Prison for Dayton pastor, wife in foster son’s death

Published: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 @ 4:00 PM
Updated: Friday, May 05, 2017 @ 9:02 AM

UPDATE @ 11:19 a.m. (May 5)

Torace Weaver was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison.

UPDATE @ 11:11 a.m. (May 5)

Shureka Weaver was sentenced to 36 months in prison with 18 days jail credit.

UPDATE @ 10 a.m. (May 5)

Prosecutors called for maximum and consecutive sentences for Torace Weaver, which they calculated at 18 years to life.

“The 20 separate blunt force injuries to Stanley’s head, face and neck, in conjunction with the disfiguring burns to his arm and buttock, and the fatal injury to the back of his skull represent a depraved disregard for the life of a child that needed the care, protection and support that this Defendant, as his foster father, was supposed to provide,” wrote assistant prosecutor Kelly Madzey. “Nothing less than a severe sentence is warranted in this case.”

 Madzey asked for a three-year sentence for Shureka Weaver.

 “She, whether for status or financial gain, posed as a place of refuge for a child in need of her care, protection and support,” Madzey wrote. “But when that child suffered two separate, horrific burns to large areas of his body, this Defendant not only failed to seek medical attention or care for Stanley’s injuries, but worked to conceal his injuries from his caseworkers and then lied about it to investigating detectives.” 

UPDATE @ 8:59 a.m. (May 5)

A sentencing hearing for Torace Weaver, 38, is scheduled for today.

In April, Weaver, a Dayton pastor, was convicted on murder and other charges related to the death of his 2-year-old foster son Stanley Karl Thomas III.

Weaver’s wife Shureka was convicted on child endangerment and obstructing official business charges.

UPDATE @ 9:05 p.m. (April 20)

A Dayton pastor accused of killing his 2-year-old foster son was found guilty tonight as charged by a Montgomery County jury.

Torace Weaver, 38, was indicted on counts of murder, reckless homicide, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, endangering children and obstructing official business. His wife, Shureka, 40, was indicted on one count of endangering children, a third-degree felony. She also was found guilty as charged by jurors during their trial.

The couple’s foster son, Stanley Karl Thomas III, was fatally injured November 2015 at the King of Glory Worship Center on Genesee Avenue in Dayton.

Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor John Amos spoke after the verdict was reached.

“This was a very emotional case ... for a lot of people,” he said. “Without any witnesses to this case, it really was a medical case.”

Prosecutors said the foster child suffered a fractured skull, bruises, scars and burns. Initially, Weaver told police the boy fell off a table. Later, he said they had been playing “Superman” when the 2-year-old slipped and hit a wall.

“There’s no doubt he was abused. There’s no doubt he was assaulted violently,” Amos said.

The case against Shureka Weaver was largely because she did not seek medical attention for what were described as second-degree burns on the boy, prosecutors said.

Carl Norton, a superintendent for the Weavers’ church and several others, said what happened was an accident.

“The jury made a decision and that is something they will have to live with,” he said.

The Weavers, who were tried together, will be sentenced May 5.

UPDATE @ 7:31 p.m. (April 20) 

The Montgomery County Common Pleas jury is reporting that it has a verdict in the case against Torace and Shureka Weaver. 

RELATED: Pastor’s foster son had 20 head injuries and burn mark, autopsy shows

UPDATE @ 5:25 p.m. (April 20)

It’s now up to a jury to decide what’s next for the pastor accused of killing his 2-year-old foster son. Torace Weaver claims the 2015 death of Stanley Thomas was a terrible accident.

RELATED: Pastor accused of murder gave conflicting statements in 911 call

EARLIER REPORT (April 19)

Two-year-old Stanley Karl Thomas III died of a catastrophic skull fracture but had other internal and external injuries that were consistent with suspected abuse, a doctor said Wednesday in the Torace Weaver murder trial.

“The child had so many extensive injuries I can’t recall them all,” testified Dr. Lori Vavul-Roediger, a child abuse pediatrician and medical director for child advocacy at Dayton Children’s Hospital, adding that her opinion is that Stanley died of “fatal physical abuse.”

