Sidney homicide suspect enters plea in court

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 5:55 AM
Updated: Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 11:51 AM


UPDATE @ 1:09 p.m. (April 6):

The man accused of stabbing Lance Johnson to death during a robbery at his apartment has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder.

Troy Delano McRae Jr., 34, entered the plea during his appearance in Shelby County Common Pleas Court Thursday.

McRae is charged with aggravated murder and his bond was set at $1 million.

If convicted the 34-year-old could face a maximum sentence of 30 years to life in prison.

UPDATE @ 11:44 a.m. (March 24)

According to court records, Lance Johnson was likely stabbed and killed sometime on March 12 during a robbery at his apartment. He was stabbed multiple times. 

The apartment was ransacked and there were signs of a struggle, according to a police report. 

RELATED: The Miami Valley’s Most Wanted

His body was found two days later, on March 14, by a friend who looked through the window and saw Johnson lying on the floor. 

Troy Delano McRae Jr. remains in the Shelby County Jail.

UPDATE @ 2:41 p.m. (March 23)

Fatal stabbing suspect Troy Delano McRae Jr. was arraigned this morning in Sidney Municipal Court.

He did not enter a plea. His bond was set at $1 million and his next court hearing was scheduled for 11 a.m. March 31. 

UPDATE @ 2 a.m.(March 23): Police tonight have nabbed a man wanted in connection to a fatal stabbing.

Sidney Police Chief William Balling posted on the department’s Facebook page late Wednesday night that Troy Delano McRae Jr. was located and is in custody.

McRae was located in Lima and taken into custody without incident, according to a media release issued by Sidney police Thursday morning. 

McRae has been booked into the Shelby County Jail but his mugshot was not immediately available. 

Police said the investigation into the death of Lance Johnson remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Sidney police at 937-498-2351. 

UPDATE @ 9:55 p.m. (March 22): Police are looking for Troy Delano McRae Jr., 34, in the slaying of Lance Johnson in his North Miami Avenue apartment in Sidney.

Officers were called March 14 to check on Johnson’s welfare. They found him deceased on the floor in the living room of his apartment at 402 N. Miami Ave. amid signs of a fight and ransacking, according to Sidney police.

A Shelby County Coroner’s investigator determined Johnson had been stabbed multiple times.

A witness told police that McRae was seen shortly after the slaying and had a bandage around his left hand. McRae also confided to this witness that he stabbed Johnson, according to police.

McRae, address unknown, has a warrant for his arrest on a charge of aggravated murder issued through Sidney Municipal Court.

Anyone with information on McRae’s whereabouts is urged to call 911 or the Sidney Police Department at 937-498-2351.

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UPDATE @ 5:08 p.m. (March 15): The victim found dead in a North Miami Avenue residence is Lance Johnson, according to the Shelby County Coroner’s Office.

Johnson, 38, was listed as the resident of Apt. B3, 402 N. Miami Ave.

The Sidney Police Department is asking anyone who has information about Johnson or what may have happened to him to contact the department at 937-498-2351.


Sidney police and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are investigating a suspicious death that occurred at an apartment on North Miami Avenue Tuesday.

RELATED: See the Miami Valley’s Most Wanted

Police responded to an apartment in the 400 block of North Miami Avenue Tuesday afternoon in regards to a check welfare. The body of a man was found inside and police are calling his death suspicious.

The death is being investigated as a homicide, although no other details have been released.

An Ohio BCI unit arrived on scene Wednesday morning.

Neighbors told our crew investigators went door-to-door asking if any unusual activity occurred over the last few days. 

RELATED: Family of 8 slain feared release of autopsy details, says coroner

Additional information from investigators, including the identity of the deceased person, was not available. 

We’ll update this page was new information becomes available. 

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Oakwood business district to be disrupted by timber wall repairs

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 2:32 PM

            The area around Shops of Oakwood on Far Hills Avenue will receive repairs to the timber wall. Work will continue for two to three months. CHRIS STEWARD/STAFF
            Chris Stewart

The city of Oakwood will soon begin repairs to rehab the timber wall in the Far Hills Business District, according to a release by Assistant City Manager Jay Weiskiercher.

The work includes replacing rotted or warped wood, sanding the wall as necessary and applying fresh coats of paint. Crews will be working on one block at a time, and traffic on the adjacent cruise lane will be maintained.

MORE: Oakwood receives state financial award

During the repairs, there will be brief periods when parking near the wall is restricted. Crews will begin work at the southeast corner of the district and proceed north before crossing over to the west side of Far Hills and working south.

The project should be completed by late August or early September. For more information, contact Weiskiercher at 937-294-0411.

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High school referee, ex-con accused of raping juvenile in Troy

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 1:49 PM

A Troy man accused of raping a juvenile is no longer eligible to officiate after the Ohio High School Athletic Association suspended his license after his arrest earlier this month, an OHSAA spokesman said Tuesday. 

Henry Lucas Jr., 52, was arrested June 5 after he turned himself in to Troy police, according to an affidavit filed in Miami County Municipal Court. Lucas is charged with a felony count of rape, and he made an initial appearance in court June 6, where his bond was set at $400,000, according to court records. The victim is known to Lucas. 

