Indiana man arrested in child molestation investigation

Published: Sunday, August 21, 2016 @ 8:20 AM

An Indiana man has been arrested on multiple charges related child molestation, according to a release from Indiana State Police.

Rodney Boyd, 46, of New Castle was arrested August 20 on a five-count, felony warrant and is currently in the Henry County Jail with no bond.

An investigation into Boyd began in May when a female victim told police Boyd had started having inappropriate contact with her when she was a juvenile, according to the release.

The victim said Boyd had continued the behavior into her adulthood.

Boyd is charged with child molestation, sexual misconduct with a minor and three counts of child seduction.

A court date for Boyd has yet to be determined.

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Death of Ohio man who was found in Springfield park ruled a homicide

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 11:59 AM

Springfield police block the entrance to Virgil Mabra Park while police investigate a body found in the woods. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF
Springfield police block the entrance to Virgil Mabra Park while police investigate a body found in the woods. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Update@2:23 p.m.:

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss Holt’s killing, Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf reached out to the public for help in the investigation. Holt was last seen alive about 11 p.m. Monday, so anyone who may have seen him after that time or came in contact with him should contact Springfield police investigators with any information they have, Graf said. 

Graf also said investigators still have not made a direct connection with Holt’s killing and the home invasion in Huber Heights where two boys, including one of Holt’s sons, was tied up. Until such connection is made, the cases will investigated separately, he said. 

First report:

Springfield police are continuing their investigation after a body was found at a Springfield park Tuesday morning.

Huber Heights police are also continuing an investigation into an incident hours before at the man’s home in that city.

Cedric Holt Jr. was found dead at Virgil Mabra Park in Springfield.

He is the father of one of two teenage boys who were tied up in a home invasion in Huber Heights on Tuesday morning. Other than the relationship between Holt and one of the boys, there’s no connection between the home invasion and Holt’s death, said Sgt. Charles Taylor of the of the Huber Heights Police Department. 

“We’re still ... just over 24 hours involved in this. So we’re still looking into everything,” he said. All stones will be looked under. And we’re going to continue to canvas the neighborhood, ask questions to anybody and anyone that’s willing to talk.”

READ: Springfield police investigate body found in Mabra Park

Both police departments are releasing limited information. Springfield police plan on hold a press conference today at 2 p.m.

Here is what we know now:

Initial phone call

Springfield police were called to the 1400 block of Oakleaf Avenue on Tuesday morning, according to a Springfield police report.

There they met a man mowing the park’s grass who said he found a body, the report says.

“The victim was found face up with his head to the north and feet to the south,” the police report says. A park employee who called 9-1-1 said the body was in a car.

Springfield Fire Division personnel told police the man, later identified as Cedric Holt Jr., was dead.

Suspicious death

The death is considered suspicious, the Clark County Coroner’s Office said. The cause and manner of death were not yet determined.

A Springfield police report describes the death as unspecified.

EXTRA: What we know: Virgil Mabra Park in Springfield

No arrests

A news release from the city of Springfield on Tuesday evening says no arrests have been made in the incident, and anyone with information is asked to call 937-324-7685.

Taylor said Wednesday that detectives are still working the case.

“As far as our home invasion we are still looking into everything,” he said.

Anyone with information about the home break-in can call the Huber Heights Police Division at 937-233-1565.

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‘No, not this again’: Grandmother’s death in drive-by shooting reminds of 2006 incident just 3 doors away

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 1:40 PM

Michael Lark said his aunt, Louise Brooks, was an innocent bystander who was shot in her house at 856 N. Euclid Ave. in Dayton during a drive-by shooting in November 2006. Brooks died three months later. Lark said the death of Sherrell Wheatley, who was shot outside a house three doors down, brought back memories of his aunt. MONTGOMERY COUNTY AUDITOR’S WEBSITE PHOTO
Michael Lark said his aunt, Louise Brooks, was an innocent bystander who was shot in her house at 856 N. Euclid Ave. in Dayton during a drive-by shooting in November 2006. Brooks died three months later. Lark said the death of Sherrell Wheatley, who was shot outside a house three doors down, brought back memories of his aunt. MONTGOMERY COUNTY AUDITOR’S WEBSITE PHOTO

The May 19 fatal drive-by shooting of a 62-year-old grandmother — which has Dayton police asking for help before the trail goes cold — is similar to a 2006 incident that also happened on North Euclid Avenue.

The story is all too familiar to one area man’s memories of his aunt’s death.

Sherrell V. Wheatley died last Saturday at an area hospital after she was shot in the head while walking home after feeding a neighbor’s dogs. Police called Wheatley an innocent victim of an apparent drive-by shooting at 866 N. Euclid Ave.

Three doors down and 11.5 years ago, an 89-year-old woman was shot in both legs while watching television at 856 N. Euclid Ave.

EARLIER: Innocent bystander grandmother killed: ‘Hit by a bullet that has no eyes’

Louise T. Brooks was hit at about 10 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2006 by stray bullets in what police said at the time was a drive-by shooting that struck several homes and vehicles.

When Brooks’ nephew, Michael Lark, heard about Wheatley’s death last weekend, his mind raced back to 2006 and his “Aunt Lou.”

“My blood pressure went up, and I started steaming, and I’m like, ‘No, not this again,’” said Lark, 58, of Dayton. “What happened? And then they say she was an innocent bystander, just like my aunt, and it was hard to take again. It was like reliving my aunt’s (shooting) all over again.”

RELATED: Neighbor aids woman wounded in stabbing

Dayton officers said at the time that they found Brooks after no one answered her door. They said they forced their way in and found her with two gunshot wounds.

