Woman accused in Dayton murder arraigned

Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 10:27 AM
Updated: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 @ 4:07 PM


            Police: Shooting victim has died at hospital
Police: Shooting victim has died at hospital

A Dayton woman was indicted Friday, July 8 in a shooting death of Travis Smith, 34, in June.

  • Murder and felonious assault indictment Friday
  • The accused, Nina Mirjuana Davis, remains in jail on $1 million bond
  • Police: Days of arguing escalated to the shooting

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UPDATE @ 4:05 p.m. (July 12):

A woman accused of fatally shooting a 34-year-old man was arraigned in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

Nina Davis, of Dayton, had her bond set at $1 million in court.

UPDATE @ 2:28 p.m. (July 8)

Nina Mirjuana Davis, 34, of Dayton, was indicted in Montgomery County for fatally shooting Travis Smith, 34, June 29 outside his home on Patton Avenue.

Smith was found dead inside the bathroom of the home he shared with Davis and their four children.

The victim had been shot one time with a 0.45-caliber handgun, apparently after an argument, said Prosecutor Mat Heck in a release.

Police located the weapon hidden inside a dresser drawer.

Davis was indicted on two counts murder, two count felonious assault and one count tampering with evidence.

Davis will be arraigned July 12. She remains in Montgomery County Jail on a $1 million bond.

FULL REPORT (July 1)

Nina Mirjuana Davis remains in the Montgomery County Jail, on two counts of murder and two counts of felonious assault, in the June 29 shooting of Travis A. Smith. He was gunned down on his birthday.

County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr.’s office approved the filing of the charges after meeting with homicide investigators Friday afternoon.

Davis, 35, was booked into the jail June 29 on suspicion of murder. She was arrested the same day in the first block of Patton Avenue, the address where Smith, 37, was shot, according to online jail records. Smith died at Miami Valley Hospital.

According to Dayton police, the initial investigation determined that Smith and the female suspect had been arguing the past few days and the argument escalated to the shooting. Police noted also that a weapon was recovered in the home.

Children were in the home when police arrived on scene.

Police said the victim called 9-1-1 to report he was shot.

Family of Medway man killed on Tecumseh Road files wrongful death suit

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 4:15 PM
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 4:49 PM

Crash victim's family files wrongful death lawsuit

The family of a man struck and killed on Tecumseh Road nearly a year ago has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owners of the SUV state troopers have alleged hit him.

Lawrence J. Mason, 45, of Medway, allegedly was struck and killed by a silver 2015 Dodge Durango on Tuesday, Sept. 6, according to a state patrol crash report. Mason was standing on the east shoulder of North Tecumseh Road in Bethel Twp. near U.S. 40 when he was hit, a crash report says, and the vehicle allegedly fled the scene.

RELATED: SUV owner ID’d in fatal Clark County hit-and-run; driver not known yet

The vehicle was determined to be owned by Eliot J. Baggs of Springfield and the SUV had damage to the right front of the vehicle, according to a crash report. Baggs previously declined to comment about the crash to the Springfield News-Sun and neither him nor his wife, Kristine Baggs, could be reached for comment on Friday.

Jordyn N. Mason is the daughter of the crash victim and the administrator of his estate. She filed the wrongful death lawsuit in Clark County Common Pleas court on Aug. 11.

She has sued Eliot and Kristine Baggs, seeking medical and burial costs, and other damages in excess of $25,000.

READ MORE: Springfield police unsure why woman killed on U.S. 40 was in road

The lawsuit alleges Eliot and/or Kristine Baggs, “fled the scene of the accident without checking on (Lawrence Mason’s) welfare and/or notifying authorities until two days later; and even then have failed to be forthcoming with information and/or cooperate with the investigation of this incident.”

Lt. Brian Aller with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said the crash investigation has been turned over to investigators at the patrol’s headquarters in Columbus. The state investigators declined to comment because it remains under investigation.

No charges have been filed in the case at this time.

Lawrence Mason’s daughter and other family members have suffered mental and emotional anguish caused by his traumatic death, the lawsuit alleges.

DETAILS: Family wants driver in deadly Clark County crash to come forward

“Plaintiff Jordyn N. Mason suffered damages for the loss of his society of his life expectancy, including loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, joys, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training and education,” the lawsuit says.

Jordyn Mason declined to comment and her attorney, Kenneth Ignozzi, didn’t return a call seeking comment.

More charges for Ohio suspect in Charlottesville attack

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 6:11 PM
Updated: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 7:30 PM

James Alex Fields Jr.
James Alex Fields Jr.

Five more felony charges were filed today against James Alex Fields Jr., the suspect in the Charlottesville car-ramming that killed one and injured more than 30.

The Charlottesville Police Department said the new charges include three counts of aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of malicious wounding, CBS affiliate newsplex.com reported.

The additional charges are related to victims who suffered serious, and potentially permanently incapacitating injuries after a car allegedly driven by Fields plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters Aug. 12 at a white supremacist rally.

RELATED: Who is James Alex Fields Jr., suspect in deadly Charlottesville attack?

Fields already was charged with murder for the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer of Charlottesville and three counts of malicious wounding and one count of hit-and-run. 

Of those injured, 19 required hospitalization. All but three have been released and those three are listed in good condition, newsplex.com reported.

Police said the investigation is continuing and that more charges likely will follow.

Earlier this week, the mayor of Maumee, Ohio, released a statement saying Fields has never been a city resident.

RELATED: Ohio man charged in crash into Charlottesville crowd; 3 dead, 35 hurt

While his apartment had a Maumee mailing address it was not in the city. There also were reports Fields moved to that apartment from a different rental property in Maumee, which also is not true, Mayor Richard H. Carr stated on Monday. 

