Man kills ‘business associate’ and then girlfriend’s mom in Butler County crime spree

Published: Thursday, June 14, 2018 @ 4:12 PM

Butler Co. Sheriff Richard Jones talked to the media on Thursday and gave an update into the investigation of where a woman was found dead in Madison Township, which then lead to an apartment in Trenton which resulted in a standoff.

A Butler County man killed his “business associate in criminal activity" and dumped her body on the side of the road before killing his girlfriend's mother during a standoff with police, according to the sheriff's office.

Three women were held hostage Wednesday morning by James Geran, a convicted felon who police say also killed a woman the night before.

MORE: 2 women found dead in less than 12 hours in Butler County 

James Geran

Geran, 45, shot Megan Motter in the head, killing her, and dumped her body off Woodsdale Road in Madison Twp., according to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones. The 27-year-old's body was found at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 2000 block of Woodsdale Road.

“She was murdered, dumped on the side of the road. Shot,” Jones said.

The investigation of Motter's death led deputies to an apartment in Trenton.

MORE: Closed school offers ‘real-life training’ for Middletown police

When deputies knocked on the door of the Sal Boulevard apartment, Geran shot at them, according to Jones. Deputies returned fire, shooting about three rounds of bullets as they took cover, according to the sheriff.

Inside, Geran had three hostages: his 26-year-old girlfriend, Gina McCleary; her 27-year-old sister, Tammy Davis; and their mother, 63-year-old Sharon McCleary, Jones said. Over the course of about two hours, Geran continued to fire between five and eight times at the deputies outside, but negotiators were able to talk him into releasing the sisters.

061418 trenton standoff GateHouse(Robert Dibrell)

“We tossed a phone inside and communicated with him,” the sheriff said.

MORE: 55 people indicted in Butler and Warren counties 

Sheriff’s Office negotiators were eventually able to talk Geran out of the home.

“Said he was going to smoke a cigarette first,” Jones said.

However, when he let the second sister out, he immediately closed the door, the sheriff said.

“We tried to make entry at that time, then we heard gunfire,” Jones said.

Geran then crawled out, having shot himself in the chin with a .380 caliber gun, Jones said.

MORE: Human remains found inside area home. Here's what we know now. 

"But he wasn't dead when he left. He was still communicating," Jones said.

An ambulance leaves the scene of a two-hour standoff in Trenton.(NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

Inside, deputies found Sharon McCleary dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

Geran was taken into custody and transported to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where he is expected to live, according to Jones.

Jones said no charges have been filed, but his office is working with the prosecutor's office.

"We should have charges soon," he said.

MORE: Mason woman convicted of porch thefts

The investigation is ongoing, and Jones said authorities were working three crime scenes: the Trenton apartment; the site where Motter's body was found; and a car, which may have been where Motter was killed, that was parked outside the Trenton apartment.

Authorities are working three crime scenes: the Trenton apartment; the site where Motter's body was found; and a car, which may have been where Motter was killed, that was parked outside the Trenton apartment.(NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

Investigators believe they may have a motive, but Jones declined to say what that motive is. The sheriff described Motter as a business associate of Geran. He said that business is "criminal activity," but declined to elaborate.

Motter, whose first name is also spelled Meagan in court records, had a criminal record that included traffic violations, a drug charge and a falsification charge.

MORE: Truck pelted with paintballs while driving through Hamilton

Geran was scheduled to be in Middletown Municipal Court on Wednesday for previous charges.

Geran was cited in May for a turn signal violation and was scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday for the traffic violation.

He was previously charged with improper use of a firearm in a motor vehicle, but that charged was ignored by a grand jury, according to court records.

He was convicted in 1994 of robbery and gross sexual imposition and sent to prison, according to court records. Geran was released from prison in March 2016, according to the sheriff’s office.

Geran has a listed address in court records of Golfview Road in Middletown.

WCPO, a news partner of the Journal-News, contributed to this report.

Trending - Most Read Stories

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.

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.

Trending - Most Read Stories

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

Trending - Most Read Stories

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. 

>> TRENDING: Kettering officer-involved shooting: Man shot by officer, gun recovered

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.

>> Suspect in Seattle homicide arrested in raid in Dayton

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 newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Trending - Most Read Stories

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.

Trending - Most Read Stories