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Warren County farm employee accused of stealing $215,000 in grain

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 1:59 PM


            Robert L. Hull III, 38, of Clearcreek Township is accused of stealing $215,000 in grain from his farm employer over the past three years.
Robert L. Hull III, 38, of Clearcreek Township is accused of stealing $215,000 in grain from his farm employer over the past three years.

A local man has been accused of stealing $215,000 in grain from his farm employer over the past three years.

Robert L. Hull III, 38, of Clearcreek Township, was in the Warren County Jail without bond today, charged with felony theft.

Hull was a truck driver for Mike Farms, based in Clearcreek Twp., and hauled loads of grain to market in Cincinnati.

SEE: Jail mugs of Warren County’s latest inmates

“He would take a load for himself occasionally,” Clearcreek Twp. Police Chief John Terrill said Thursday.

Hull was arrested Tuesday after his indictment, which followed a three-month investigation, according to a press release.

On June 15, officials from Mike Farm Enterprises, headed by Mike Clark, contacted the Clearcreek Township Police Department about a suspected theft after discovering bookkeeping discrepancies, Terrill said.

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Investigation by Officer Jason Bates and Sgt. Larry Cornett found that from November 2014 to May of 2017, Hull allegedly stole large quantities of grain from his employer and sold them to local grain merchants for more than $215,000.

Instead of selling the loads, taken from different silos, for Mike Farms, Hull allegedly sold loads after convincing buyers he had a “side business,” Terrill said.

The value alleged is based on checks Hull allegedly received from the grain sales.

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Property believed to have been purchased with the proceeds of the thefts by Hull, including a Jeep, lawn equipment, firearms and tools, has been seized by authorities.

Hull is suspected of investing as much as $70,000 in the Jeep seized during a raid of his home, Terrill said.

Hull is to appear in Warren County Common Pleas Court on Friday at 8:30 a.m.

Reward offered in search for man suspected of raping, killing baby

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 2:20 AM

Joshua Gurto
Conneaut Police Department
Joshua Gurto(Conneaut Police Department)

Police in eastern Ohio are looking for a man suspected of raping and killing a baby girl.

According to WFMJ, the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest of Joshua Gurto.

>> Read more trending news

Gurto is accused of raping and killing a 13-month-old girl in Ashtabula County. He is wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Conneaut Police Department on aggravated murder and rape charges, WFMJ reported.

Police said he has ties to western Pennsylvania.

Gurto is described as:

  • 37 years old
  • 5 feet, 10 inches tall
  • 145 pounds
  • Deformed right ear
  • Misaligned jaw
  • Tattoos on right forearm

Anyone with information on Gurto’s whereabouts is asked to call the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 866-4WANTED or text keyword WANTED and the information to 84711.

Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Related

Montgomery County settling jail lawsuit brought by 60-year-old woman

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 6:38 AM


            Marsha Pate-Strickland
Marsha Pate-Strickland

Montgomery County officials have reached terms for a settlement with a 60-year-old woman who was taken down to the floor in the county jail after asking a corrections officer for milk instead of juice while eating breakfast in the women’s waiting area.

Marsha Pate-Strickland reached a financial settlement with the county, her attorney and county officials confirmed. County officials haven’t revealed the amount agreed to be paid.

RELATED: Video shows incident involving woman who is suing jail staff

Pate-Strickland’s attorney, Douglas Brannon, said he’s bound by a confidentiality agreement not to discuss the exact terms reached with Montgomery County Commissioners and Sheriff Phil Plummer.

“The case has been settled. There’s a signed agreement,” Brannon said. “The matter was settled amicably and Ms. Pate-Strickland is going to be moving forward with her life and is glad to have this matter resolved.”

RELATED: County to pay $375,000 to settle jail pepper-spray lawsuit

A Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman confirmed that terms have been reached and eventually will be filed in federal court.

“A settlement, approved by Sheriff Plummer, between him, Montgomery County, and the plaintiffs has been reached,” said Greg Flannagan. “However, the necessary documents have not been signed by the Sheriff or the plaintiff or filed with the court.”

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This news organization has requested the document signed during mediation that includes the monetary agreement.

Surveillance video showed the altercation Sept. 8, 2015 between Pate-Strickland and corrections officer David Stemp after the inmate asked for milk instead of juice.