OTHER NEWS: U.S. Marshals Service warns of phone scam circulating in Dayton area

Lucas’ license was previously suspended in 2011 after he was convicted on a felony drug charge and sentenced to prison in September 2010, the OHSAA said. 

The OHSAA initially approved Lucas’ officiating license in 2001, and he was listed as having an active license until Aug. 1, 2011, when the athletic association first suspended it, said Ben Ferree, assistant director of officiating and sport management for OHSAA. 

“We do not believe he was officiating after his September 2010 conviction,” Ferree said. 

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On Sept. 2, 2010, Lucas was convicted for using deception to obtain an illegal drug and was sentenced to a year in the London Correctional Institution, according to court records. 

Lucas was released from prison on Aug. 26, 2011, according to a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. 

Ferree said Lucas, who officiated football and basketball, appealed the suspension of his license following his drug conviction. 

According to the OHSAA handbook for officials, an officiating permit will not be issued or reinstated for anyone convicted in regard to any felony offense unless/until such offense has been reversed by proper authority. 

Ferree said, “People with convictions on their record that would be denied per the Handbook can appeal to obtain a license.” 

OTHER NEWS: Pike County Sheriff issues alert about criminal gang, heroin

Lucas’ permit was reinstated in October 2012 based on an appeal to the OHSAA board of directors, Ferree said. “The board approved his appeal based on multiple letters of recommendation from school personnel and community members in the Dayton area.” 

This news organization inquired about the letters of recommendations OHSAA said they received, however, Ferree said, “I do not have copies in his file.” OHSAA also said they don’t share personnel files of officials. 

“Additionally, everyone in the officiating department from that time has since retired. Since 2012 we have a new Director of Officiating, and all new support staff for that department. We do not know where the letters came from as we have never seen them personally,” Ferree said in an email to reporter Sean Cudahy. 

Lucas waived a preliminary hearing in his felony rape case on June 17, and his case is pending a decision from a Miami County Grand Jury, according to court records. 

The 52-year-old remained in the Miami County Jail Tuesday morning on a $400,000 bond. 

A call to his lawyer seeking comments has not been returned.

Deputies investigate robbery at Rite Aid in Harrison Twp. 

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 1:16 PM

Deputies are investigating a robbery that occurred at the Rite Aid on Salem Avenue in Harrison Twp. 

>> Read the latest local stories in the Miami Valley 

Dispatchers said deputies responded to the business at 3875 Salem Avenue around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday on reports of a robbery. 

It was not immediately known if a weapon was displayed. 

Additional details were not available. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more. 

For updates and more news click here to download our free apps.

Former church music director booked in jail on sex charges

Published: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 1:25 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 9:55 PM

UPDATE @ 1:34 p.m. (June 27):

A Dayton man and former Beavercreek church music director is now in jail after he was taken into custody this morning, according to jail records.

John Slate, 48, has a bond listed at $50,000, according to jail records.

Slate is charged with sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and four counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, according to the indictment filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court

OTHER NEWS: Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting: Pastor from Beavercreek witnesses attack

UPDATE @ 9:55 p.m.

A Dayton man and former Beavercreek church music director indicted on several sex charges involving a minor is no longer a member of No Promises Vocal Band.

Although 48-year-old John Slate earlier was listed on the Cincinnati-based professional a cappella ensemble’s Facebook page, band leader Joshua Steele said Slate’s participation ended in February. Slate also is no longer listed as a group member on the ensemble’s website.

MORE NEWS: Registered sex offender moves in next door to victim – legally

UPDATE @ 3:45 p.m.:

The Dayton man indicted on several sex charges involving a minor was a former music director at a Beavercreek church, according to the church’s Facebook page.

John Slate, 48, has been indicted for sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and four counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, according to the indictment filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Thursday.

According to prosecutors, “The defendant and the victim met while the defendant was the music director at a church, and the victim was taking voice lessons from the defendant,” Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said in a release. 

Slate was listed as a former music director at St. Andrew United Methodist Church on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek, according to a post on the church’s Facebook page.

Prosecutors have not said if the Beavercreek church is the one mentioned in their  statement.

Slate is a member of the No Promises Vocal Band, according to the group’s Facebook page.

Slate’s accuser, now 19, reported the offense to West Carrollton police. She said a sexual relationship began when she was 15. 

Slate has a warrant his arrest and is due in court July 6 for arraignment.

UPDATE @ 2:30 p.m.

John R. Slate, indicted for sexual battery of a child, is a former church music director, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office. 

Slate is accused of “having a sexual relationship with a minor over a number of years,” said Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. in a release.

The female victim, now age 19, reported the offense to West Carrollton Police, stating the sexual relationship started when she was 15. 

“The defendant and the victim met while the defendant was the music director at a church, and the victim was taking voice lessons from the defendant,” Heck said in a release. 


A Dayton man has been indicted on child sex charges, according to court records.

John R. Slate, 48, of Dayton, is charged with sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and four counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor, court records confirmed.

Slate is not in custody but a warrant on indictment has been issued. Slate has an arraignment date of July 6 in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

The exact circumstances for the charges are not immediately known, but we are working to gather additional information to update this report.