Three indicted in connection with babysitter’s death

Published: Sunday, March 12, 2017 @ 4:15 AM
Updated: Friday, April 07, 2017 @ 3:25 PM

Update@5:36 p.m.

Third person sought in the babysitter homicide has just been arrested and is in jail. Evans Cassell III was booked into the Montgomery County Jail about 3:40 p.m.

He was indicted earlier today by a county grand jury in the killing. Two others indicted are already in jail. We’re working on details about the arrest.

Update@3:13 p.m. (April 7):

Three people have been indicted in connection with Taylor Brandenburg’s death, the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office announced in a press release Friday.

Evans Cassell, 36, Chuckie Lee, 38, and Kara Parisi‐King, 26, all of Dayton, indicted for the shooting death of Brandenburg, 20, the release said.

Here’s a break down of the charges against each one:

Evans Cassell III:

  • Two counts complicity to commit murder
  • Six counts complicity to commit felonious assault 
  • One count complicity to commit discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises
  • One count having weapons while under disability – prior offense of violence
  • One count tampering with evidence

Chuckie Lee:

  • Two counts murder
  • Six counts felonious assault
  • One count discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises
  • One count having weapons while under disability – prior offense of violence
  • One count having weapons while under disability – prior drug conviction

Kara Parisi‐King:

  • Two counts complicity to commit murder
  • Six counts complicity to commit felonious assault
  • One count complicity to commit discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises
  • One count tampering with evidence
  • All counts except for the weapons under disability and tampering with evidence charges carry
  • 3‐year firearm specifications.

All counts, with the except of the weapons under disability and tampering with evidence charges, carry three‐year Firearm Specifications.

Lee and Parisi‐King are currently in custody in the Montgomery County Jail being

held on $1million bonds. A warrant has been issued for Cassell’s arrest, the release said.

The suspects are scheduled to be arraigned on April 11 at 8:30am.

First report:

DAYTON — Bond was set at $25,000 for two suspects charged with obstructing justice, and a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge entered a not guilty plea on their behalf on Tuesday for a couple implicated in the fatal shooting of a babysitter on Huffman Avenue. 

The Hankins are accused of hiding suspect Kara Parisi-King in a motel while police searched for her.

A Montgomery County grand jury indicted Krista M. Hankins and Keith A. Hankins on two counts obstructing justice earlier in March. 

  • Taylor Brandenburg, the babysitter, died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. 
  • Chuckie Lee, 38, is being held on $1 million bond on suspicion of murder
  • Kara Parisi-King, Lee’s 26-year-old girlfriend, is being jailed on suspicion of complicity

Chuckie Lee, accused in the murder of the 20-year-old babysitter who was shot and killed on Huffman Avenue, was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday on a prior charge of resisting arrest. However, sentencing hearing has been delayed for at least 90 days because of his new charges. 

RELATED: Miami Valley’s Most Wanted 

Family and friends of Taylor Brandenburg gathered Monday to lay her to rest a week after she was fatally shot.

Sam Martin, a friend of the family, called her death senseless. 

“I don’t know how you can make any sense or rationalize in any way,” he said. “I don’t know what good any of this is doing except hurting people’s hearts, you know?”
Her family has issued the following statement on Sunday:

“On behalf of our friends and family we would like to thank the Dayton Police Department and their detectives for all of their effort in bringing the alleged killer into custody. We are very grateful for the outpouring of support from our community and beyond. At this time our family is in grieving and please continue to keep us in prayer.”

Visitation was held at Newcomer Funeral Home and Crematory, on Needmore Road, on Sunday. 

Taylor Brandenburg was a woman who loved children and spending time with family, according to her obituary.

“Taylor was a wonderful young lady who loved to spend time with her family,” the obituary reads. “She loved kids, especially her many baby cousins, and was excited for the arrival of her first niece, Anastasia. She was known for her sense of humor, often playing jokes on her family and friends. She enjoyed music and being on the go. She will be missed by all who knew her.”

