then held her down while the female student hit her four times, a police report said.

The teacher complained of chest pain and pain in the back of her head, according to the police report. She was transported to the hospital by a medic, according to the report.

Assistant Principal Bert Seard told police he interviewed the male the teacher accused of holding her down. Seard told police the male’s account was that the alleged assailant and her boyfriend came into the classroom, when the female began chasing her boyfriend.

Seard told police the male said the teacher got in between the boyfriend and the female. The male said he grabbed the teacher’s arm while the female hit the teacher.

TRENDING: Ohio Supreme Court Justice comes to defense of ‘all heterosexual males’

A summons arrest was completed for the female student, according to the police report.

We’re working to learn more details about this incident.

Baby’s feeding tube removed, mother arrested

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 12:33 PM

Baby’s feeding tube removed, mother arrested

A Kettering mother was arrested and jailed for allegedly removing her infant daughter's feeding tube, then walking out of Dayton Children's Hospital.

>>TRENDING: Herbal supplement is killing people, says medical examiner

Michele Hughes, 35, walked into her 3-month-old daughter's hospital room and pulled the feeding tube out of the child and removed her from the hospital, according to a Dayton Police report. 

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Hospital staff contacted police out of concern for the child because she was 3 months old, only weighing 8 pounds. 

The staff told police the child was dehydrated and very malnourished. 

Dayton Police contacted Kettering Police for assistance. 

Hughes was located in her car in the driveway of her Kettering home, with the infant. 

A Children's Services caseworker came to the home and took emergency custody of the child. 

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Michele Hughes was arrested for child endangering and taken to the Montgomery County Jail. 

She has been released, and is awaiting court action.