log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 1:53 PM
A Clark County resident and Xenia Local Schools teacher accused of sex crimes is out of jail on his own recognizance, according to court records.
Brandon M. Murray, 35, of Bethel Twp., was arraigned in Logan County Common Pleas Court Monday on two counts of rape, one count of sexual battery and two counts of gross sexual imposition, according to online Logan County court records.
Earlier charges against Murray were amended. He originally faced one count of rape, three counts of gross sexual imposition, and one count of sexual battery in Logan County Common Pleas Court.
He was placed on indefinite leave by the school district previously.
A status hearing is set for May 10, according to court records. A pretrial conference is set for May 29 and a two-day trial is set to start on June 28, the records say.
He is accused of sexually assaulting a 25-year-old woman — an acquaintance of Murray and his wife — after a night of drinking in June 2017 at Froggy’s swim-up bar at Indian Lake.
In March, the case against Murray ended in a mistrial after a jury could not reach a verdict.
Murray’s accuser was part of a group that traveled to Logan County and had all been drinking at Froggy’s, 11065 County Road 293 in Lakeview. At the end of the night, the woman was “extremely intoxicated” and was sitting in a vehicle with Murray and his wife waiting for the rest of the group and the designated driver, police said.
Murray’s wife passed out, and police say the alleged crime occurred during a 10-minute period of time before the group’s return to the vehicle.
The woman reported the incident to authorities a little more than a month later. Murray disputed the allegations and told investigators his interaction with the woman was consensual, according to court documents.
Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 1:43 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 1:43 PM
The first indictment in what federal prosecutors called a southwest Ohio-based, Mexican cartel-linked methamphetamine trafficking ring stemmed from a June 2017 traffic stop on Interstate 70 in Preble County.
Dennis Olinger and Hayley Bigelow’s stories didn’t match when an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper stopped the blue Volkswagen Passat for speeding, according to court documents. The car contained 26 pounds of crystal meth with a street value of about $400,000.
Olinger, who didn’t produce a driver’s license, said Bigelow was his girlfriend. Bigelow couldn’t tell the trooper Olinger’s name. Both appeared “overly nervous,” according to a criminal complaint.
Federal, state and local officials last Tuesday announced a Drug Enforcement Agency investigation that uncovered 140 pounds of meth — $2.2 million if similar to the traffic stop — and said it led to to seven indictments to go with at least seven previous prosecutions.
This news outlet obtained the list of previous defendants from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Olinger and Bigelow had the oldest case and were linked to another defendant, Waiman Yu.
Olinger, 40, of Dayton, was sentenced in January to 10 years for possessing with intent to distribute more than 500 grams or more of meth. Bigelow, 21, of Springfield, also was sentenced in January. She received four years in prison for interstate travel to promote an unlawful activity.
Yu, 39 of Trotwood, was sentenced in February to five years in prison for possessing with intent to distribute in excess of 100 grams of heroin.
Yu had been driving the Passat before Olinger and Bigelow were caught, according to court documents. A complaint said the DEA used a GPS tracking device on his Hyundai Elantra and found drugs in that car during a traffic stop.
Yu — who was once sentenced to six years for conspiracy to commit murder in Greene County — was suspected of being part of a large drug trafficking organization for nearly 20 years, according to a DEA agent.
The other older convictions/pleas:
• Richard H. Smith, 32 of Youngstown, was sentenced in April to 9.5 years for conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of meth. While in state prison, Smith directed Chasity Gillenwater to pick up drugs supplied by Olinger and deliver them to David Crabtree in Pike County to be sold, according to a sentencing memorandum.
• Crabtree, 26 of Piketon, was sentenced in April to 6 2/3 years for the same charge as Smith.
• Gillenwater, 26 of Beaver, was sentenced in April to four years for the same charge as Smith.
• Joshua Kirtley, 34 of Middletown, pleaded guilty June 1 to the same charge as Smith, a much lower charge that he originally faced. Court documents alleged Kirtley was selling meth from his Pearl Street address.
A complaint said Kirtley admitted to buying $100,000 worth of meth in California that was mailed back to Ohio and moving 40 pounds of meth and $1 million in six months. Kirtley is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 24.
