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Published: Tuesday, February 06, 2018 @ 8:58 AM
For the second time during a recent spate of lawsuits against Montgomery County Jail personnel, county attorneys have tried to pin fault on NaphCare, the health care provider that contracts with the jail.
In the lawsuit filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court involving the 2015 death of Robert Linkous of Huber Heights shortly after his removal from the jail, county attorneys filed a third-party complaint against NaphCare Inc.
“The Montgomery County defendants have demanded that NaphCare defend and indemnify the Montgomery County defendants in this action, under the provisions of the contract, but Naphcare has failed and refused to meet its contractual obligations,” county attorney Joseph Saks wrote in a Jan. 20 filing, citing Article 15 of an included 2011 contract signed with NaphCare.
Linkous’ son, Jayme Laurent, sued Huber Heights police officers Troy Diltz, Scott Short, Matthew Blair and Brian Carr, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer, the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and county jail staff alleging that Linkous did not get needed medical attention while in jail.
Huber Heights police have not responded to messages seeking comment on the department and its officers. In its court answer, a lawyer representing Huber Heights denied the substantive allegations.
Attorney Casey Stansbury, who represents Huber Heights, said he had not seen the county’s complaint against NaphCare and couldn’t comment on it; NaphCare has not yet answered the complaint in court: “However, in general, my clients and I trust in the legal system and an ultimate finding of no liability will be coming in the future.”
Linkous, 49, died of heart failure after he was incarcerated for a day in the jail, according to the lawsuit, which claimed his wife called 911 because Linkous needed medical attention. She said he had been suffering withdrawal from alcohol and heroin for three days.
The suit alleged police took Linkous to jail Oct. 6, 2015, on two decade-old probation violation warrants out of Michigan and Clark County.
After a day in the jail, he was being transported to the Clark County Jail by Clark County deputies when they determined Linkous needed immediate medical attention and took him to a hospital, the lawsuit states.
“Upon review of the complaint filed, it is evident that the majority of the allegations involve the City of Huber Heights Police Department allegedly not allowing Robert Linkous to be transported to the hospital via ambulance prior to his arrest by the City of Huber Heights,” wrote Brad Cain, NaphCare’s chief legal officer, in a statement to this news organization.
“Neither NaphCare nor any of its personnel have been named as a party to the lawsuit filed by Mr. Laurent against the City of Huber Heights, Montgomery County and various other individual defendants,” the statement continued.
In a separate lawsuit involving an alleged jail assault against homeless veteran Joseph Guglielmo, county attorneys filed a similar third-party complaint against NaphCare, alleging “deliberate indifference to and callous and/or reckless disregard for the rights and critical medical and mental health needs of plaintiff Joseph Guglielmo.”
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Sharon Ovington dismissed the third-party action in that case and wrote that no contract was included with it to support contract language and that it unduly complicated the case. NaphCare also denied the allegations in that case.
The county still has options, according to Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office civil division chief Mary Montgomery.
“The dismissal in federal court does not preclude Montgomery County from filing a complaint against NaphCare in state court seeking indemnification, which we anticipate that we would do, should any liability be found,” Montgomery said.
In the Linkous case, Cain also wrote: “Montgomery County has now filed a third-party action against NaphCare and is seeking to bring NaphCare into the case to defend Montgomery County for its alleged wrongdoing.
“NaphCare respectfully disagrees and believes this is a matter between the currently named defendants in the Laurent lawsuit and that it should not be involved. As the third-party case is now in active litigation, NaphCare does not wish to comment further at this time.”
SPECIAL REPORT: Justice in the Jailhouse
In response, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement from Mary Montgomery that said, in part: “We filed a third-party complaint on behalf of the citizens and taxpayers of Montgomery County because the allegations were that adequate medical care was not provided,” Montgomery wrote. “NaphCare should defend the allegations against the Sheriff and Montgomery County and indemnify the Sheriff and Montgomery County against any liability, should there be an award of damages.”
The county has settled four recent lawsuits against the jail for $888,000 and won a jury verdict in another. Other suits are pending.
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:44 PM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:56 PM
OAKWOOD — Oakwood school officials released details of its investigation into a threat made on social media to the school.
A concerned parent said a one-call alert was made from Principal Paul Waller, who said an Oakwood student posted a threat on social media but had removed the threat. Details of the threat were not made available.
The school district issued the following statement regarding the incident.
“On Friday, May 25, Oakwood High School administrators were made aware of a possible threat of violence at the school that had been sent via Snapchat by an OHS student. Upon learning of the threat, administrators immediately reported this communication to the Oakwood Safety Department, and officers were sent to the school.
“Police investigated and determined it was not a credible threat. No weapons were found. The student who sent the message was taken into custody by OSD. The case will be referred to the Montgomery County Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office for potential charges.”
As part of the schools’ safety plan, students are taught if they see or hear something to say something, officials said. “Students followed that example today and reported the message to administrators,” the statement said, allowing the district and police to intervene.
“We understand situations such as this are concerning to parents, students and the Oakwood community. Oakwood Schools safety procedures, which have been put in place in the best interest of our students and staff, were followed. All are safe and classes have continued in session as normal.”
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:46 PM
BUTLER COUNTY — Three men have been sent to prison for an incident involving the sexual assault of a woman who was visiting Oxford in February.