"Our city of Maumee has been linked with our neighbors in Charlottesville, Virginia, for reasons that neither of our communities could have ever expected. We extend our most sincere sympathy to the residents of Charlottesville and to the family of Heather Heyer on their tragic loss,"

Springboro teacher in drug case among ‘most admired and respected’ in district

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 1:02 AM

Amy Panzeca, 48, a fifth-grade teacher at Springboro Community Schools, pleads not guilty to drug-related charges Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, in a Warren County courtroom.
SEAN CUDAHY / STAFF
Amy Panzeca, 48, a fifth-grade teacher at Springboro Community Schools, pleads not guilty to drug-related charges Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, in a Warren County courtroom.(SEAN CUDAHY / STAFF)

Amy Panzeca’s personnel file paints a picture of an exemplary and dedicated teacher.

Nothing foretells her arrest this week on drug charges nor the letter sent Wednesday from her employer, Springboro Community Schools. It stated:

"Effective immediately and until further notice, you are hereby placed on paid administrative leave pending the resolution of your pending legal circumstances."

Her base salary was $72,623 in 2016, according to the Dayton Daily News I-Team's Payroll Project.

RELATED: Police build drug case against Springboro teacher and son by stopping cars in Settlers Walk

Panzeca, 48, and her 15-year-old son were arrested Monday night, and both were in court Tuesday. Panzeca pleaded not guilty to felony permitting drug use and misdemeanor charges of endangering children and contributing to the unruliness of a minor. 

Court documents allege Panzeca allowed the sale and use of drugs, including LSD and marijuana, in her Christman Drive home in Springboro's Settlers Walk neighborhood. 

"She was aware that drug trafficking was going on and was aware that drug use was going on and was aware of that fact for several months," Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said of Panzeca and her son. "This juvenile was trafficking LSD to somewhere between 20 and 30 students, most of whom attended Springboro High School." 

RELATED: Teacher’s home on Christman Drive raided by drug task force

A year before her home was raided in May by a Warren County drug task force, Panzeca received a much different letter from the district. The April 2016 letter was to inform her of a nomination for the prestigious EPIC (Engage, Prepare, Inspire and Challenge) Teaching Award. Nominations come from parents, staff, alumni and community members. Although Panzeca did not receive the award, the letter included in her personnel file stated the nomination "places you among the most admired and respected educators in our district." 

Panzeca first joined the district at Clearcreek Elementary School for the 1994-95 academic year, when she was known by her maiden name Amy Arnold. 

RELATED: Teachers in trouble: 5 times allegations levied at area teachers

Throughout her 23-year career at Springboro Schools, she taught fifth, sixth and eighth grades. She spent the most number of years teaching fifth-graders, most recently at Five Points Elementary School. 

Evaluations showed Panzeca was a highly competent teacher; she had a good rapport with her students; and she planned engaging lessons for her classroom. In July 2003, she earned a permanent teaching license for first through eighth grades by the Ohio Department of Education. 

At different points in her career, Panzeca served as the head junior high cheerleading coach; vice president of the teachers union, Springboro Education Association; and as a mentor teacher. 

>> Warren County Jail mugs

Before she was offered a full-time position at Springboro Schools, the Miami University graduate worked as a substitutue teacher for Springboro Schools and several Butler County school districts, including Fairfield City, Lakota Local and Ross Local schools, according to Panzeca's employment application. 

Springboro school officials said a permanent substitue would take over Panzeca's classroom duties for this academic year, and that parents of affected students were to be notified. 

Panzeca is scheduled to appear Aug. 31 in court.

Kettering man must pay child porn victim $5,000 and serve 11 years

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 4:10 PM


            James Gaver
James Gaver

A 71-year-old Kettering man was sentenced Friday to 11 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution to one of the victims shown in his child pornography collection of tens of thousands of pictures and videos.

RELATED: Two area men convicted on child pornography charges

James Gaver also was ordered to get sex offender treatment and will be on lifetime supervision when he is released. He also must register as a sex offender

Gaver was among the hundreds of defendants located during the federal investigation into the “Playpen” child pornography website on the Tor network. Several such cases have been appealed on suppression issues.

The veteran who served for four years in the Air Force had agreed to plead guilty to one count of a 12-count federal indictment. The $5,000 restitution victim came from a woman who was part of the “Cindy” series of child pornography.

U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice said a letter from the victim — which was not read Friday in open court — would “bring tears to your eyes.”

Gaver had served 10 years total in two different state cases involving child victims — one for sexually assaulting a victim from 3 to 6 years old in a 1992 case and another for child pornography-related counts.

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Federal public defender Thomas Anderson stressed that there was no contact with a minor in the federal case, but there were videos that included child rape.

“Aside from the ‘crack vs. powder’ cocaine disparity, perhaps no area of Federal Sentencing has been the subject of more critical comment than the implementation of the sentencing guidelines in child pornography cases,” Anderson wrote in his sentencing memorandum.

Rice agreed that the federal sentencing guidelines regarding child pornography defendants who have not had any physical contact with victims is “Draconian,” he noted that the plea range of 10-12 years was well below the 14-to-17.5 year guideline in this case. The judge also said Gaver may have had an amount of images “near six digits.”

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

“I believe I have taken responsibility for these latest actions I’ve involved myself in,” Gaver said. “I know what I did was egregious and I rue the day that I got involved in it.”

Rice said Gaver said he had been molested as a child and has had an addiction to pornography. Gaver also did provide federal investigators with a password which provided more evidence.

Several of Gaver’s computer and storage devices were ordered to be forfeited. Gaver will be allowed to voluntarily surrender to the U.S. Marshals at a later date.