Prosecutor calls defense arguments ‘misleading at best’ in Carlisle buried baby case

Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 @ 12:00 PM


            Top left, Brooke Skylar Richardson and attorney Charles M. Rittgers; top right, Warren County Common Pleas Judge Donald Oda II; bottom left, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell and bottom right, Brooke Skylar Richardson and parents, Kimberly and and Scott Richardson.
Top left, Brooke Skylar Richardson and attorney Charles M. Rittgers; top right, Warren County Common Pleas Judge Donald Oda II; bottom left, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell and bottom right, Brooke Skylar Richardson and parents, Kimberly and and Scott Richardson.

Warren County prosecutors say the defense team for Brooke Skylar Richardson, Carlisle teen accused of killing her baby and burying her in the backyard, are mischaracterizing the opinions of potential expert witnesses.

Arguments previously stricken by Warren County Common Pleas Judge Donald Oda II from the defense motion to move Richardson’s case out of the county were made public Tuesday with defense attorneys Charles H. and Charles M. Rittgers taking aim at the issue of statements about baby “Annabelle” being burned before buried.

The defense team says a “premature and completely false opinion by the state’s expert forensic anthropologist that Brooke Skylar Richardson’s baby Annabelle was burned before burial ignited a media and social media firestorm.”

MORE: Appeals court lifts gag order in buried baby case

The defense team says the damage is done and a fair trial for the Carlisle teen in Warren County is not possible.

“What started as an 18-year-old high school girl who was frightened and saddened because of giving birth to a stillborn baby whom she named Annabelle and then telling her doctor of the stillbirth and burial in the backyard turned into something sinister and grotesque because of the inaccurate and false opinion by the state’s forensic anthropologist. Although this false opinion was subsequently retracted, the damage remains” the defense team states in the motion.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell and Assistant Prosecutor David Knippen were brief in their response filed late Tuesday afternoon.

“The defendant mischaracterizes the opinions of potential expert witnesses and omits other facts and evidence pertinent to the issues in this case,” the prosecution said in the response. “While the state believes that the arguments put forth in the defendant’s memorandum are misleading at best, the state is cautious of responding in kind so as not to further flame the media coverage regarding this case, as it is the state’s intention to select a fair and impartial jury.”

The prosecution requested a hearing if the judge is going to reconsider his previous decision denying the motion of change of venue “based on the misstatments contained in her memorandum.”

MORE: Attorneys want statements to parents suppressed in Carlisle buried baby case

Oda denied the motion for change of venue, ruling voir dire of the potential jurors will have to take place to determine if pre-trial publicity has had any impact on the jury pool.

“Only after the voir dire process will the court and the parties be able to determine the impact, if any, of pretrial publicity. This issue will be revisited in the event a jury cannot be seated,” Oda wrote.

Oda previously issued a gag order stopping public comments by attorneys and parties involved in the case, but that ruling was overturned last week by the 12th District Court of Appeals.

Richardson remains free on a $50,000 bond and under court-ordered house arrest that was a condition of her release. Her trial is scheduled to begin in April.

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Dayton police on scene of a reported Maryland Avenue shooting 

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 1:30 AM

Dayton police crews were dispatched to the 1500 block of Maryland Avenue Sunday morning on reports of a shooting. 

Montgomery County Regional Dispatch confirmed the call came in at 12:53 a.m. and said units are still on scene. 

>>Officer-involved shooting is Kettering’s third within a year

Scanner reports indicated three suspects fled on foot from the area. 

It is unknown at this time if a victim was found.

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 newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Amber Alert canceled after 2 Urbana boys found safe; suspect still sought

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 11:15 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 12:08 PM

Suspect sought after Amber Alert issued

UPDATE @ 12:08 p.m.:

An Amber Alert has been canceled after two Urbana boys were found safe.

The suspect and vehicle still have not been found.

FIRST REPORT

An Amber Alert is active for two boys reported abducted from Urbana.

They were reported missing at 7 a.m. from Maplewood Circle after their grandparents awoke to find them gone, according to a release from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

The first boy is Justin Wallace Jr., 7, a biracial boy with black hair who stands 4 feet 5 inches and weighs 72 pounds. There was no further descriptive information available.

The second boy is Aaron Rollins, 9, a white boy with brown hair and hazel eyes who stands 4 feet, 11 inches and weighs 72 pounds. He was last seen wearing a maroon and white T-shirt and camo high-top tennis shoes.

VIEW MORE CRIME NEWS

The suspect, Jamie Rollins, 39, is the non-custodial mother. She is believed to be driving a taupe Kia Optima with Ohio plates 347YSL. She is described as a white woman with red hair and blue eyes who stands 5 feet 3 inches and weighs 223 pounds.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts or who spots them is urged to call 911.