The 20-year-old woman was shot and killed March 12 in the first block of Huffman Avenue and police have arrested two suspects in her alleged murder — Chuckie Lee, 38, and Kara Parisi King, 26.

To share condolences, visit Newcomer’s website.

RELATED: Babysitter killed wasn’t target of Huffman Ave shooting, friends say  

The suspects

Kara Parisi-King, 26, was booked into the Montgomery County Jail following arrest at 2580 Col. Glenn Highway on March 18, according to online jail records. 

The Red Roof Inn in Fairborn is located at that address.

Parisi-King is charged as an accomplice in the Brandenburg’s murder. 

Parisi-King’s boyfriend, 38-year-old Chuckie Lee, is being held on $1 million bond in the county jail on murder and felonious assault charges.

RELATED: 2nd suspect in custody in Dayton babysitter’s shooting death

Lee was taken into custody by Dayton police on March 13, and is being held without bond. An initial court appearance was set for 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 14.

Lee has an extensive criminal history, including serving federal prison time for weapons charges.  

“From best we can tell, it was over a money issue. Somebody owed somebody money,” Dayton police Lt. Andrew Booher said Monday afternoon. “It resulted in a verbal altercation and then a fight after that.”

Events leading up to the shooting

A man striking another man in the head with a pool cue at the Glass Hat bar early March 12 preceded gunshots on Huffman Avenue that killed Brandenburg who had nothing to do with the bar fight, according to police.

Evans Cassell III, 36, was arrested at 2:40 p.m. Sunday, March 11, for felonious assault for hitting Tyler Hudson in the head with a pool cue, “causing severe harm” at 3:10 a.m. Sunday, according to a Dayton police report. Cassell’s booking was for felonious assault. 

A 911 caller from the bar said, “there’s blood everywhere” and that “there are people outside of the bar threatening to shoot the people inside. We can’t let them leave. There was a big fight that broke out. 

“I just wanted to call to make sure in case anything happened.” 

Booher said that after the bar incident ended after closing time (3 a.m. with the time change), two sets of vehicles traveled the half-mile or so from the bar on Linden Avenue to the first block of Huffman. 

“At about that time, somebody from the bar fight came by and then opened fire, firing several rounds in their direction,” Booher said. “(Brandenburg) ended up being hit.”

The lieutenant said two cars — including one belonging to the Glass Hat 911 caller — were processed into evidence.  

“They got out of a car and walked up just close enough to where they could see where everybody was standing by two parked cars and then opened fire there,” Booher said. “(Brandenburg) was going out to see the people out in the street” after seeing cars return via a camera.  

The 911 caller from Huffman Avenue who identified herself as the children’s mother and Brandenburg’s cousin said, “I need an ambulance at my house … Somebody just did a drive-by shooting at my house.” 

The caller said she came home and gathered her kids before she even knew who was hit. 

“I just left the bar and there was some people fighting,” the woman said. “They followed our car and everything, like, I don’t know.”

Dennis Gray, who lives about three blocks away, said he awoke at 3:26 a.m. to the sound of gunfire. 

“It was either a single shooter who completely unloaded a large clip or there were multiple shooters,” Gray said, adding that there were too many shots to count. “I really feel for her, feel for the family in that regard. Innocent lives shouldn’t be taken that way, by any means.”

There were at least 37 evidence markers at the scene early Sunday morning, though Booher said some of those could have been items other than shell casings. 

“What’s been good is the amount of people we’ve had come forward with information,” Booher said, adding that tips came into several different detectives so he didn’t know a total. He said police want to make sure all of the responsible parties involved are arrested.

A vigil for Brandenburg was held Sunday night at the corner where the shooting occurred. 

“It’s important for the community fabric that we strengthen and band together in difficult situations,” Mike Squire said.

“Anytime you deal with a death, it’s always a tragedy, regardless of how it started out,” Booher said. “For this individual, she had nothing to do with the original fighting incident. She was definitely a true victim.”

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.

FOLLOW: Tre Hogue on Facebook and Twitter

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. 

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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.