23-year-old Warren County murder case shifts to DNA fight

Published: Friday, April 01, 2016 @ 8:31 AM
Updated: Friday, April 01, 2016 @ 11:21 AM

Defense lawyers want to exclude new DNA tests that could be a major break in a 23-year-old murder case in Warren County.

Lawyers for Sam Y. Perone, the Arizona man arrested last year on the 23rd anniversary of the death of a rival furniture salesman, are urging Judge Donald Oda II to suppress results of DNA tests reported on March 1.

Perone’s lawyers say the new tests are “alleged to be inculpatory,” meaning possibly of use in establishing his guilt. They moved to suppress them in part because the tests used up all of the remaining DNA, according to a motion filed in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

“The prior tests were not inculpatory, and the evidence has totally been consumed at this point,” Rob Kaufman wrote in the motion.

This leaves the defense team no opportunity to do their own tests and violates Perone’s right to a fair trial, Kaufman said in the March 24 motion.

Even if Oda finds the new tests only “potentially useful,” Kaufman claimed that, by using up all the DNA, prosecutors acted in “bad faith.”

Perone is accused of murdering Richard “Dick” Woods, 41, of Dublin, Ohio, on Oct. 8. 1992.

Perone and his wife told officials they last saw Woods between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the day Woods was killed. Both denied any involvement in Woods’ death.

Woods’ Lexis was found by a Pinkerton agent the next day off Interstate 71, but his body, with gunshot wounds to the head, was not found until Nov. 9, 1992, in a nearby ravine.

The case was investigated by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and federal agents, and later taken up by a cold-case team.

In 2014, the sheriff’s office issued a press release indicating investigators were returning to the spot on Middleboro Road in Washington Twp., Warren County, where the body was found.

Perone, 67, owned a furniture store in the Colony Square shopping center in Lebanon, but was living in Desert Hills, Ariz., at the time of his arrest.

Authorities say they believe Woods was fatally shot in the head in the back of the store, Just Living Rooms. Blood was found on a square of carpet taken from the store.

A UPS shipping outlet is now in the space.

Perone faces a single count of murder. He remains in the Warren County Jail in Lebanon on $750,000 cash bond.

On Tuesday, Oda ordered prosecutors to provide Perone’s lawyers with a complete file from the regional crime lab.

Another motion hearing is scheduled on April 20 and motion hearing and conference with the court on June 9, prior to a two-week trial scheduled to begin on June 20.

Dayton K-9 unit searching for armed robbery suspect

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 9:32 AM
Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 10:31 AM

UPDATE @ 10:32 a.m.

Police continue to search for the suspect in a reported armed robbery at a Dayton Dollar General Saturday morning.

Dispatchers said police have yet to find a person matching the description of the suspect.


Dayton police are searching for a man who reportedly robbed a South Gettysburg business at gunpoint Saturday morning, according to dispatchers. 

Crews were dispatched to the Dollar General at 888 South Gettysburg Avenue around 9:12 on a reported armed robbery. 

Initial reports indicate a man in a black ball cap robbed the store and left on foot in an unknown direction. 

Dispatchers reported police are using a K-9 unit to search for the suspect in the area. 

We will continue to follow updates in this developing story.

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Florida man arrested after bombs, ammo, school maps found in home

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 9:55 PM

Bombs, Ammo, School Maps Found In Florida Home, Man Arrested

A Florida man was arrested after homemade bombs, an AK-47 assault rifle, ammunition and school maps were discovered inside his bedroom. 

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said in a news conference Thursday that deputies were set to search the home Randall Drake, 24, of Dunedin, Florida, shared with his parents for a child pornography investigation.

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During a search of Drake’s bedroom on Wednesday, authorities said detectives found explosives and numerous firearms in a locked closet, The Associated Press reported.

The weapons included the following:

  • An AK-47 rifle with a 60-round clip
  • A .308-caliber rifle
  • A .50-caliber pistol
  • A 12-gauge shotgun
  • Numerous other handguns
  • About 15 knives
  • A baseball bat with protruding nails in it 
  • A crossbow
  • Brass knuckles
  • A container of gunpowder
  • More than 2,300 rounds of ammunition
  • Three incendiary devices
  • A homemade silencer
  • Tactical vests

Detectives also said they found a map and aerial images of an elementary and middle school in Tampa, Florida, as well as the Hillsborough County Water Treatment Plant. According to deputies, journals and a handwritten letter that talked about revenge were also discovered.

In this undated photo released by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, a weapons cache is shown in the home of Randall Drake.(Pinellas County Sheriff's Office via AP/AP)

Gualtieri said his office is trying to figure out why Drake had the incendiary devices and what he was going to do with them.

Drake has since posted $20,000 bond. He faces two charges of unlawfully making, possessing or attempting to make a destructive device.

Dayton thief drops T-bone steaks down his shorts

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 4:37 AM

Police are searching for a man who dropped three T-bone steaks down his shorts.

Officers were dispatched at 8:40 p.m. Friday to Groceryland, 1451 Troy St. in Dayton to a report of a theft.

The store manager told police he was walking down the meat aisle when he became suspicious by the behavior of a man talking to another customer. The manager later saw the man run out the front entrance. He ran after him, but lost sight of him after he went behind the store, according to a Dayton police report.

The manager showed police surveillance video footage, which shows the thief grab three T-bone steaks, which each cost between $10 and $20. Then, in a different aisle, the suspect places the steaks down his shorts, the report stated.

No arrests have been made.

Police: Man steals ambulance with medic, patient inside

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 3:10 AM

Jeffrey Lamar Brown

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.

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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.

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.

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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.