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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Destruction at Miami fraternity house caught on camera

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

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Police were called June 14 on a report of a burglary at the Kappa Alpha Order house, in the 300 block of East Church Street. 

The report was made by a person in charge of the house during the summer school break, who had been notified by the property management firm that oversees the house.

MORE: Baby abandoned in car as man flees from traffic stop

Police were shown video of someone entering the house using the proper combination at 2:30 a.m. on June 2. 

Inside surveillance video showed a man walking around and attempting to turn on the television, according to a police report. When it did not come on, he is seen in the video stabbing the TV with the remote control, causing damage to it, according to the report.

Then, at 2:20 a.m. on June 3, another video shows two men enter the house using the front door combination code and then stuffing the kitchen sink drains with paper towels and turning on the water causing water damage to the floor and some to the downstairs area, according to the report.

One of the two is believed to be the same person from the TV incident the previous night, police said.

Police were told a still shot of the man from the first night was sent to Kappa Alpha members and several replied they believe it to be a person expected to return for his senior year this fall, according to the report.

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Kettering officer-involved shooting: Man shot by officer, weapon recovered

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 9:00 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 4:31 AM

Shooting

One man was shot and injured in an officer-involved shooting in Dayton Thursday night.

  • Shooting happened at Smithville Rd. and Ewalt Ave. in Dayton
  • Shooting happened after Kettering officer initiated traffic stop
  • Passenger shot, driver in custody

A Kettering police officer tried to pull over a vehicle at Smithville Road and Ewalt Avenue Thursday night. Within one minute, at 8:45 p.m., the officer reported shots fired and an officer needs assistance call was issued to surrounding agencies, according to a release issued late Thursday by the Kettering Police Department.

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“We can confirm a Kettering officer was involved in an officer-involved shooting as a result of this traffic stop. No further details are being released at this time,” Kettering police Lt. Michael Gabrielson stated in the release.

The traffic stop was initiated in Kettering, but the shooting happened in the city of Dayton.

“A passenger fled. There was an altercation about a block down the street and a Kettering officer fired at the suspect, wounding him,” Dayton Assistant Police Chief and Deputy Director Mark Ecton said.

The driver is in custody, he said.

It’s not clear how many shots were fired, nor whether the suspect fired at the officer but a weapon was recovered, Ecton said.

>> WATCH: Police shocked during scuffle in Dayton, officers injured

The Dayton Police Department is investigating the shooting because it happened in the city, and the Kettering Police Department also is conducting its own investigation.

(MICHAEL BURIANEK / STAFF)

The man was transported to a local hospital. We’re working to learn more on his condition. The officer was not injured.

>> No criminal charges for Miami Twp. officer in 2017 fatal shooting

It’s not confirmed whether the incident was connected to a hit-and-run crash nearby.

Nick Kauffman of Kettering said he was on his way to a motorcycle ride when his path was blocked by all the police activity.

“It’s pretty wild. You don’t expect to see this stuff outside your back door,” he said.

There were officers from at least three police forces.

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

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Retired Troy firefighter arrested for rape, son arrested hours later

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:08 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 4:09 AM



STEVE BAKER / STAFF
(STEVE BAKER / STAFF)

UPDATE @4 a.m. (June 22):

A father and son were arrested hours apart from the same home in Miami County Thursday.

The father, retired Troy firefighter Jeffrey Paul Covault, 48, was arrested around 1:30 p.m. and booked into the jail at 2 p.m. on suspicion of rape, online jail records show.

His son, 24-year-old Aaron Jacob Covault, was arrested around 6:40 p.m., also in the 700 block of County Road 25A north of Troy.

Aaron Covault was upset over the arrest of his father and fired a gun, officials said.

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UPDATE @ 12:40 a.m. (June 22):

A 24-year-old man is facing weapons charges after he is accused of firing a gun Thursday evening in the 700 block of County Road 25A north of Troy.

Aaron Jacob Covault was arrested around 6:40 p.m. and booked just before 10 p.m. in the the Miami County Jail on suspicion of having weapons while under disability for a previous conviction and for having weapons while intoxicated, online jail records show.

Aaron Jacob Covault, left, and Jeffrey Paul Covault

Hours earlier, another man with the same last name was arrested from the same home.

Jeffrey Paul Covault, 48, was arrested around 1:30 p.m. and booked into the jail at 2 p.m. on suspicion of rape, online jail records show.

The relationship between the men is not clear. Both men are awaiting arraignment.

FIRST REPORT

A man accused of firing his gun Thursday evening was taken to the Miami County Jail.

Deputies were dispatched around 6:30 p.m. to a report of a shot fired in the 700 block of County Road 25A north of Troy, according to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.

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There were no report of injuries, but County Road 25A was briefly blocked at Lytle Road.

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

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Baby abandoned in car as man flees from traffic stop

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

A 7-month-old child was found in the backseat of a vehicle after a man fled from a traffic stop, according to police
A 7-month-old child was found in the backseat of a vehicle after a man fled from a traffic stop, according to police

Police are continuing to investigate an incident of a baby abandoned in a vehicle after a traffic stop.

Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop June 13 on Heaton Street when the male driver pulled into a private lot and then jumped out of the vehicle and ran, according to a police report.

A 7-month-old child was found in the backseat of the vehicle, police said.

The driver was identified by police, and charges are in the process of being signed, according to Hamilton Police Sgt. Brian Robinson.

Butler County Children Services took charge of the baby, according to the report.

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