Brooks was taken to a hospital in critical condition and was later upgraded to stable condition. She died on Feb. 27, 2007 — on Lark’s mother’s birthday — at age 90, according to an online obituary.

Lark said his aunt virtually died from the shooting because she couldn’t fully recover. He said police detectives weren’t able to solve the crime.

RELATED: Woman shot twice in apparent drive-by shooting

“I’m a God-fearing person, and they say turn the other cheek,” Lark said. “But it’s kind of hard to turn the (other) cheek when nobody says anything and they kill somebody — elderly and babies. Uh-uh, something needs to be done with them.

“If I had my way … because I’ll never forgive them. They better hope God forgives them. Family, to this day, we have no answers.”

Efforts to get information on the 2006 case from Dayton police and the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office have not yet been successful. In Dayton police’s computer system, the case is listed as closed.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

Police are looking for a silver sedan in the Wheatley case, and the public has been asked to call (937) 222-STOP (7867) or Melissa Schloss, the case detective, at (937) 333-1078.

Police said they have no suspects and few solid leads in Wheatley’s death, which they termed a “heinous” and “sad” crime.

“What we are asking is anyone in the neighborhood that saw any of this or has any information on this, please contact the Dayton Police Department,” said Lt. Gregg Gaby.

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Lark said he knows what Wheatley’s family is going through.

“That just kept bringing it all up,” Lark said of Dayton’s most recent drive-by shooting.

“It’s heart-breaking. It keeps the family upset. … We believe that, before it’s all over with, somebody’s going to talk.”

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2 Franklin men arrested in stabbing incident

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 1:40 PM


            Christian Vick is charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony.
Christian Vick is charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony.

Two Franklin men involved in a late night fight that resulted in a stabbing have been arrested.

Franklin police charged Timothy Tinch, 32, with one count of assault, a second-degree misdemeanor, and Christian Vick, 34, with felonious assault, a second-degree felony.

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Vick has been booked in the Warren County Jail under a $10,000 cash bond. There was no Warren County Jail booking record for Tinch as of Wednesday afternoon.

Both are scheduled to be arraigned on their charges at noon Friday in Franklin Municipal Court.

Police were called to a residence in the 100 block of East Bryant Avenue about 9:45 p.m. on a report of two men injured during a fight. According to police, one of the men was stabbed in a fight with another man, who suffered facial injuries in the fracas.

Both men were taken to an area hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The incident remains under investigation.

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Officer accused of violence against child was on performance improvement plan

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 10:32 AM


            Martin D. Stringfellow
Martin D. Stringfellow

The Clay Twp. police officer accused of domestic violence against an elementary school child was put on a performance improvement plan by his employer earlier this year.

Martin D. Stringfellow, 47, had performed below standards in multiple categories and had once been described as not having the respect of junior officers, according to personnel records obtained by this news organization.

Stringfellow signed an Employee Performance Improvement Plan (EPIP) on March 6, 2018 that was initiated due to “unsatisfactory performance.”

RELATED: Local police officer arrested after child found with severe bruising: What we know now

The document noted that Stringfellow had been verbally counseled on June 21, July 26 and Aug. 22 in 2017 for “sub-standard performance for traffic contacts, house checks and business checks” and that his performance was still sub-standard in the first two months of 2018.

Stringfellow was arrested May 15 by Brookville police and jailed on a count of domestic violence for allegedly causing severe bruising on the face of an elementary school student with an open-handed slap, according to court records.

Stringfellow was alleged to have hit the child May 8 at a home in Brookville, according to court documents filed in the western division of Montgomery County Municipal Court.

RELATED: Arrested cop severely bruised child’s face with slap

A Brookville officer was later dispatched to an elementary school to assist Children Services with a case of possible child abuse and to speak to the school’s principal, according to records.

A school counselor told police that the child at first denied how the injury occurred but later said the striking happened after the child got out of bed during the night to get a stuffed animal out of the closet, according to a complaint and affidavit.

Stringfellow admitted to spanking the child but said the slap to the face was unintentional, according to court records.

RELATED: Clay Twp. officer arrested on domestic violence charge

Stringfellow has pleaded not guilty. His defense attorney has filed a motion to continue a scheduled June 4 hearing.

The firm representing Stringfellow has not returned messages seeking comment.

Stringfellow also had numerous commendations in his personnel files.

Those included his efforts in locating two suspects who had committed crimes in Huber Heights in February 2014, executing a search warrant with professionalism in 2011, assistance to an out-of-state officer in 2005 and quick investigation of a business breaking and entering in 2003, among others.

Stringfellow had completed an online “domestic violence refresher course” on April 13, 2017, according to his personnel records.

Clay Twp. police Chief John Van Gundy said Stringfellow is on administrative leave, but he wouldn’t comment on the officer’s performance.

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The EPIP followed a string of mixed work evaluations in the past few years of Stringfellow’s nearly 20-year career with the department.

His 2017 evaluation noted that Stringfellow is a “seasoned officer with vast knowledge, but at times doesn’t apply it,” that he has repetitive mistakes in daily paperwork and that, in evaluating subordinates, he does “poor evaluation with minimal documentation.”

Earlier evaluations noted his lack of attention in paperwork, giving the minimum effort and having disorganized records and evidence.

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Stringfellow signed a “last chance agreement” in 2013 in which he was supposed to improve in multiple areas.

Other performance evaluations were generally positive, but one in 2007 said Stringfellow “does not have respect of junior officers” and that he was issued an EPIP in 2006.

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