Jurors saw multiple videos of interrogations of Weaver, including that he explained how he was playing “Superman” with his 2-year-old foster son when his he lost his grip and Stanley’s head hit a concrete wall in November 2015.

In one span, Weaver changed his story from saying he was in the bathroom and heard a “thud” and came out to see Stanley face down on the floor to the Superman story.

Vavul-Roediger testified that neither scenario Weaver explained was plausible. She said the type of head injuries and hemorrhages Stanley had were more consistent with a fall from several stories or an automobile accident.

Weaver said he had hold of one arm and one foot, lost his balance and that’s when Stanley hit the wall and a shoe flew off another direction. At times in the video, Weaver cried and emotionally explained that it was an accident.

“I loved that little boy like my own son,” Weaver said.

EARLIER: Wife of foster father accused in child’s death now in custody

Weaver, 38, was indicted on counts of murder, reckless homicide, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, endangering children and obstructing official business.

Weaver’s wife, Shureka, 40, was indicted on one count of endangering children, a third-degree felony. In video of her interrogation, she told police she didn’t know how Stanley got the burn on his arm, but that she treated it with salve, hydrogen peroxide and wrapped it.

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Vavul-Roediger testified that the burns on Stanley’s arm were so extensive that they would have been classified as second-degree burns that would have been painful and require medical attention. The doctor also said hydrogen peroxide on such a wound may be painful and not promote healing.

The trial is scheduled to resume this morning in the courtroom of Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Mary Katherine Huffman.

Indianapolis 500 drivers robbed at Taco Bell

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 5:15 PM

Indianapolis 500 drivers Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti were robbed at gunpoint while in a Taco Bell Drive Thru late Monday night, according to WTTV the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis. Also in the car was Dixon’s wife and all three were unharmed. 

Authorities report the incident occurred just before 10 p.m. and that two younger men approached Dixon’s car demanding his wallet and phone. Two boys ages 15 and 14 were arrested a short time later. 

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is currently reviewing charges in this case. 

The 2017 Indianapolis 500 (the 101st Indianapolis 500) is scheduled for this Sunday, May 28, 2017, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

  

Bond set at $1M for mom accused in fatal shooting of her children

Published: Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 10:40 AM
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 5:58 PM

A Dayton woman is jailed after she allegedly shot her two children, who succumbed to their injuries and died at the hospital.

>>PHOTOS: Police respond to the scene, neighbors react

>>MORE: Mom had faced earlier child endangering allegations

Two children were shot in the head just before 10 a.m. May 18 on Lori Sue Avenue in Dayton.

  • The children, ages 6 and 8, died as a result of their injuries
  • Dayton police booked the mother on attempted murder charges
  • A third child was unharmed inside the home

UPDATE @ 4:41 p.m. (May 22)

Stephen Fletcher, of Springfield, father to 6-year-old Kaiden Helton, said he had only met his son about four times since he was born.

"I'm devastated right now; I can't sleep, I can't eat, I don't even know what to do with myself," Fletcher said. "I have no answers for nothing."

UPDATE @ 1:53 p.m. (May 22)

The mother accused of fatally shooting her two children appeared today in Dayton Municipal Court.

The judge set bond at $1 million for Claudena Helton, 30, who is being held in the Montgomery County Jail on multiple charges.

Claudena was initially held on attempted murder charges but those charges are expected to be upgraded after her two children, Khmorra and Kaiden Helton, ages 8 and 6, succumbed to their injuries Sunday at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

The judge said after the hearing that the suspect may not realize her children are dead.

UPDATE @5:30 a.m. (May 19):

Two children shot in the head remain in critical condition at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

Khmorra Helton, 8, and Kaiden Helton, 6, suffered life-threatening injuries.

Their mother, Claudena Helton, remains in the Montgomery County Jail on two counts of felonious assault.

UPDATE @ 3:57 p.m. (May 18):

Two children — an 8-year-old female Khmorra Helton and 6-year-old male Kaiden Helton — were shot in the head and critically injured on Lori Sue Avenue Thursday morning, according to Dayton police chief. Their injuries are life threatening, police said.