The recently unsealed indictment into the alleged meth ring included the seizure of the 140 pounds of meth, nearly 15.5 pounds of fentanyl, nearly 4.5 pounds of heroin, more than $130,000 in cash and a Bersa 9mm pistol, according to court documents.
Seven defendants were indicted and were led by Salvador “Listo” Ramirez. A DEA agent said last week that the Ramirez group is linked to a “Mexican transnational criminal organization” and is associated with a high-ranking member of a “violent, international gang.”
Published: Friday, July 06, 2018 @ 10:55 AM
Updated: Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 2:12 PM
UPDATED: Arraignment is set for July 20 in extortion and coercion case against former Republican Ohio Statehouse candidate. — A retired Hamilton County common pleas court judge has been assigned to hear the case involving a former GOP candidate who is charged with extortion and coercion in connection to alleged threats made during her campaign.
Timothy S. Hogan was assigned to the case against Jocelyn Smith, 36, by the Supreme Court of Ohio Friday morning. At the request of Smith’s attorney her arraignment has been set for July 20 in Greene County Common Pleas Court.
Smith is charged for alleged threats she made during her campaign against State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, during this year’s GOP primary, according to Greene County Common Pleas Court records.
Perales won the election and will face Sugarcreek Twp. Democrat Kim McCarthy in the Nov. 6 General Election.
Smith faces a third-degree felony count of extortion and a second-degree misdemeanor count of coercion, according to court records of the secret indictment filed June 15. Smith is a registered-nurse case manager at Sheakley Unicomp and a teacher at Fortis College. She was a first time candidate for political office when she ran against Perales this year.
Smith alleged that Perales had choked, forcibly kissed, fondled and sexted with her in 2015. Perales admitted sending inappropriate sexually oriented text messages to Smith during a brief consensual relationship in early 2015 but denies that he choked, kissed or touched her in any intimate way.
Perales filed an extortion complaint with Fairborn Police after Smith threatened at a news conference to release information she said proved her allegations if he didn’t resign from the House and withdraw from the race.
“Please don’t force me to release the rest of the text messages and other mountains of evidence,” Smith said at the March 27 news conference in Fairborn. “I think you know the honorable thing to do is to step down.”
See the Facebook Live of Smith’s March 27 news conference
Greene County Prosecutor Stephen K. Haller had earlier referred the case to a special prosecutor, Madison County Prosecutor Stephen J. Pronai, to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
“The indictment against my client, Jocelyn Smith, is a politically motivated witch hunt by the Greene County ‘good-old-boys’ network and a prosecutorial abuse of discretion and power that will be vigorously defended against,” said Smith’s attorney, Ben Swift, in an email after the indictment was announced last month. “We look forward to our day in court when all of the true facts will come out.”
Perales, a former Greene County commissioner and Beavercreek councilman, said he just wants to focus on serving his western Greene County 73rd District, which he has represented since 2013.
“There are no winners in this situation. Justice just needs to take its course,” Perales said after the indictement was announced. “People have to be held accountable for their words and deeds. I remain focused on winning in November.”
Published: Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 10:21 AM
COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday is set to hear arguments in a case about whether a deceased person’s spouse must pay nursing home fees left at the time of death.
The dispute is based on a lawsuit filed against an 80-year-old Franklin Twp. woman in Franklin Municipal Court over an unpaid $1,678 nursing home bill for her husband’s care.
Cora Bell’s lawyer, Miriam Sheline, said the decision could have far-reaching implications for other surviving spouses facing big bills for lost loved ones’ care.
“They are dealing with lots of trauma and grief and they get hit with this huge bill,” said Sheline, a lawyer with Pro Seniors, Cincinnati-based non-profit who represented Bell after she called the organization’s hotline.
Sheline, with support from five legal aid societies from around Ohio and the Ohio Association for Justice, wants the state’s high court to find that Embassy Healthcare’s claim should be rejected because it failed to file against the Bells’ estate within the six-month statute of limitations set out in state law.
“They instead waited a year and then sued the widow directly,” Sheline said, adding this was the first time a nursing home had appealed a decision on this issue.