For more information visit the Ohio Amber Alert website.

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Fairfield police ID victims in officer-involved shooting

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 5:06 PM


            Nick Graham/Staff
Nick Graham/Staff

It wasn’t the first time officers had been called to a Fairfield apartment where police said Friday they confronted and killed a man as he stabbed a woman, records show.

And the same home in the 1500 block of Gelhot Drive was the site of an earlier complaint by the woman claiming the man — who is described in police records as her boyfriend — had tried to poison her.

That’s according to new information released to this media outlet Saturday by Fairfield Police in the aftermath of one of their officers shooting to death the male suspect, who has now been identified along with the female victim, who died from her stab wounds.

The Butler County Coroner’s office released a statement saying the stabbing victim was 37-year-old Michelle R. Henry. Logan A. Willliamson, 37, died at the scene after being shot by Fairfield Police as he was stabbing Henry. Henry later died at Mercy Hospital-Fairfield.

MORE: Fairfield man, woman dead after police gun him down during knife attack

The first Fairfield officer on the scene, identified as Officer Bryan Carnes, a three-year veteran, allegedly found Williamson stabbing Henry inside the townhouse.

In an attempt to stop the stabbing, Carnes fired two shots, striking Williamson. He was pronounced dead at the scene, said Fairfield Police Chief Steve Maynard.

Police records show officers had previously been called to respond to the couple’s address in September 2017 on a domestic violence report where Williamson was arrested for attacking Henry.

Henry told officers “her boyfriend tried to poison her by placing (sic) dissolvable sleeping pills in her mouth while she was sleeping.”

Police records also showed that in recent years Williamson had been arrested for fleeing police after speeding, carrying alcohol and a weapon in a car on another occasion.

And the woman’s family members had asked police to stop at the address last year to check on Henry, saying they had not heard from her for an extended time.

Dispatchers received the 911 call for the incident at 5:49 a.m. Friday at a townhouse located in a quiet neighborhood off Pleasant Avenue. A female caller blurted out the address then continues to scream for help during the three-minute, 20-second call.

“He’s stabbing me!” the woman screams once.

The dispatcher continues to ask the woman to repeat the address.

“Please yell your address to me so I can send help,” the dispatcher says. “Shout your address, your apartment number.”

One of the officers says: “I heard someone yell ‘help!’”

When Officer Bryan Carnes and Sgt. Aaron Meyer got to the residence, they forced entry and ran up the steps, Maynard said.

“(They) made their way to an upstairs bathroom where they encountered a male and a female. The male was stabbing the female. Officer Bryan Carnes, who was the first officer to make it to the bathroom, fired several rounds from his pistol striking the male and stopping the initial threat,” Maynard said during a press conference four hours after the incident.

Henry was transported to Mercy Fairfield Hospital where she died, according to police. Williamson died at the scene.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation has taken over the investigation, Maynard said. As is standard procedure, the two officers are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of that investigation.

The chief said there is body camera footage of the incident and once BCI and the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office “deems appropriate, we will release it.”

Carnes is a three-year veteran of the force. He previously worked for Englewood Police Department, north of Dayton, according to the chief. He received a good review in October, with the preparer stating, “Officer Carnes is a very well rounded officer who has taken on additional responsibilities within the organization. He is an asset to the department.”

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the incident will be presented to a grand jury of review when the investigation is completed. It is Gmoser’s policy that all officer involved shootings are presented to a grand jury.

(Staff writer Michael D. Clark contributed to this story)

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Gunman demands drugs from Rite Aid in Harrison Twp.

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 7:17 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 11:40 PM

Robbery

An armed suspect demanded drugs and threatened employees Friday night during a robbery at a Rite Aid pharmacy.

The robbery was reported around 7 p.m. at the business, 4328 N. Main St. in Harrison Twp.

>> ‘He showed us a gun:’ Robbery victims testify in teen’s carjacking case

“Somebody walked in with a note and asked for prescription drugs and said that he was going to kills us in that note if we didn’t give him what we have,” according to a 911 caller who identified himself as a pharmacy manager.

The suspect was described as a young man who stands 5 feet 7 or five feet 8 inches who was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants.

Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies, including a K-9, responded to a robbery June 22, 2018, at the Rite Aid pharmacy at 4328 N. Main St. in Harrison Twp.(JIM NOELKER / STAFF)

Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies, including a K-9 unit, were dispatched to the robbery. However, deputies on scene did not comment on the investigation.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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