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Student slain; police say using guns to solve feud, ‘that’s got to stop.’

Published: Wednesday, July 05, 2017 @ 5:48 PM


            There’s a hole in a front window of the home on Morse Avenue where Mackenna Kronenberger died early Wednesday morning. MIKE CAMPBELL/STAFF
There’s a hole in a front window of the home on Morse Avenue where Mackenna Kronenberger died early Wednesday morning. MIKE CAMPBELL/STAFF

A 14-year-old Carroll High School student was killed early Wednesday when a bullet from a dispute in front of her Dayton house went through a window and struck her in the chest.

Dayton Police said Mackenna Kronenberger was “an innocent bystander” to the shooting that occurred around 1 a.m. Wednesday on Morse Avenue in the Belmont neighborhood.

“There were two groups of subjects that were fighting, and apparently shots were fired,” said Dayton police Lt. Gregg Gaby. “The people who think the way to solve a feud is through gun violence … that’s got to stop.”

RELATED: Woman shot on Huffman Avenue called ‘true victim’

Police arrested Dylan Angel, 18, and Jason Tidwell, 18, at the site of the shooting. Jail records show Angel was arrested on suspicion of murder, while Tidwell’s jail record lists tampering with evidence and having weapons under disability.

Gaby confirmed a family relationship between some of the parties, and multiple social media accounts list Tidwell as Mackenna’s brother. Those same social media accounts show Angel and Tidwell had been friends, but Gaby said they were on opposite sides of this disturbance, citing a feud between groups. Angel attended Chaminade-Julienne High School, where he played football, but school officials say he withdrew in January.

Mackenna’s death is the latest in an ugly trend: On March 12, an innocent bystander was killed by a bullet on Huffman Avenue after a bar fight; on April 17 a woman was injured in her Germantown Street kitchen when shots were fired outside; and back in September 2016, an innocent Kettering teen was killed after his friends argued with another group.

Mackenna had just finished her freshman year at Carroll High School. Carroll Principal Matt Sableski called the shooting a “truly awful” event, saying Kronenberger was “a nice kid” who had attended grade school at Eastmont, a Dayton Public School that backs up to the Carroll campus. He said Mackenna “will be missed dearly” by everyone at Carroll.

RELATED: Dayton woman hit by gunfire in kitchen

Dr. Christina O’Malley, the mentor for McKenna and others in her smaller “student family,” called Mackenna “a very joyful, positive person who contributed greatly to the community.”

At 1 a.m. Wednesday, a sobbing 911 caller told dispatchers that someone had been shot, as multiple people were crying and yelling in the background. Later Wednesday, an apparent bullet hole was visible in the front window that neighbors say was Mackenna’s bedroom.

Neighbor Cheyenne Morningstar says she has known Mackenna since she was a baby, describing her as sweet and shy.

“It’s too young, it’s really too young,” she said.

RELATED: Slain Kettering teen called ‘innocent bystander’

Gaby said it is possible more people could be charged, or that Angel and Tidwell could face other charges. Montgomery County Court records show Tidwell was also convicted June 20 of having weapons under disability in connection with a March 12 arrest. Charges of using weapons while intoxicated and criminal trespass were dismissed, and he was sentenced to five years of probation.

Tidwell has posted social media pictures of himself with a gun in his waistband multiple times in the past year, once writing, “in case some **** go down, I gotta keep my rocket.”

Gaby said the neighborhood in question – two blocks from the Belmont Business District on Watervliet Avenue – is usually “fairly peaceful.”

“It’s definitely frustrating for the police department and the community at large,” Gaby said. “These are senseless deaths.”

Mike Campbell contributed to this report.

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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.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

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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Huber Heights man found dead in Springfield park: What we know now

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

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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Preble County man sentenced for possessing 4,700 images of child pornography

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 10:58 AM


            Matthew R. Perry
Matthew R. Perry

A 22-year-old Eaton man was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

Matthew R. Perry will serve his sentence consecutively with an upcoming sentence in a state case in Preble County, according to news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.

Perry was sentenced by Judge Walter Rice in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

RELATED: Eaton man facing attempted rape charge

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents found that Perry shared about 4,700 files from a folder that included, “Toddlers, babies, little girl” in the name according to court documents.

In August 2016, agents conducted an undercover operation on a peer-to-peer program to identify people sharing child pornography. When FBI agents tried to locate Perry at an Eaton residence they learned he had been arrested on a local charge of attempted rape of a 14-year-old.

Agents executed a search warrant on Perry’s phone, which was held at the Preble County Jail, and it contained thousands of child pornography images, including of minors under 12 and “hardcore” images.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

Perry pleaded guilty in July in the federal case to one count of possession of child pornography. He also pleaded guilty to attempted rape of a minor in Preble County and is awaiting sentencing on that charge.

“The visual depictions that Perry possessed were created for a criminal market that is engaged in the business of brutally victimizing children, and Perry actively and willingly participated in that market,” a prosecutor’s sentencing memorandum said.

Perry’s federal public defender wrote in a sentencing memo that Perry “is a young man who was sexually tortured during his infancy” who was beaten by two stepfathers and “hit almost every day.”

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Police: Man exposed himself at West Chester Kroger

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 9:51 AM

A man was arrested after he allegedly exposed himself in the Kroger parking lot at 8238 Princeton Glendale Road in West Chester Twp.
STAFF FILE PHOTO
A man was arrested after he allegedly exposed himself in the Kroger parking lot at 8238 Princeton Glendale Road in West Chester Twp.(STAFF FILE PHOTO)

A 22-year-old Hamilton man was arrested after he allegedly exposed himself in a West Chester Twp. Kroger parking lot last week.

RELATED: 3 Middletown residents to plead guilty to plotting $1.2M jewelry heist

Dylan McCoy, 22, of Hamilton, was arrested at around 8 a.m. May 16 after West Chester police were called to the Kroger, 8238 Princeton Glendale Road.

McCoy was allegedly still in his car, exposed, when police arrived, according to township spokeswoman Barb Wilson. 

McCoy is scheduled to be arraigned May 29 on a second-degree misdemeanor public indecency charge, according to court records.

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