Lawyers for Beachwood-based nursing-home provider Embassy Healthcare want the court to agree with the state’s 12th District Court of Appeals that Bell should have to pay according to protections set out in “the state’s ‘necessaries’ statute, which defines certain obligations spouses have to each other,” Kathleen Maloney of Court News Ohio, a service of the Ohio Supreme Court, wrote in a summary of the case.
Bell’s husband, Robert, moved into Carlisle Manor in January 2014 and died there in May. Embassy billed Bell in November 2014.
Rather than pay the bill, Bell called Pro Seniors hotline, as more than 100 people have with similar problems in the past two years, according to Sheline.
Franklin Municipal Court Judge Rupert Ruppert ruled in Bell’s favor, and Embassy — which lists 21 facilities in Ohio on its website — appealed to the Middletown-based appeals court. On July 28, 2017, Bell appealed the 12th District’s decision to the Ohio Supreme Court.
In Sheline’s view, Embassy missed its chance to collect on the bill from Bell or the couple’s estate under provisions of the necessaries law by missing the six-month window for such claims in probate court.
“The Legislature has determined that, after death, the need to provide for the surviving spouse takes precedence over the obligation for the spouse to support the decedent,” Sheline wrote.
Embassy lawyer Daniel Friedlander in his brief urges the Supreme Court to agree with the 12th District judges. The justices should dismiss the case or send it back to the Franklin court, and the claim against Bell personally, rather than the estate, should be paid.
The ruling could put many surviving spouses in a difficult spot, according to Sheline.
“The spouse has to come into court and prove they are unable to pay the bill. If they are unable to pay the bill, they can’t afford an attorney to prove they are unable to pay the bill,” she said.
Published: Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 2:05 AM
Updated: Saturday, July 14, 2018 @ 11:07 AM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 10:54 a.m.:
The Ohio State Highway Patrol Dayton Post has identified the suspected driver of the fatal crash Saturday in Dayton.
Thurston Melson, 37, was driving a 2007 Dodge Magnum on Gettysburg Avenue near Oakridge Drive when a State Trooper attempted to initiate a traffic stop, according to a release from OSP.
Melson reportedly failed to stop and fled onto Oakridge Drive.
According to OSP, the vehicle ran a stop sign and struck a utility pole.
Melson was taken to Miami Valley Hospital and was listed in serious condition.
Ebony Radford died at the scene.
The crash remains under investigation.
UPDATE @ 9:57 a.m.:
Ebony Radford, 35, of Dayton was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash after a short police pursuit in Dayton Saturday, Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed.
Radford was as passenger of the vehicle that failed to stop at a traffic stop at Gettysburg Avenue and Oakridge Drive around 1:40 a.m.
The identity of the driver has not been released, but he was transported to Miami Valley Hospital in stable condition, according to police.
UPDATE @3:59 a.m.:
A female passenger involved in a car crash after a police pursuit was pronounced dead at the scene, Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Matt Robinson confirmed.
The accident occurred shorty before 1:40 a.m. Saturday after an OSP trooper initiated a traffic stop at Gettysburg Ave. and Oakridge Dr.
Sgt. Robinson said the car failed to stop, turned right on Oakridge Dr., then lost control and crashed into an RTA pole after a short, 20 second pursuit. The rear end of the vehicle split in half on impact.
The driver of the vehicle, identified as male, was transported to Miami Valley in stable condition.
Sgt. Robinson confirmed the OSP trooper was not injured in the pursuit.
The victims’ identities have not been released.
UPDATE @2:34 a.m.:
Dayton police have arrived on scene to assist Ohio State Highway Patrol units in an accident near Oakridge Dr. and Cleverly Rd. that occurred after a police pursuit.
An ambulance escorted by police has left the scene.
Ohio State Highway Patrol units are on scene of a car crash near Oakridge Drive and Cleverly Road in Dayton that reportedly occurred after a short police pursuit.
OSP confirmed units were dispatched to the scene at 1:40 a.m. Saturday.
Scanner reports indicated the two people inside the vehicle have to be extracted because the doors will not open. One person is reportedly unconscious.
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.