Man admits guilt, avoids death penalty in Hamilton drive-by shooting

Published: Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 3:47 PM

Tony Patete pleads guilty for two Hamilton shooting deaths

Tony Patete, the Newark man who fired the shots in a Hamilton retaliation shooting that killed two people, has admitted guilt to avoid the death penalty.

Patete, 24, pleaded guilty Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court to two counts of aggravated murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by Judge Greg Stephens.

Patete is convicted of the drive-by shooting deaths of Orlando Gilbert and Todd Berus in August 2016.

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That leaves just one defendant, Michael Grevious II, facing the death penalty. Grevious is charged with aggravated murder and felonious assault for a shootout in July 2016 at Doubles Bar. His trial is scheduled to begin in April.

string of violence in the summer of 2016 began with a shootout at the former bar on the city’s west side that killed one person and wounded seven others. That shooting sparked retaliation violence on the afternoon of Aug. 3, 2016, that left Gilbert and Berus dead.

According to prosecutors, Grevious, one of the men involved in the shootout at Doubles Bar, hired Zachary Harris, of Columbus, to kill Gilbert for $5,000.

On the afternoon of Aug. 3, 2016, a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Melinda Gibby pulled up next to a black Ford Mustang occupied by Gilbert and Berus. Patete, the front seat passenger of the truck, opened fire with an AK-47 multiple times, killing Gilbert and Berus, according to court documents.

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Patete made no statement before pleading guilty, but did turn and face the victim’s family members in the front row when asked to do so by Gilbert’s stepfather, Leroy Brown.

“My wife just wants you to look at her … just look at them, that is all I am asking,” Brown said.

Patete turned and faced the front row, but showed no emotion.

“Those are the people whose lives were affected,” Brown said. “Your life is in God’s hands now. God bless you.”

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Prosecutors and the judge read letters from Berus’ mother, grandmother and sisters.

Berus’ aunt Mollie Berus stood just a few feet from Patete and read a statement.

“On Aug. 3, 2016, without any thought to the consequences of your actions and with disregard for human life, you took a gun, leaned out the window and opened fire,” Mollie Berus said. “You not only shot and killed your intended target, but you also struck and killed an innocent bystander, my beloved nephew Todd. As the police told us, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Mollie Berus said her nephew never got to meet his young daughter.

“Because of you, our family is broken and we cannot pick up the pieces,” she said.

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In October, Harris pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated murder, just minutes before his two-week trial was scheduled to being and was given two life sentences.

Gibby pleaded guilty to aggravated murder with an agreed to sentence of 30 years to life. She will not be formally sentenced until after Grevious’ trial, where she has agreed to testify.

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Little Caesars honoring bracket-busting win with free pizza

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 1:52 AM

The University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers celebrate after their stunning upset victory against top-seeded Virginia on Friday night.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers celebrate after their stunning upset victory against top-seeded Virginia on Friday night.(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

If you’re crying in your beer after the University of Maryland-Baltimore County became the ultimate bracket buster in the NCAA Tournament on Friday night, take heart. There is a free pizza waiting to ease your sorrow.

Little Caesars is honoring UMBC’s 74-54 victory against Virginia -- the first time a No. 16 seed has defeated a No. 1 seed -- with a free lunch combo on Monday, April 2.

The $5 Hot-N-Ready Lunch Combo will include four slices of pepperoni pizza and one 20-ounce Pepsi product per family, the company said in its promotional release. Orders must be made between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time. An important point: the order must be placed by 1 p.m. The rules in the promotion state that even if you were in line at 1 p.m., if the order has not been placed it will not be honored. In other words, arrive early. 

Here are the details of the deal. You can read the full terms and conditions here.

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Checkpoint leads to 17 citations issued in Washington Twp.

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 1:55 AM

aijohn784/Getty Images/iStockphoto
(aijohn784/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

An OVI checkpoint was held from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. Friday in Washington Township.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Montgomery County Combined Agency OVI Task Force conducted the checkpoint.

>>Winter Weather Advisory in effect; slick roads likely

There were no OVI arrests made during the checkpoint that saw over 730 vehicles on State Route 725 near Paragon Road, according to a release.

One citation for improper registration display and one citation for driving under suspension was occurred as a result of the OVI checkpoint, the release stated.

Extra patrols in the area from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s and Ohio State Highway Patrol resulted in six citations for moving violations, five non-moving citations, three seat belt citations, one marked lanes citation, according to the release.

>>Next few days ‘critical’ to survival of children injured in crash involving RTA bus

Extra patrols will be out for the remainder of Saint Patrick’s Day weekend.

Eleven alcohol involved crashes occurred around Saint Patrick’s Day in 2017, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Police encourage everyone to drink responsibly to keep roadways safe over the holiday weekend.

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Next few days ‘critical’ to survival of children injured in crash involving RTA bus

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 2:19 AM

'Critical' next few days for kids hurt in RTA crash

Two children injured after a crash Tuesday afternoon involving four vehicles and an RTA bus have been on ventilators since the crash, and family said the next few days are critical to their survival. 

The siblings, Emmanuel, 6, and Eric, 7, are best friends, according to family. The family said they've been told by doctors that Emmanuel, especially, may not survive.

>> Vehicle hits RTA bus, alcohol suspected 

Both children are being watched for fevers and additional swelling on the brain after they sustained "horrific" injuries.

 “It breaks my heart, you know,” said Ryan Morgan, a police officer and the boys' uncle. "They're my nephews. I was there when both of them were born. I deal with this type of stuff all the time, but when it's your own family, it hits you especially hard." 

>> PHOTOS: RTA bus crash involves multiple injuries

Deputies said they believe the driver of the vehicle the boys were in was intoxicated at the time of the crash. Preliminary indicatations are that the two men in the Cadillac with the children are their father and uncle. 

>> Alcohol, speed possible factors in RTA crash; children suffer life-threatening injuries 

Both men remain hospitalized. Neither they nor the children were wearing safety belts, according to a traffic crash report. 

The Cadillac struck an RTA bus, setting off a chain reaction crash that ended in the parking lot of an Auto Zone on North Main Street. 

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Amber Alert: Boy, 4, found safe in Ohio thanks to vigilant motorist

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 1:11 AM

An Amber Alert  in Ohio helped authorities find a missing 4-year-old boy.
Darren Hauck/Getty Images
An Amber Alert in Ohio helped authorities find a missing 4-year-old boy.(Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

vigilant motorist helped authorities find a 4-year-old Ohio boy who was abducted hours earlier from his home in Sandusky and was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert.

>> Read more trending news

Police said Jennifer Hemcheck forcibly removed Q’Dai Hemcheck from a vehicle and sped away with him in a white 2015 Hyundai Sonata with Florida license plates.

Shortly after a statewide Amber Alert was issued that described the vehicle, plate number and provided photos of the Hemchecks to mobile phones, a 911 caller reported spotting a car that matched the description.

“If it wasn’t for the fact that the caller, regular citizen with a cellphone, called in, we probably wouldn’t have been able to locate that car, if not as quick or at all, if we hadn’t had that help from that citizen,” Sgt. Tom Bloomberg of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon Post said.

Jennifer Hemcheck was arrested after she was found at 8:30 p.m. riding in the car on southbound I-75 in Monroe in Warren County, police said. Another woman was driving the car, and she, too, was arrested.

Jennifer Hemcheck’s 12-year-old daughter also was in the car and was taken to the Lebanon Post to be reunited with her father, troopers said.

As for D’Quai, he has been taken to Erie County Children Services and his father has been notified, according to the highway patrol.

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