Stabbing victim’s family struggles with loss

Published: Saturday, June 15, 2013 @ 9:45 AM
Updated: Sunday, June 16, 2013 @ 5:17 PM

Family members of a 56-year-old woman said they are trying to comprehend how a seemingly standard argument could have boiled over into an act of fatal violence.

Diana Ross, who was born and raised in Hamilton, was reportedly stabbed just before 11:07 p.m. Friday outside a home in the 500 block of Monument Avenue, according to Hamilton police. She was then taken to The Fort Hamilton Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police and the Butler County Coroner’s Office are investigating. Police did not release any information about an arrest.

The stabbing occurred when Ross, who moved to Cincinnati about a year ago, paid a visit to her older sister, Dorothy Allen.

“A friend of mine down the street from me, they got into an argument and she got stabbed,” Allen said Sunday, her voice filled with emotion. “It just happened so fast.”

Allen said she attempted to keep things calm in the yard moments before the situation went horribly awry.

“I was trying to tell them to hold it down, that it was unnecessary … and before I knew anything, they were up and tussling, and then I saw (my neighbor) hit her right in here,” Allen said, pointing to the area between her chest and stomach. “I didn’t know that she had a knife. I just thought that she hit her with her fists.”

Ross collapsed and Allen tried to stop the bleeding as the neighbor fled.

Dedra Ray, one of Ross’ daughters, said Ross and the neighbor “had words before, here and there … little arguments” but nothing on the level of Friday’s incident.

“We would have never thought something like this would have happened,” Ray said. “It could have been prevented. She could have walked away from the argument and went home.”

Ross was the mother of three, grandmother of five and great-grandmother of four. She also was stepmother to seven, step grandmother to 32 and step great-grandmother to three, the family said.

Allen described her sister as a good, fun-loving person.

Victoria Ross, another of Ross’ daughters, said of her mother: “Nobody cared as much as she did about anything that she cared about.”

“She loved her family more than anything and her family loved her,” she said. “We just can’t believe … it’s crazy.”

Ray said her mother was “very driven, very precise, straight to the point” and lovable.

Words cannot describe the type of person Ross was, her daughters said.

“She was a great mom, a great wife, a great step mom, a great auntie, sister, grandma,” Victoria Ross said.

Despite the uncertainty that continued to swirl around the fate of the suspect Sunday, family members said there was one fact that stood out following Ross’ death.

“For everyone here, life has changed,” stepdaughter Banita Mathis said. “No one’s life is going to be the same.”


Brother could face death penalty in Warren County woman’s killing

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 12:55 PM
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 3:10 PM

            Christopher Kirby, 38, was indicted on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, murder, attempted murder, felonious assault, grand theft and tampering with evidence.
Christopher Kirby, 38, was indicted on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, murder, attempted murder, felonious assault, grand theft and tampering with evidence.

The adoptive brother of a South Lebanon woman beaten to death on Sept. 15 at her home has been indicted on nine charges, including her murder, and could face the death penalty.

Christopher Kirby, 38, was indicted on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, murder, attempted murder, felonious assault, grand theft and tampering with evidence.

Deborah Power, 63, of South Lebanon, was pronounced dead from head injuries Sept. 15 at her home in South Lebanon. Newcomer Funeral Home in Dayton is handling the arrangements.

Her husband, Ronnie Power, was also badly beaten in the attack and remained in serious condition, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said.

“It’s still to early to determine what type of recovery, if any, he’s going to have,” Fornshell said.

If convicted, Christopher Kirby could face the death penalty in connection with his sister’s beating death.

The grand jury “found probable cause that two capital specifications were satisfied, specifically (1) Kirby committed the aggravated murder of Debra Power as part of a course of conduct involving the purposeful attempt to kill two persons, and (2) Kirby was the principal offender in the aggravated murder of Debra Power while committing the offense of aggravated robbery. Therefore, Kirby could face the death penalty if he is convicted on the aggravated murder count, and either of the two capital specifications,” according to Fornshell.

RELATED: Warren County couple held on murder charges in relative’s beating

Kirby’s wife, Jacqueline Kirby, 30, is charged with tampering with evidence, receiving stolen property and misuse of credit cards, but not with the more serious murder, attempted muder and felonious assault charges.

“There was insufficient evidence as to her involvement,” Fornshell said Monday.

Both Deborah and Ronnie Power were beaten with a baseball bat that has been taken into evidence, the prosecutor added Monday.

MORE: 2 arrested in South Lebanon; Woman killed, man in critical condition

The Kirbys were living with the Powers and other people in the house at 59 W. Broadway in South Lebanon. Christopher Kirby was Deborah Power’s adoptive brother, according to Fornshell.

Christopher Kirby is accused of beating the Powers during a robbery undertaken to steal a purse and a cellphone, according to Fornshell.

Deborah Power had changed the pin numbers, suspecting the Kirbys were using them, Fornshell said Monday. The tampering with evidence charge alleges they threw away her purse and cellphone.

MORE: Indictment issued in Franklin stabbing

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Deborah Power was found under a blanket on Sept. 15 and “cold to the touch with blood underneath” by sheriff’s deputies called to a home just before midnight, according to a search warrant.

The Kirbys remained in the Warren County Jail, awaiting their arraignment at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

12-year-old girl accused of setting 10-year-old brother on fire

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 5:06 PM

10-Year-Old Boy Allegedly Set On Fire By 12-Year-Old Sister

Police arrested a 12-year-old Alabama girl over the weekend after authorities said she set her younger brother on fire, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Dothan police told WTVY that family members took the girl’s 10-year-old brother to the Southeast Alabama Medical Center on Friday night with serious burns on his body.

