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Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 12:00 PM
WARREN COUNTY — Warren County prosecutors say the defense team for Brooke Skylar Richardson, Carlisle teen accused of killing her baby and burying her in the backyard, are mischaracterizing the opinions of potential expert witnesses.
Arguments previously stricken by Warren County Common Pleas Judge Donald Oda II from the defense motion to move Richardson’s case out of the county were made public Tuesday with defense attorneys Charles H. and Charles M. Rittgers taking aim at the issue of statements about baby “Annabelle” being burned before buried.
The defense team says a “premature and completely false opinion by the state’s expert forensic anthropologist that Brooke Skylar Richardson’s baby Annabelle was burned before burial ignited a media and social media firestorm.”
The defense team says the damage is done and a fair trial for the Carlisle teen in Warren County is not possible.
“What started as an 18-year-old high school girl who was frightened and saddened because of giving birth to a stillborn baby whom she named Annabelle and then telling her doctor of the stillbirth and burial in the backyard turned into something sinister and grotesque because of the inaccurate and false opinion by the state’s forensic anthropologist. Although this false opinion was subsequently retracted, the damage remains” the defense team states in the motion.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell and Assistant Prosecutor David Knippen were brief in their response filed late Tuesday afternoon.
“The defendant mischaracterizes the opinions of potential expert witnesses and omits other facts and evidence pertinent to the issues in this case,” the prosecution said in the response. “While the state believes that the arguments put forth in the defendant’s memorandum are misleading at best, the state is cautious of responding in kind so as not to further flame the media coverage regarding this case, as it is the state’s intention to select a fair and impartial jury.”
The prosecution requested a hearing if the judge is going to reconsider his previous decision denying the motion of change of venue “based on the misstatments contained in her memorandum.”
Oda denied the motion for change of venue, ruling voir dire of the potential jurors will have to take place to determine if pre-trial publicity has had any impact on the jury pool.
“Only after the voir dire process will the court and the parties be able to determine the impact, if any, of pretrial publicity. This issue will be revisited in the event a jury cannot be seated,” Oda wrote.
Oda previously issued a gag order stopping public comments by attorneys and parties involved in the case, but that ruling was overturned last week by the 12th District Court of Appeals.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 11:17 PM
DAYTON — >>PHOTOS: Fire at Hewitt Soap Factory
A Tipp City man told police he was nearly run over this evening after he tried to confront two suspected metal thieves.
The 56-year-old man dialed 911 to report a theft in progress around 5 p.m. at the old Hewitt Soap Factory, 300 Linden Ave.
He said he was on his way home from work when he saw a red pickup truck on the property. He walked up to the truck to get its license plate number when he spotted a man later identified as Jacob Schiessler come out of a vacant building, and saw another man, later identified as Scott Schiessler, load metal into the bed of the pickup, according to a Dayton police report.
The man said when he confronted the men about the theft, Jacob Schiessler threatened him and he backed away at the urging of the 911 operator.
Then, he said Jacob Schiessler got into the driver’s seat of the pickup, accelerated and tried to run him owner. The victim said he was able to run out of the way to avoid being struck, the report stated.
Police found the pickup at First Street Recycling, 1400 E. First St.
The victim identified Jacob and Scott Schiessler as the men involved in the incident at the Linden Avenue site, the report stated.
Both men were booked into the Montgomery County Jail on suspicion of felony breaking and entering, and Jacob Schiessler also faces a felonious assault charge. They are due to be arraigned Friday afternoon in Dayton Municipal Court, online jail records show.
The old Hewitt Soap Factory ceased operation in 2004. It had a massive fire Dec. 22, 2016, that destroyed a building at the facility constructed in 1897. A second large fire erupted Nov. 10, 2017, this time at a three-story building on the site’s northern side.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 10:12 PM
DAYTON — A 56-year-old man pinched a Dayton officer and threatened to bite him tonight during his arrest, according to a Dayton police report.
Officers on patrol reported finding Martin Eugene Flemings around 7:20 p.m. inside a garage that was boarded up by the city at 22 W. Hudson Ave.
According to the report, Flemings, who was possibly intoxicated, became belligerent after he found out his lighter shaped like a handgun would be placed in the property room. He began yelling and told an officer: “I’ll bite your nose off and spit it in your face,” the report stated.
Flemings then reached back and pinched the officer in the right thigh, according to the report.
Flemings was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on suspicion of menacing, resisting arrest and illegal entry into a nuisance premises. He also had a warrant for failing to appear on a drug possession charge, records show.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 5:08 PM
TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Exempted Village Schools said Thursday that a middle school student faces misdemeanor charges including aggravated menacing and disorderly conduct after he allegedly made written comments threatening intent to harm two adults within the building and to cause building destruction.
Tipp City police were notified and are investigating the incident. There were no injuries.
“The Tipp City Police Department does not deem the student to be an immediate threat to students, staff, or the community,” Superintendent Gretta Kumpf said in a written statement.
Kumpf said the district emphasized the police were confident there is no additional threat of harm from the incident. She said the student will remain out of school during the investigation.
Police said the threats were found in a classroom, turned over to administrators and a suspect identified. The juvenile admitted to writing the threats, police stated.
Police said charges were filed after contact with Miami County prosecutors. The student is charged with two counts of aggravated menacing and one count of disorderly conduct.
The student, a boy, is with parents but that could change, police said Thursday evening.
Parents were notified of the threats via a phone call, Liz Robbins, district community relations director, said.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 10:57 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 10:57 AM
— The wrongful death civil rights lawsuit brought by John Crawford III’s parents against Beavercreek and Walmart has been scheduled for a February 2019 trial date, according to federal court records.
But the case could be split into two trials, if a federal judge grants a motion from the city of Beavercreek to separate the defendants.
Dayton’s U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice scheduled the trial for Feb. 4, 2019 — a day shy of 4½ years after Crawford, 22, of Fairfield, was shot and killed by Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams in Walmart.
Beavercreek police responded after lone 911 caller Ronald Ritchie said he saw a black man carrying a rifle and waving it at people, including children. Police said Crawford, who was on his cell phone, didn’t respond to requests by Williams and Sgt. David Darkow to drop the item — a realistic-looking BB/pellet rifle he picked up from an open box in the store.
Crawford’s attorneys said Crawford had less than a second to hear and respond to anything officers said. Williams was cleared by a Greene County special grand jury in September 2014, and a federal investigation ended in 2017 without criminal charges.
Beavercreek attorneys filed a motion to split the case. They argued that the Beavercreek defendants are facing civil rights allegations such as excessive force, the police department’s supervision, training and control of its officers in circumstances requiring the use of force.
The Beavercreek attorneys said the Walmart defendants face state law claims involving issues of negligence and premises liability concerning the packaging, storage, shelving and safeguarding of pellet rifles.
“Due to the vastly different sets of facts supporting the claims against these sets of Defendants,” Beavercreek attorneys wrote, “severance of the claims and separate trials are appropriate.”
Rice has not ruled on the motion.