In April, Roger Richard Michael Simpson, 24, of Cincinnati, was found guilty of 23 felony crimes, including 10 counts of rape, sexual battery, complicity to rape and kidnapping after a four-day trial. On Friday, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster sentenced him to 51 years in prison.
Elijah Lee Mincy, 22, of Oxford, who was charged with 23 felony crimes, but took a plea deal pleading guilty to rape and kidnapping, was sentenced to eight years in prison.
The third defendant, Rodney Adrian Louis Gibson II, 22, of Cincinnati, was charged with 26 felony crimes, but also took a plea deal, pleading guilty to complicity to kidnapping. He was sentenced to five years in prison.
The crimes involved a woman, who was 19 years old at the time, who was visiting Oxford on Feb. 11 and 12, 2017. The assault occurred in an off-campus apartment complex on Southpointe Parkway, according to Oxford police.
The victim was intoxicated at a party at the apartment and went with one of the men to another apartment where the assault occurred, police said.
Prosecutors say the three men assaulted the woman and held her against her will for about 90 minutes at the residence before the woman rejoined her friends and told them she had been raped.
The victim addressed each man during the separate sentencing hearings.
“Before you I was fearless … I was looking forward to my future,” the victim told them.
She said she now had difficulty with everyday life.
“My body, my life, my choice was nothing to you,” she said.
Simpson’s attorney Donald Leroy pointed out to the judge that he has a 1-year-old son and he would like to remain active in the child’s life. There were also a number of church members in attendance in support of Simpson.
“He is sorry for his actions,” Leroy said.
In his address to the judge, Simpson offered an apology to his son and mother “for putting them through the pain of me having to go to prison.”
He quoted scripture and said he would pray for the victim, but did not offer an apology.
Both Mincy and Gibson, who was the person the victim went to visit prior to the assault, did apologize for their actions.
Defense attorneys for Mincy and Gibson pointed out the men and no previous criminal history, were high school graduates and, at the time of offenses, were enrolled at Miami University.
Michele Temmel, Mincy’s attorney said, “friends and family when I talk to them about Elijah, they describe him as being kind, thoughtful, a hard worker, trustworthy and respectful.”
A number of family members, some sobbing, spoke to the judge on Gibson’s behalf.
Defense attorney Scott Kruger said Gibson is “very selfless and interested in the welfare of others.”
“He is remorseful,” Kruger said, pointing out that Gibson apologized to the victim soon after the incident.
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:25 PM
MASON — Charges have been filed in the fatal crash that took the life of a 53-year-old Butler County woman earlier this month along the Warren-Butler county line.
Charges of vehicular manslaughter, a second-degree misdemeanor, and assured clear distance, a minor misdemeanor, will be filed against John Cowdrey of Liberty Township, according to a press release issued this afternoon by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.
The charges stem from the May 11 crash that allegedly resulted in the death of Tina Campbell and injuries to Aaron Reed, two passing drivers who stopped to help after another crash on Butler Warren Road.
The Butler County woman’s death heightened residents’ concern about traffic safety in the fast-growing area along the Butler-Warren county line, east of Interstate 75.
Campbell, 53, of Liberty Twp., died May 14 from injuries suffered on May 11 as she was helping victims of a crash on Butler-Warren Road at Heritage Club Drive.
Campbell, a wife, mother and grandmother, was popular with neighbors.
According to the crash report, Campbell and Reed, 49, of Mason were out of their cars giving aid to Jagdish Makkar, 83, of Beavercreek, and Ciarra Witt, 18, of Monroe, after their crash at the entrance to the Heritage Club development. A 2011 Mazda CX-9 driven northbound on Butler-Warren Road by Cowdery swerved to avoid the disabled vehicles and “rotated counter-clockwise” into Campbell and Reed.
Campbell was pronounced dead at West Chester Hospital. None of the others was left with incapacitating injuries, according to investigators.
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 3:20 AM
ATLANTA — Residents at Aspire Lenox Park Apartments in Atlanta are wondering what it will take to stop the recent spike in car break-ins at their complex.
“It’s not like they’re breaking into unlocked cars. They’re all locked cars, and it’s just -- there’s no rhyme or reason,” resident Bailey Beckham said.
Atlanta police told WSB 28 cars were targeted, mostly in the parking deck.
“I hadn’t heard that number. I know there were eight the other weekend, but 28 is a lot,” resident Alex King said.
"It's kind of scary because we don’t know why or what's going on or how we're going to stop it. It’s just nerve-racking,” Beckham said.
The break-ins have been especially frustrating for victims like Ryan Colley, who had nothing visible in his car and nothing taken.
“It’s devastating and it hurts because we had to pay out of pocket. Our deductible, of course, and the insurance is $500, and anything below that you have to pay out of pocket,” Colley said.
Residents said they received emails about increased patrols and security, but there are mixed opinions on the results so far.
“They say they’re going to hire some security. I haven’t seen anything yet,” Colley said.
“I guess that's helpful, but I just don’t know how we’re going to stop it if we don't know how many people or where or when,” Beckham said.
“Maybe setting up cameras in the area, so if they don’t catch the people and this continues to happen, at least they have cameras and can find them a little easier,” King said.