Police investigator James Harvey told the news station that investigators believe both siblings were at their family’s house when the 12-year-old girl “sprayed or poured hair spritz on her brother’s back and ignited the substance.”

Harvey told that another person was home when the incident occurred, but he could not elaborate.

“The girl was arrested and charged with first-degree assault,” Harvey told the Dothan Eagle. “At this time, due to her age, she has been released into her parents’ custody ... with mandatory guidelines and rules that must be followed by the Alabama Department of Human Resources. At a later date she will go before the Houston County Juvenile Courts.”

Because of the ages of the children, police declined to identify them.

Harvey declined to speculate on a motive behind the attack, although he told WTVY that it involved “foul play.”

The boy is expected to recover, reported.

LISTEN SCANNER TRAFFIC: Local man steals ambulance with medic, patient inside

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 3:10 AM
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 2:35 PM

Police in Dayton said a 44-year-old man is accused of stealing an ambulance Friday night with a medic and a patient inside.

A 44-year-old Dayton man is accused of stealing an ambulance with a medic and patient in back.

Within an hour of driving off Friday evening with the Dayton Fire Department life squad, the suspect — identified by police as Jeffrey Lamar Brown — was behind bars.

>>Dayton police use GPS to find man’s body in creek

The ambulance was taken around 6:30 p.m. after medics responded to a call in the 400 block of Salem Avenue. The keys were in the ignition when the suspect took off, according to a Dayton police report.

Local man steals ambulance with medic, patient inside

Dayton police finally were able to stop the ambulance in the 2100 block of West Riverview Avenue, about a mile and a half from where it was stolen.

>>63-year-old Dayton gunshot victim critically hurt when she was hit in the back

Brown was arrested at 7 p.m. and was booked into the Montgomery County Jail on suspicion of robbery and two counts of kidnapping, all felonies. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, online jail records show.

Murder trial starts in death of Lebanon man shot in Dayton

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 10:58 AM
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 6:18 PM

            Quentin Brown, 17, of Dayton sits in a Montgomery County Common Pleas courtroom Monday as opening statements are delivered in his murder trial. He is accused in the death of Benjamin Werner of Lebanon.
Quentin Brown, 17, of Dayton sits in a Montgomery County Common Pleas courtroom Monday as opening statements are delivered in his murder trial. He is accused in the death of Benjamin Werner of Lebanon.

(UPDATE 6 p.m., Oct. 23)

Benjamin Werner was a son, a brother, a father and a friend, but he also unfortunately was addicted to drugs, a Montgomery County assistant prosecutor told jurors Monday during opening statements of the Quentin Brown murder trial.

And Werner’s addiction led him to come into contact with Brown, who was 17 when he allegedly killed Werner on Nov. 26, 2016 in an alley behind 155 W. Norman Ave. in Dayton.

Brown, now 18, is on trial in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Gregory Singer’s courtroom for murder and other counts for the death of Werner, 32.

RELATED: Teenage homicide suspect indicted

Assistant prosecutor Julie Bruns told jurors that Werner stole a gun and an iPad from a pickup at Miami Valley Gaming in Lebanon and later met with Brown outside a Dayton grocery store.

Brown and Werner had a conversation near the store before Brown and another man drove in one car and Werner followed in another, Bruns said.

Twenty minutes later, a 911 call from a neighbor on West Norman said gunshots had been fired.

Bruns said the other man in the car with Brown told police during a second interview that he was selling marijuana and that Brown agreed to buy the gun Werner had for $150.

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Bruns told jurors that when Brown was arrested the next day, the gun Werner took from a pickup at Miami Valley Gaming was in the vehicle: “Evidence will show that the defendant Quentin Brown is the killer of Benjamin Werner.”

Defense attorney Marshall Lachman told jurors that the story of the other man in the car with Brown changed six or seven times.

“You’re not going to hear any evidence of fingerprints that tie Quentin to the murder,” Lachman said. “You’re not going to have any DNA evidence that ties Quentin to the murder, or any other physical evidence that ties Quentin to this murder.”

Lachman said there were no witnesses and questioned why Brown is the one on trial for murder. Lachman also said the gun stolen from Miami Valley Gaming is not the one used to shoot Werner seven times, asking jurors, “Is there any evidence to firmly convince you that Quentin Brown shot Benjamin Werner?”

Werner’s father, Michael, told this news organization that he wants justice.

“He was a great young man,” Michael Werner said. “He’s got a wife. He’s got a little baby that was 4 months old when he got shot.”

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

Michael Werner said he raised his son, gave him his first bath in a turkey roaster and brought him to work in the tree service business as a boy before his son joined the company.

“We argued who was the best. That was our relationship because we worked together,” Werner said. “I’m here to be his voice. He hasn’t got a voice, but his dad does. And his dad’s got a heart and I’m here to show that love.”

The trial is scheduled to resume Tuesday afternoon


Four months after a possession of cocaine conviction in juvenile court, then 17-year-old Quentin L. Brown allegedly shot and killed Benjamin Werner, according to Montgomery County prosecutors.

Brown, 18, is on trial starting today in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court for murder and other counts related to the death of Werner, 32, of Lebanon.

Werner’s body was found outside a car on West Norman Avenue in Dayton on Nov. 26, 2016.

“This juvenile fatally shot a man during a robbery attempt,” Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said in a press release after Brown was indicted. “Clearly he did not benefit from being allowed to participate in the Juvenile Court’s Drug Court instead of being sentenced,” Heck continued in the release.

Jury selection in Judge Gregory Singer’s courtroom is expected to last all morning. A jury view of several sites near where Werner was located is expected before opening statements later today.