Prosecutor to seek death penalty in Dayton triple shooting case

Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 @ 3:16 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 @ 4:52 PM

Triple slaying suspect appears in court. His children claim he has mental illness.

Three people are dead in a Dayton triple shooting and a 61-year-old man remains jailed as the primary suspect:

  • Muhammad Shabazz Ali has formal charges filed against him
  • He’s accused of shooting the victims after a mental evaluation
  • Police: The shooting was not believed to be random
  • Ali has spent time in prison for two homicides

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UPDATE@4:35 p.m. (Aug. 23):

The Montgomery County prosecutor will seek the death penalty in the triple shooting case against Ali, officials announced in a release Tuesday.

A panel of assistant prosecutors assigned to the Violent Crimes Bureau of the Prosecutor’s Office met with homicide investigators from the Dayton Police Department shortly after the

Ali’s arrest on Aug 12 and approved initial charges in a complaint filed in the Dayton Municipal Court, the release said.

But after review of additional investigation into the facts and circumstances of the homicides, an amended complaint was filed Tuesday with additional charges as well as specifications that will allow the Montgomery County Grand Jury to consider indicting the suspect on counts with death penalty specifications.

The case will be presented to the Montgomery County Grand Jury at a later date, as Ali is being held on a $1 million bond.

UPDATE @ 3:07 p.m. (Aug. 15):

A Dayton Municipal Court judge entered a not guilty plea and set bond at $1 million for Muhammad Shabazz Ali.

Two of Ali’s children talked to News Center 7’s Mike Campbell, and claim their father has mental health issues and needed his medications.

UPDATE @ 4:26 p.m. (Aug. 12):

Over 20 charges have been approved against Muhammad Shabazz Ali, including 10 counts of murder.

UPDATE @ 6:05 p.m. (Aug. 11):

Dayton police are expected to present their case against Muhammad Shabazz Ali to a Montgomery County Prosecutor’s panel on Friday morning.

Meantime, homicide detectives are continuing their investigation to determine the relationship between Ali and his victims.

The Dayton Police Department is asking anyone who has additional information about this crime to call 333-COPS (2677) or Crime Stoppers at 222-STOP (7867). Callers may remain anonymous.


Muhammad Shabazz Ali was arrested not long after police said he shot and killed 74-year-old Jasper Taylor, 53-year-old Tammy Cox and 25-year-old Michael Cox inside 35 Oxford Ave. just after 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Police took Ali into custody — he is in the Montgomery County Jail pending the formal filing of a murder charge — following a short pursuit of approximately 5 minutes that meandered through the city’s west side and ended in the area of Paul Laurence Dunbar Street and Germantown Pike.

A neighbor on Oxford Avenue said he heard nine to 10 gunshots and saw a man “casually” walk out of the residence and get into a white Chevrolet pickup truck and speed away.

Tammy Cox and Taylor died at the house, according to police and the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. Michael Cox died later at a hospital, according to the coroner’s office.

We’ve learned that prior to Wednesday’s shooting, Ali was admitted to a local hospital for a mental evaluation and was released. The shooting occurred a few hours later, according to our sources.

A 9-1-1 recording reveals that police were called to Day-Mont Behavioral Health Center, 1520 Germantown St., on a report that Ali was being unruly. He was in the lobby — throwing chairs and pulling things off the walls, cursing and screaming, the caller told the 9-1-1 dispatcher.

A man could be heard in the background, yelling, “I want my medication!” as the staff tried to keep him under control. The caller told the dispatcher that Ali didn’t seem to be intoxicated and did not have a weapon.

We’ve also learned that Ali served 20 years in prison for two homicides — that of a woman and her unborn child. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 1988 when he was known as Robert Ford. The conviction was in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

Ford was incarcerated from September 1988 until his release on parole in January 2009, according to an Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction official. Ford was released from parole in January 2010 and had changed his name by the time he was released, the official said.

The youngest victim from Wednesday’s triple homicide, Michael Cox, was released July 4 after serving a four-year sentence for aggravated robbery and felonious assault. He pleaded guilty in January 2013 in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court and was sentenced to the Correctional Reception Center.

In January 2014, Michael Cox asked Judge Mary Wiseman for an early judicial release. In his request, he wrote that he would “live an honest, law abiding, hard-working, successful, productive, contributing life.”

Cox also wrote that he would take advantage of prison programming: He planned to attend Sinclair Community College. He had a job lined up. He wrote that he missed his daughter, who was a year old then, and was going to live with his mother.

