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Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 @ 12:20 PM
The death penalty for a Cincinnati man convicted of killing a Fairfield attorney and a witness to her fatal strangulation has been upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court.
In 2010, Calvin McKelton, now 39, was convicted of the 2008 murder of Margaret “Missy” Allen, his girlfriend and criminal defense attorney who previously represented him, and of the 2009 murder of Germaine “Mick” Evans. McKelton received the death penalty after being convicted of the specification that he murdered Evans to prevent his testimony at trial.
Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger wrote the majority opinion finding evidence showed that McKelton was properly convicted of murdering a friend who helped him cover up a murder and that the aggravating circumstances supporting the death penalty outweighed the mitigating circumstances beyond a reasonable doubt.
In a dissenting opinion, Justice William M. O’Neill wrote that McKelton’s death sentence should be dismissed and that he should receive a new mitigation hearing because his attorneys did not hire a mitigation expert to present McKelton’s case for sentencing him to life in prison.
According to facts of the case, Allen’s body was found July 27, 2008, in a wooded area of Schmidt Field Park in Cincinnati. The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office ruled the 37-year-old died of asphyxiation by strangulation.
A piece of plastic resembling a shower-curtain liner was around Allen’s thighs and a bag of counterfeit drugs lay near her body. A coroner’s report found that she died from strangulation, and when police searched her home, they found a long piece of weed-cutter cord on the floor. The shower curtain was on a hallway floor with no sign of a liner.
Allen was last seen July 24, 2008, by her childhood friend and law partner Rodney Harris, three days before her body was found in a decomposed state. Then Hamilton County coroner’s Coroner Dr. O’Dell Owens said he relied on dental records, tattoos and surgical scars to determine the body’s identity.
McKelton was living with Allen and her two nieces at the time of her death, and the girls testified the couple had physically violent arguments. Allen also kept a handwritten notebook and a computer document that chronicled her physical abuse.
Fairfield police interviewed McKelton, who refused to answer most of their questions, and they took fingerprints, DNA samples and fingernail scrapings. The DNA samples were not consistent with the DNA collected from Allen’s fingernails.
Months later, police learned that Evans was a possible eyewitness. A friend of Evans testified that Evans told him he was at Allen’s house when he heard Allen and McKelton fighting in another room and then saw McKelton choking Allen. When she became unresponsive, the men tried to stage a robbery scene and set fire to the house. The two then wrapped up Allen’s body and drove to a wooded area to dispose of it.
Evans’ body was later found in a city park, and a coroner’s report determined that he was killed with a single gunshot wound to the back of the head, possibly two or three days earlier.
Along with friends of Evans, three informants charged with other offenses testified that McKelton admitted to the murders.
The defense did not present any witnesses during the first phase of the trial, and the jury convicted McKelton of all but the charge of intimidation of a witness.
After the mitigation stage and the jury recommendation, the trial court sentenced McKelton to death for the aggravated murder of Evans, 15 years to life in prison for the murder of Allen, and 25 years for the remaining convictions.
McKelton appealed his conviction and sentence, claiming his state and U.S. constitution rights were violated because he was deprived of a fair trial. He maintained the violations included the state’s nondisclosure of eight witnesses until the evening before the trial, which left his defense attorneys unprepared for effective cross-examination. He also argued that his counsel provided ineffective assistance during the trial and mitigation stages.
Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 3:30 AM
Updated: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 5:15 AM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 5:15 a.m.:
Montgomery County Regional Dispatch confirmed officers did not log any reports after being called to the scene of a reported shooting in Dayton.
The incident was initially reported at approximately 2:59 a.m. Saturday near the 110 block of Brown Street. Scanner reports indicated a medic was requested for a shooting victim at the location.
The county dispatch confirmed officers were called to that location and were then moved to the 320 block of E. 5th St., but did not confirm whether or not a victim was found.
Police crews and a medic are en route to a reported shooting in the 110 block of Brown Street in Dayton, Montgomery County Regional Dispatch confirmed.
The shooting was reported at approximately 2:59 a.m. Saturday.
Scanner reports indicated there has been at least one victim, injuries unknown.
We are on our way to the scene and will update this story as more details become available.
Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to email@example.com.
Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 2:04 AM
BUTLER COUNTY — An OVI checkpoint will be held in Fairfield Saturday night by the Butler County OVI Task Force.
The checkpoint will be conducted in the northbound lane of US 127 at Pleasant Avenue and Symmes Road from 11 p.m. to no later than 3 a.m.
Checkpoints and saturation patrols are continuing efforts by the task force to reduce OVI related crashes resulting in injuries and fatalities.
Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 10:19 PM
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 11:00 PM
SPRINGFIELD — UPDATE @ 11 p.m.
Alcohol may have been a factor in a three-vehicle crash Friday night that sent four people to area hospitals.
The impact of the crash around 9:10 p.m. in the 2300 block of East Main Street forced a red car and silver SUV off the roadway and into a McDonald’s parking lot.
According to witnesses, the driver of the red car pulled out of KFC and in front of a white pickup truck, which then struck it. The car then hit the SUV.
The driver of a red car was taken to Miami Valley Hospital in serious condition. Two passengers in the red car and the pickup driver were taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center. Their injuries were not life-threatening.
A woman and her children inside the SUV were not hurt, she said.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Springfield Police Division.
Multiple injuries were reported tonight in a three-vehicle crash on East Main Street.
The crash was reported around 9:10 p.m. in the 2300 block of East Main Street in front of McDonald’s and KFC.
Main Street is down to one lane going eastbound, with the westbound lanes blocked.
There were crash victims taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center, but their names and the severity of injuries was not immediately available.
Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 2:55 PM
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 2:49 PM
WAYNE COUNTY, Indiana — Richmond Police and federal agents are searching for two possibly armed men who eluded them after a chase Friday afternoon on the north side of the Middlefork Reservoir area in Richmond, Indiana.
The Wayne County 9-1-1 Center sent out two tweets alerting residents in the area to the manhunt. Reports are the two men are wanted on child molestation charges.
A man living in the area who contacted our newsroom said he and other residents were told by Richmond Police to stay indoors. The man added police suggested contacting them for an escort if you needed to go outside to get in to your vehicle.
The man told our newsroom a boat and a drone appeared to being used in the search.
According to emergency dispatch the suspect eluded police during a foot chase and is now at large. Indiana University East issued an alert Friday stating their campus was on lockdown. The campus was later closed for the day as the manhunt continued.