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Published: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 @ 7:05 AM
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — The U.S. Air Force has come forward to acknowledge a “misstep” that meant that Texas church shooter Devin Kelley’s name and criminal convictions were never entered into the National Criminal Information Center, an FBI information system that allows law enforcement officials to access crime data shared across agencies.
This meant that Kelley essentially had a clean record, even though he’d been court-martialed, dishonorably discharged and pleaded guilty to domestic abuse charges. Because his charges were never entered into the NCIC, they essentially didn’t exist.
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 amended that Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 to affect a total of nine conditions that make someone ineligible to own a gun, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. They’re serious offenses like felony charges, known substance abuse, a dishonorable discharge from any branch of the armed services, a misdemeanor (or higher) domestic violence conviction and others.
Kelley is now known to qualify as a “prohibited person” — i.e., barred from ever legally owning a gun — on two of those conditions. He received a dishonorable discharge stemming from domestic abuse charges that he pleaded guilty to in 2012, according to Military.com.
Kelley’s dishonorable discharge from the Air Force was executed in 2014. He was initially charged with five domestic abuse charges; under a plea deal created between his lawyer and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tuscon, Arizona, he would plead guilty to just two of them.
Kelley pleaded guilty to one incident of domestic abuse in which he “struck his wife by beating her with his hands, kicking her, as well as choking her and forcefully pulling her hair” and another incident, a beating of a child under 16 in which he hit the child “on the head and body with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm,” according to court documents reviewed by Military.com. These incidents occurred between 2011 and 2012.
Three additional charges were withdrawn and dismissed. They alleged that Kelley struck a child, as well as assaulted and threatened his wife by pointing both loaded and unloaded firearms at her.
As for Kelley and owning a firearm, that should have been it. A convicted domestic abuser with a dishonorable discharge, he would have failed any background test run on him for the purpose of acquiring a permit or purchasing a weapon.
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 12:11 PM
CLERMONT, Fla. — A 46-year-old man was arrested Friday in Florida after explosive devices were discovered in his pickup truck in the parking lot of a Sonny's BBQ restaurant, police said.
Police were called to the restaurant and encountered Hargis Johnson, Clermont police Officer Erin Razo told WFTV.
"In the bed of the truck were several 5-gallon buckets filled with bottles of gasoline," Razo said. "The bottles had rags sticking out of them."
The restaurant was evacuated and a highway was closed temporarily, police said.
"The Lake County Sheriff's Office bomb squad responded to the scene in reference to the multiple explosive devices located in the suspect vehicle," Razo said. "Officers also located a 'zip gun' inside the vehicle."
Investigators said the devices were deemed safe by the bomb squad and the roads were reopened, WFTV reported. No one was injured.
Razo said police don’t know what Johnson had planned.
Johnson was booked into the Lake County Jail on two counts of making/possessing a destructive device and one count of carrying a concealed firearm.
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 9:50 AM
Many who attended the recent forums on opioids held throughout the Miami Valley by Your Voice Ohio and this newspaper submitted questions about the epidemic. Here are some of the answers to those questions.
Q: How are the drugs coming into our country?
A variety of ways. Heroin may first enter the country through underground tunnels or in secret compartments hollowed out of car panels or welded into semi-trailer truck frames. At times, a dealer simply schedules a pickup with FedEx and plays the odds that a shipment will make it through.
Sometimes it comes in through a drug courier’s bowels, as mules are paid to carry balloons of heroin over the border on foot or through an airport.
Regardless of how it’s delivered, authorities say most of the heroin purchased in southwest Ohio — and in America today — is trafficked by violent criminal organizations based in one country: Mexico.
“To get a kilo of heroin in the Dayton area five years ago, that was a lot of heroin. Nowadays it’s not,” said Tim Plancon, assistant special agent in charge of DEA’s Ohio Columbus District Office.
Fentanyl — heroin’s more potent cousin, which is responsible for the large spike in deaths in the region seen in 2016 and 2017 — comes mainly through the mail from China.
Chinese authorities place little emphasis on controlling fentanyl production or export because the synthetic opioid is not widely used in China.
The fentanyl is sometimes difficult to trace because it arrives through a range of products that include fentanyl-laced counterfeit prescription drugs like oxycodone.
Authorities say Chinese chemical exporters get around U.S. laws by exploiting unregulated online ordering systems, mislabeling shipments, and modifying banned substances to create yet-illegal substances.
Q: What are the true demographics of the addict population?
Final 2017 overdose numbers including demographic info on those who died aren’t available yet, but the 2016 numbers show the wide range of ages, races and cities affected by the epidemic.
In Montgomery County in 2016, the youngest to die was 2-year-old Lee Hays, who somehow got hold of fentanyl. The oldest was a 79-year-old man. Eighty percent were white; 64 percent were men. Dayton had the most deaths with 162, but people also overdosed and died in 20 other communities including Brookville, Clayton, Miamisburg, Oakwood and Washington Twp.
Q: Why is there not more focus on alternative medicines to opioids?
