breaking news

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.

Loaded gun found in Dayton airport rental car

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 12:33 PM

            The James M. Cox Dayton International Airport parking garage. FILE
The James M. Cox Dayton International Airport parking garage. FILE

A rental car agent told Dayton police a loaded pistol was found in a returned car Tuesday morning.

Dayton police secured the firearm found at the National Car Rental at the James M. Cox Dayton International Airport and placed it in an airport evidence locker, according to a police report.

MORE: Read more crime stories

Five rounds were found inside the Derringer .22-caliber pistol, according to the report.

The vehicle’s last renter — whose residence on the report is listed as a Salt Lake City address — had the car for two days and returned it Tuesday just after 8 a.m., according to the report.

The incident was reported to police just after 10 a.m., according to the report. Attempts by police to reach the man by two telephone numbers were unsuccessful.

Miami Valley Hospital nurse reports assault by patient

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 12:23 PM


A Miami Valley Hospital nurse said Tuesday she was assaulted by a patient in the medical center’s bariatric ward, according to a Dayton police report.

The 59-year-old male suspect was told by police he would receive a summons for assault. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

MORE: Loaded gun found in Dayton airport rental car

MORE: Read more crime stories

“The incident involving one of our nurses has been turned over to the Dayton Police Department,” said Sharon Howard, the hospital spokeswoman, in a statement. “Any and all further action will occur as a result of their (DPD) internal processes.”

The nurse told police she entered the room to check on the patient and discovered him on the floor of the room with his left arm still secured to the bed by a restraint a previous nurse applied to him, according to the report.

Additional hospital staff entered the room and, in an attempt to place the patient back into bed, released the arm restraint, according to the report.

The nurse told police that the patient “reached up, grabbed the bottom front of her shirt and pulled her down on top of him,” according to the report.

Other staff then freed the nurse from the patient, who the nurse said appeared ready to strike her or pull her hair, according to the report. The staff then placed the patient in a four-point restraint.

MORE: Substitute teacher accused of sex with 2 students seeks insanity plea

The nurse told police that prior to the incident the suspect said that “he better be released today or he’s gonna do something bad,” according to the report. She also told police that the patient had assaulted a doctor a day prior, but that the doctor did not wish to call police, according to the report.

The suspect told police that he wants to be released from the hospital and did not wish to be there anymore.

Substitute teacher accused of sex with 2 students seeks insanity plea

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 10:24 AM

Madeline Marx plans to submit motions seeking competency and a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Marx, a former substitute teacher, is accused of having sexual contact with two Kettering Fairmont High School students.

The Kettering Fairmont High School substitute teacher accused of having sexual contact with two students plans to submit motions to determine her competency and fitness to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

RELATED: Substitute teacher indicted on student sex charges enters plea

Madeline Marx, 23, appeared Wednesday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. Pending the motions being filed and a doctor conducting the exam, Marx’s scheduling conference was continued until Jan. 31.

Attorney Keith Fricker told Judge Steven Dankof he was going to file the competency and NGRI motions in the next couple days.

RELATED: What we’ve learned about Madeline Marx

Fricker told Dankof he had arranged for a doctor to do the exam and if prosecutors object, he would work with them to find a replacement.

Before the hearing, Marx was dabbing her eyes and was comforted by a woman who came with her to the hearing. During it, she had tissues with her while at the podium.

RELATED: Sex with student cases swamp area schools

“Ms. Marx, hang in there, OK, you’ll get through this,” Dankof said. “You’ll be all right.”

Marx is charged with two counts of sexual battery. Both counts are third-degree felonies and punishable by sentences of up to 9 to 36 months in prison.

RELATED: Middle school teacher Jessica Langford accused of having sex with 14-year-old student

A 17-year-old student told police he was given oral sex by a teacher July 19 in the parking lot of Big Lots on Wilmington Pike, according to a complaint, affidavit and statement of facts filed in court.

A 16-year-old boy told police he had intercourse with a substitute teacher Sept. 21 in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Smithville Road, according to court documents.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Mark Gokavi on Twitter or Facebook

Marx was removed from Fairmont’s building Nov. 8 by police. Marx admitted to having sexual relationships with multiple students, according to court documents.

Marx also was a substitute teacher for Oakwood schools, but officials there say there hasn’t been any complaints about her.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi


Springboro boy sentenced in drug case involving teacher mother

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 9:38 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 10:21 AM

            The 16-year-old son of Springboro teacher Amy Panzeca is shown during an earlier juvenile court hearing in the case stemming from a drug raid at their home in May. STAFF
The 16-year-old son of Springboro teacher Amy Panzeca is shown during an earlier juvenile court hearing in the case stemming from a drug raid at their home in May. STAFF

UPDATE, 10:10 a.m.: A Springboro boy was sentenced this morning to 30 days in the Warren County Detention Center, ordered to complete an in-patient treatment program and placed on probation for drug charges in a case also involving his mother, a teacher in the Springboro Schools.

The boy was led out of the courtroom to begin his detention. He was given credit for 15 days already served.

Judge Joe Kirby also fined the boy $250 and ordered him to remain on probation, possibly until he turns 21.

RELATED: Police stop cars in Settler’s Walk to build drug case against teacher

Prior to sentencing, the teen pleaded no contest to the charges against him, and Kirby found him delinquent.

EARLIER: The 16-year-old son of a long-time Springboro school teacher accused of drug-related charges at their home is to enter a plea and be sentenced this morning in Warren County Juvenile Court.

The case stems from a raid on their home in May by the Warren County Drug Task Force.

The boy, 16, is accused of trafficking in LSD to 25 to 30 Springboro High School students, as well as possession of the hallucinogenic and marijuana.

MORE: Report questions $1.8 million paid by WSU to consultant

Teacher Amy Panzeca allegedly helped her son obtain the online currency Bitcoin used to purchase LSD, and she is charged with child endangering and contributing to the unruliness of a minor.

She is on leave from her job.