Wiseman denied Cox’s request.

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Amber Alert canceled after 2 Urbana boys found safe

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

Jamie Rollins, suspect in Champaign County, Ohio, Amber Alert
Jamie Rollins, suspect in Champaign County, Ohio, Amber Alert

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.


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.


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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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


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.

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“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

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Retired Troy firefighter accused of rape posts $200K bond, is released from jail

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:08 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:45 PM

Retired Troy firefighter arrested for rape, son arrested hours later

UPDATE @ 10:45 p.m. (June 22): A retired Troy firefighter accused of rape posted bond and was released from the Miami County Jail.

Jeffrey Paul Covault’s bond was $200,000 cash for the single rape count, which was set during his arraignment this morning.

Covault’s co-defendant Thomas Perkins Jr., 54 — also charged with rape — and his son, 24-year-old Aaron Jacob Covault, charged on an unrelated weapons violation, remain in jail.

UPDATE @ 10:20 a.m. (June 22): A retired Troy firefighter and a co-defendant remain in jail on a rape charge, while the son of the former firefighter also remains in jail on a weapons charge. 

Jeffrey Paul Covault, 48, had his bond set at $200,000 cash on a single count of rape. His plea of not guilty was taken this morning. 

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Thomas Perkins Jr., 54, identified as a co-defendant in the rape case, had his bond set at $200,000 as well. According to authorities, Perkins worked for Covault’s lawn care business. 

Aaron Jacob Covault, 24, had his bond set at $22,000 cash during his court appearance via video in Miami County Municipal Court. 

He is detained in the Miami County Jail on charges of weapon possession as a felon (a felony) and weapons possession while intoxicated (a misdemeanor).

Aaron Jacob Covault, left, and Jeffrey Paul Covault

The elder Covault and Perkins are accused of engaging in sexual conduct with an intoxicated 21-year-old woman on March 2, in the parking lot of The Vault, on North County Road 25A, county Prosecutor Tony Kendell said. According to the indictment, the victim was impaired because of a mental or physical condition and the alleged perpetrators had cause of know of that impairment.

Thomas Perkins Jr.(MIAMI COUNTY JAIL)

Common Pleas Judge Christopher Gee issued a “no contact order” for the elder Covault and Perkins, meaning they are to have no contact with the alleged victim or with each other.

The elder Covault worked as a Troy firefighter/paramedic from May 1996 until he retired April 1, according to city personnel records.

A criminal records check shows he has been convicted for operating a vehicle under the influence in 2011 and for disorderly conduct in 2012.

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The father and son were arrested hours apart Thursday from the same home, a residence in the 700 block of County Road 25A, north of Troy.

Aaron Jacob Covault, was arrested at the same address hours after his father was taken into custody. Police said the younger Covault was upset over the arrest of his father and discharged a gun.

There were no reports of injuries.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

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East Dayton, Oregon District OVI checkpoint results released

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:13 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 3:16 AM

OVI checkpoint on Keowee Street

UPDATE June 23 @ 3:16 a.m.:

Dayton police made four arrests during an OVI checkpoint and a saturation patrol Friday night.

In a release, police said 167 vehicles passed through the checkpoint from E. Third St. and Terry St., and N. Keowee and E. Fifth St. between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. One OVI arrest was made. 

Dayton police also conducted a saturation patrol in the area making one OVI arrest, one drug arrest and one felony arrest. 

According to the release, 284 vehicles passed through the checkpoint at S. Keowee St. and E. Fifth St. At this location, police made no arrests during the OVI or saturation patrol.

FIRST REPORT June 22 @ 10:21 a.m.:

A sobriety checkpoint will be set up tonight between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. at two locations in Dayton.

The first will be around East Third and Terry streets, near Taqueria Mixteca restaurant. After that, the checkpoint will move to South Keowee Street near East Fifth Street in the Oregon District.

The checkpoint will be operated by the Dayton Police Department, along with members of the Combined Agency OVI Task Force of Montgomery County.

MORE: Big check means big things for Dayton Gem City Market

Ohio law requires police agencies to publicly announce the times and locations of checkpoints ahead of time.

The OVI Task Force seeks to reduce the number of crashes involving drunken and intoxicated drivers.

“Driving while impaired is illegal and endangers the lives of everyone on the roadway,” police said.

In 2017, there were 594 crashes involving alcohol in Montgomery County.

Twelve people died in those crashes and 234 were injured. In 348 crashes, property was damaged crashes.

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