The suit claimed Stemp ordered Pate-Strickland to stand up, then was forcefully grabbed and “violently swung” around before her right shoulder and arm were slammed to the floor.

RELATED: 9 lawsuits against Montgomery County Jail personnel

Pate-Strickland was booked in on a misdemeanor assault accusation brought by another woman in her building that was dropped, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

The lawsuit claimed that the actions by Stemp were “brutal and excessive force” and “cruel and unusual.”

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Brannon said Pate-Strickland was “doing fine” and made a “good recovery from her non-displaced fracture. It healed.”

Personnel records obtained by this news organization show Stemp was given a letter of caution for failing to notify supervisors of an escalating situation.

Stemp resigned May 31, 2016, to take a full-time job with the village of Camden. Village Chief Matt Spurlock said in September that Stemp has been promoted to the department’s senior patrol officer and is in charge of the property room.

Spurlock said Stemp, who started as part-time in late 2014, always has showed professionalism.

RELATED: Jail officer disciplined for actions that spurred federal lawsuit

Brannon also represented Amber Swink, who was paid $375,000 after being strapped in a seven-point harness and pepper-sprayed by then-Sgt. Judith Sealey, according to Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck.

Montgomery County Jail lawsuit settlements

Two lawsuits of at least 10 pending cases against Montgomery County Jail staff have been settled out of court. Several more are pending, according to attorneys who have brought other suits.

Amber Swink: $375,000

Marsha Pate-Strickland: Undisclosed

Two Darke Co. men wake up to arrests on felony charges

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 6:40 PM

(Jacob Evans, 23)(Randolph County Jail)
(Jacob Evans, 23)(Randolph County Jail)
(Dustin Sonner, 26) (Randolph County Jail)

Union City Police responded to the 500 block of S. Stateline Road Friday morning on call of a suspicious vehicle with two passed out subjects. 

According to police reports, three officers responded to the scene and found the two subjects, shouting several times in an attempt to wake them up. Officers finally made contact with the man in the driver’s seat, identified as Jacob Evans, 23, of Arcanum. The passenger was later identified as Dustin Sonner, 26, of Greenville. 

While speaking, the officers noticed a syringe lying in plain view inside the vehicle. A search revealed the vehicle contained 7 grams of crystal meth valued at about $700, and a small amount of heroin, as well as drug paraphernalia and scales. 

Both subjects were taken to Randolph County jail on charges of: dealing in methamphetamine, a level 3 felony, possession of methamphetamine, a level 5 felony, possession of heroin, a level 6 felony, and possession of a syringe, a level 6 felony. 

Warrant alleges mother put 2 toddlers in oven, turned it on

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 6:52 PM

Lamora Williams, 24, is charged with two counts of murder and is accused of placing two of her children into an oven and turning it on, according to an arrest warrant.
Fulton County Sheriff’s Office
Lamora Williams, 24, is charged with two counts of murder and is accused of placing two of her children into an oven and turning it on, according to an arrest warrant.(Fulton County Sheriff’s Office)

A 24-year-old mother of four is accused of killing her two youngest sons “by placing them in an oven and turning it on,” according to an arrest warrant obtained Monday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

An official autopsy is pending.

Fulton County jail officials said Lamora Williams waived her first appearance in court Monday on felony murder charges.

>> Read more trending news

The arrest warrant alleges Williams put her sons in the oven sometime between midnight Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday.

Williams called her sons’ father, Jameel Penn, on Friday night and showed him by video chat that something was wrong in her Atlanta apartment home.

Penn said he immediately called the police.

2 Children Found Dead in Apartment; Mother Charged

When officials arrived at the Oakland City West End Apartment complex, the boys, 2-year-old Ke’Younte Penn and 1-year-old Ja’Karter Williams, were dead.

Related: 2 children found dead in Atlanta apartment; mother charged

Friends and family members of Williams told the AJC she suffered from undiagnosed mental health problems that were exacerbated by her father’s death when she was 19 and by having four children younger than 7. They said she was also a single mother who had some help from Penn, but not enough considering her mental health.

Williams’ longtime friend Neesa Smith said Williams quit a job about a month ago because she couldn’t find a babysitter for the kids. 

“Nobody could tell what she was going through,” Smith said.

Williams’ sister, Tabitha Hollingsworth, said Williams is at risk and should be put on suicide watch in the Fulton County Jail, where she remains without bond.