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.

4 detained after SWAT surrounds Dayton apartment building

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 11:15 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Police standoff on Elsmere Avenue

UPDATE @ 12:55 p.m.:

Four people have been detained following a SWAT standoff on Elsmere Avenue in Dayton, police said.

The standoff stems from a robbery at an apartment, where a gun was used, officers said.

The girlfriend of the suspect came to the scene and was able to verify the suspect was in the apartment, police said.

UPDATE @ 11:35 a.m. 

Four people have been placed in handcuffs following a SWAT situation at an apartment on Elsmere Avenue in Dayton, according to our crew on the scene. 

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Additional details about the standoff are not available. 

During the standoff, at least one of the people inside the apartment was broadcasting on Facebook Live, according to Dayton police scanner traffic. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more.

FIRST REPORT

We’re working to learn more about police activity at an apartment building on Elsmere Avenue in Dayton Thursday morning. 

Multiple Dayton police officers and SWAT members have responded to the 1900 block of Elsmere Avenue and have surrounded the building, according to our crew on the scene. 

Initial reports indicate a man is inside one of the apartments who has an outstanding warrant for his arrest. 

Additional details are not available. We’ll update this page as we learn more.

Judge denies request by ex-Miamisburg teacher facing teen sex charges

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:02 PM


            Jessica Langford
Jessica Langford

The request by a former Miamisburg teacher indicted on charges of sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor student to have all grand jury testimony prepared for trial has been rejected.

But the judge’s ruling in the case against Jessica Langford, 32, of Centerville, left open the possibility that grand jury testimony of certain witnesses may be available for trial, which is set for April.

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The attorney for Langford requested the secret proceedings be available for trial because their absence may “deprive the defendant of a fair adjudication of the allegations,” Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records state.

Attorney Lawrence Greger said there may be a “particularized need” in the case that would allow Judge Timothy O’Connell’s to permit the request, court records show.

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O’Connell’s ruling states “the parties conclude that the existence of a particularized need is not evident at this time.”

“The evidence, at this point, seems to indicate that a particularized need may develop at trial, as this matter seems to turn on the existence of possible inconsistent statements by two witnesses,” McConnell’s ruling filed Jan. 11 states.

Langford was indicted Nov. 14 on three counts of sexual battery and three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. On Nov. 21, Langford pleaded not guilty to all counts and has remained free on conditional recognizance, court records show.

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NEW DETAILS: What happens next to Tipp o’ the Town restaurant site?

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 11:15 AM

Tipp o’ the Town Family Restaurant to close Dec. 31.

The Tipp o’ the Town Family Restaurant property at 1150 W. Main St. in Tipp City has been purchased, and the new owners intend to demolish the existing structure and build a new eatery.

But it won’t be called Tipp o’ the Town. Instead, it will be called “Taco Bell.”

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Tipp City restaurant to shut its doors after 29 years

Paul Laubier, owner of Tipp o’ the Town, shut down the restaurant on Dec. 31. At the time, Laubier said there were two potential scenarios of what could happen to the property.

The company that owns the Taco Bell on the east side of the I-75-Ohio 571 interchange had the equivalent of first dibs on the property on the west side of the interchange — an option to purchase that extended through mid-January, Laubier said. If no deal was finalized during that time frame, Laubier said a second, unidentified potential buyer was interested in purchasing the property, and had indicated to Laubier that the restaurant would likely reopen as Tipp o’ the Town.

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Laubier said Wednesday night that the Taco Bell-connected company had exercised its purchase option, and plans to build a relocated Taco Bell on the site after demolishing the existing structure.

“I have 30 days to vacate,” Laubier said. “The deal is done, and money is in escrow.”

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The Tipp o’ the Town Family Restaurant was a community mainstay for more than 29 years. The building has housed a restaurant since the mid-1960s, when an Aunt Jemimah’s Pancake House opened there, and it has had stints as Calico Kitchen, Ye Old Family Inn and Cindy’s, Laubier said. When Laubier opened Tipp o’ the Town in the fall of 1988, the space had been empty for more than a year.

ALSO IN TIPP: Judge issues preliminary ruling in mom-vs.-son Tipp City restaurant lawsuit (August 2017)

Now 66, Laubier said it was time for him to retire. But he said the “Tipp o’ the Town” business name and the restaurant’s recipes are still for sale to anyone who would want to reopen with the same or similar concept in another location.

“I’d love to keep the name going,” the now-retired restaurant owner said. “It would be a perfect opportunity for someone to open Tipp o’ the Town somewhere else in Tipp City.”

Robert Zavakos — senior vice president of the commercial real estate firm NAI Bergman -- represented the Taco Bell-affiliated company in the real-estate transaction. 

U.S. marshal killed, officers wounded while serving warrant in Pennsylvania

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 8:26 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 11:19 AM

U.S. Marshal Shot, Killed While Serving Warrant in Pennsylvania

A deputy U.S. marshal was killed and two police officers were injured Thursday morning when authorities said they were shot while serving a search warrant, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

PennLive.com reported that a deputy U.S. marshal was killed in the shooting, which happened around 6:30 a.m. in Harrisburg. Two other officers were injured, including a Harrisburg police officer, Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse said Thursday in a statement.