The mother Claudena Helton, whom lives at the Lori Sue Avenue address, has been booked into Montgomery County Jail on two counts of felonious assault, police said. A handgun was recovered at the home.

Claudena Helton has prior child endangering charges in Dayton.

>>VIDEO: Neighbor creates memorial

An 11-year-old girl was not injured.

Dayton Children’s confirmed the two injured children were both in critical condition this afternoon. 

Dayton Police did not release the names of the two children who were shot today on Lori Sue Avenue, but the children’s names were part of police incident reports connected to the same address.

The three children involved are not current students of Dayton Public Schools, according to the district.

UPDATE @ 2:55 p.m. (May 18):

Police are expected to give an update on today’s shooting involving two children during a press conference at 4 p.m., officials said.

A neighbor living across the street from where the children,  both under the age of 10, were shot said a woman was outside the home naked when she saw police responding.

“She just stared at me,” the neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said. “I yelled to the neighbor to give me a sheet and I covered her up.”

RELATED: 6 recent times children have been gunshot victims

UPDATE @ 2:47 p.m. (May 18):

Police and detectives have cleared the scene of a shooting that left two children injured on Lori Sue Avenue.

UPDATE @ 12:27 p.m. (May 18):

Dayton police Major Eric Henderson said responding officers discovered two young children, both under the age of 10, suffering from gunshot wounds. A third child is safe. The condition of the children is unknown at this time, Henderson said.

Henderson said police are interviewing someone who was at the scene at the time of the shooting. Police found the children in the front yard of the property.

“It’s an unfortunate incident,” Henderson said.

Police urge witnesses and citizens with any information about the incident to call 937-333-COPS.

One woman who lives in the neighborhood reacted to the shooting of the two children. 

“I was completely devastated. I was heartbroken. I was crying. I was emotional,” said Deona Terry, who has four children. “My friend called me hysterical because someone called her and told her, and then as I pulled up I heard the news, and then I found out it was some kids who graduated from the same school as my daughter.”

UPDATE @ 12:15 p.m. (May 18):

People were seen attempting life-saving measures on the two children who were found wounded in the front yard from a shooting in Dayton.

A graduation event was going on at the school nearby. That school was on lockdown for about half an hour, and then the lockdown was lifted.

The two children were taken to Dayton Children's Hospital. Police did not have additional information on the gender or the ages of the children. Police have one person that they are questioning.

UPDATE @ 11:58 a.m. (May 18):

Two children were shot this morning and police have not released information on their conditions.

Three children were in the home at the time of the shooting and the third child was not injured.

The injured children were transported to Dayton Children’s Hospital.

UPDATE @ 10:55 a.m. (May 18):

At least one child was reportedly shot on Lori Sue Avenue this morning, according to dispatch records.

News Center 7’s Mike Campbell reports a police cruiser left with an individual inside, however it is unclear who that person is or their possible involvement in this case.

According to a 911 call, the child involved in the shooting may be 6-years-old, however police have not released any information yet on the child’s age.

We’re working to learn the child’s condition.

INITIAL REPORT:

Approximately eight police cruisers and crime scene tape are blocking the area of the 3800 block of Lori Sue Avenue this morning.

The police activity was reported around 10:40 a.m. and initial reports indicated that Rosa Parks Early Learning Center may have been placed on lock down.

Investigators appeared to be centering their investigation in front of a house on Lori Sue Avenue.

Initial dispatch records indicated police and medics were dispatched on a report of a child not breathing, however we are working to learn if that is what officials discovered when they arrived on the scene.

We’re working to learn more.

Man dies week after apparent suicide attempt in jail

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 4:54 PM
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 5:26 PM


            Stephen Roudebush died a week after being found hanged in the Montgomery County Jail.

A Kettering man died May 18, a week after Montgomery County Jail officials said he apparently tried to hang himself.