It has been shown that opioid addictions can start when undergoing treatment for short-term pain. Additionally, the use of opioids during short-term treatment has increased in the past few years.
To avoid the risk of addiction, researchers have explored using tylenol and ibuprofen for pain rather than opiates. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that on patients with broken bones and sprains, acetaminophen and ibuprofen worked as well as opioids at reducing severe pain.
The study notes that a pill combining ibuprofen and acetaminophen affects different pain receptors in the body, and can be highly effective. Pills that combine the two drugs are not yet available in the United States, and it’s also important to note that this study only looked at short-term pain relief in the emergency room.
Using ibuprofen and acetaminophen may not be ideal for long term use, according to Good Rx.
Q: What about medical marijuana?
While using marijuana to treat pain may have less mainstream approval than other treatments, a report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine shows it can be effective in reducing neuropathic pain, a form of chronic pain that can cause damaged nerve endings.
Cannabinoids are seen by many doctors as actually “safer” than prescribing opioids, PBS reports. There are lower rates of addiction, and they don’t affect the brain stem. That means when using cannabis, your breathing and other basic life support functions are not affected, avoiding the risk of fatal overdoses.
Dr. Jordan Tishler, who handled emergency medicine at the Boston VA, states that most patients only need low doses of cannabis to treat chronic pain: “The amount they find relief with is nowhere near what laypeople recommend to each other or what recreational users take.”
Ohio’s medical marijuana program is set to launch later this year.
Q: How do people get hooked on opioids?
A 2013 study examining national-level general population heroin data — including those in and not in treatment — found that nearly 80 percent of heroin users reported using prescription opioids prior to heroin. We also know that roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.
When someone suffers from chronic pain, their body is constantly sending pain signals to their brain; which doesn’t allow their body to produce enough natural endorphins. At this point, a doctor would prescribe an opioid medication. Now the opioids and their natural endorphins can both land on their nerve receptors.
Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 8:26 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 3:33 AM
MONROE — UPDATE @ 3:10 a.m.:
Jennifer Hemcheck, 35, and Tamara Montalvo, 37 were arrested in connection to the abduction of a 4-year-old boy in Sandusky that prompted a statewide Amber Alert Friday.
The women are currently in custody in Warren County Jail.
The boy was found safe.
A vigilant motorist helped authorities find a 4-year-old boy who was abducted hours earlier from his home in Sandusky and was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert.
Police there said Jennifer Hemcheck forcibly removed Q’Dai Hemcheck from a vehicle and sped away with him in a white 2015 Hyundai Sonata with Florida license plates.
Shortly after a statewide Amber Alert was issued tonight that described the vehicle, plate number and provided photos of the Hemchecks to mobile phones, a 911 caller reported spotting a car that matched the description.
An Ohio Amber Alert has been cancelled 3/16/18 8:28 PM. See https://t.co/Y3b0LEX9cl for details.— Ohio Amber Alerts (@ohioamberalert) March 17, 2018
“If it wasn’t for the fact that the caller, regular citizen with a cellphone, called in, we probably wouldn’t have been able to locate that car, if not as quick or at all, if we hadn’t had that help from that citizen,” Sgt. Tom Bloomberg of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon Post said.
Jennifer Hemcheck was arrested after she was found at 8:30 p.m. riding in the car on southbound Interstate 75 in Monroe in Warren County. Another woman was driving the car, and she, too, was arrested.
Jennifer Hemcheck’s 12-year-old daughter also was in the car and was taken to the Lebanon Post to be reunited with her father, troopers said.
As for D’Quai, he has been taken to Erie County Children Services and his father has been notified, according to the highway patrol.
An Amber Alert is in effect across Ohio after a 4-year-old boy was abducted Friday afternoon in Sandusky.
D’Quai Hemchak was “forcibly removed from a vehicle by Jennifer Ann Hemchack, a non-custodial parent.” The suspect then sped away in her car heading east, and the young boy is believed to be in “imminent danger.”
They are believed to be riding in a white 2015 Hyundai Sonata with Florida license plate IWU-M23 and police say she could be headed to Florida.
D’Qai is described as 3 feet tall, weighing 30 to 35 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 4:42 PM
WARREN COUNTY — Defense attorneys for Brooke Richardson, a Carlisle teen accused of killing her baby and then burying it in the backyard, want the jury to view two locations during trial.
Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, is charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and child endangering for the May 2017 death of her infant daughter, whom defense attorneys say she named Annabelle.
Attorneys Charles H. and Charles M. Rittgers filed a motion Thursday afternoon requesting the jury view the Richardson home at 104 Eagle Ridge Drive and the Carlisle Police interrogation room.
Warren County Common Pleas Judge Donald Oda II had not ruled on the motion as of 4 p.m. today.
Richardson’s trial is scheduled to begin April 16. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for April 9.
On March 5, the defense team filed a motion to exclude Richardson’s comments at the Carlisle Police Station outside the presence of officers.
After a 60-minute meeting in chambers with attorneys on Wednesday, Oda said the defense intended to withdraw its motion to suppress those statements.