RELATED: Mom wants answers in daughter’s jail death

Stephen J. Roudebush, 31, was found in his cell May 11 after it looked like he had hanged himself while his cellmate was at dinner. Roudebush was taken to Miami Valley Hospital, where he died May 18.

EARLIER: Local woman dies in Montgomery County Jail

“Somebody had just seen him minutes before,” Montgomery County Sheriff’s Maj. Matt Haines, who said Roudebush was booked in for a probation violation, burglary, felony theft and a warrant out of Warren County.

There have been two deaths of Montgomery County Jail inmates in May. Sasha Garvin, 27, was found dead in her cell on May 19. Both cases are being investigated.

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“They’re both a tragedy,” Haines said Monday. “One of them obviously reflects on mental health issues that are going on. …. The other is certainly appears at this point to be an opiate-related overdose.”

An online obituary indicated Roudebush’s visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Tobias Funeral Home at 5471 Far Hills Ave. Funeral services are at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home and burial will be at Calvary Cemetery.

Mother wants answers about daughter’s death in Montgomery County Jail

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 5:21 PM


            Sasha Garvin died Friday in the Montgomery County Jail after an apparent drug overdose in her cell.

The mother of a 27-year-old woman who died Friday in the Montgomery County Jail wants answers about what happened to her daughter.

RELATED: Man dies week after apparent suicide attempt in jail

Sasha N. Garvin was pronounced dead at 8:15 a.m. Friday, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. A cause and manner is not yet available, though a drug overdose is suspected.

There have been two deaths of Montgomery County Jail inmates this month. Stephen J. Roudebush, 31, Kettering, died May 18, a week after jail officials said he apparently hanged himself while his cellmate was at dinner.

EARLIER: Local woman dies in Montgomery County Jail

“Somebody had just seen him minutes before,” Montgomery County Sheriff’s Maj. Matt Haines, who said Roudebush was booked in for a probation violation, burglary, felony theft and a warrant out of Warren County.

“They’re both a tragedy,” Haines said Monday. “One of them obviously reflects on mental health issues that are going on. …. The other is certainly appears at this point to be an opiate-related overdose.”

Garvin’s mother, Anne Johnson of Riverside, said her daughter was sentenced to 30 days for not appearing for court for a speeding ticket. Johnson said Garvin had spent 11 days in jail, had 19 to go and had been sober after battling drug addiction.

RELATED: Dustin Rybak’s death in jail ruled accidental

“I just saw her on Tuesday,” Johnson said. “She was all happy about getting out (after finishing her sentence). She hadn’t been doing drugs. She was ready to start her life over again. And the next thing I know, she’s dead.”

Johnson said she was told that two other women were in a cell with her daughter, and one other woman was also unconscious when jail staff did a morning check.

A 911 call from the jail at 330 W. Second St. obtained by this news organization indicated jail personnel called for medics.

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“We’ve got an emergency here in the jail. I need a medic unit,” a male voice told a dispatcher. “We possibly are going to have two inmates, so if you want to send two.”

When asked by the dispatcher what the issue was, the man said, “It’s probably going to be an overdose, times two.”

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating Garvin’s death. An incident report shows three other women listed as involved, but does not provide any details.

RELATED: Employees do ‘excellent’ job in jail

A 31-year-old woman who was arrested the day before Garvin died was booked on charges of possession of drugs. That woman has been booked into the Montgomery County Jail 14 times since 2004, according to online jail records.

“I thought that if she went to jail, that she would be safe there. I never in a million years thought that she would pass away from this in jail,” said Johnson, who wants charges to be filed if anyone smuggled in drugs that led to her daughter’s overdose. “I’m not going to let this slide. I will do whatever it takes to help find justice.”

Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer has asked for funding for a body scanner to help stop contraband from the jail.

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A statement from Montgomery County said the Board of Commissioners said in November 2016 that if Plummer couldn’t fund the scanner with commissary fund money that the board would fund it through the general fund: “Those funds are available, and we are awaiting further direction and information from the Sheriff’s Office.”

A sheriff’s office spokeswoman said the request for a body scanner is a work in progress and that the layout of the jail would need to be modified to accommodate a new body scanner.