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Published: Friday, April 01, 2016 @ 8:31 AM
Updated: Friday, April 01, 2016 @ 11:21 AM
LEBANON — Defense lawyers want to exclude new DNA tests that could be a major break in a 23-year-old murder case in Warren County.
Lawyers for Sam Y. Perone, the Arizona man arrested last year on the 23rd anniversary of the death of a rival furniture salesman, are urging Judge Donald Oda II to suppress results of DNA tests reported on March 1.
Perone’s lawyers say the new tests are “alleged to be inculpatory,” meaning possibly of use in establishing his guilt. They moved to suppress them in part because the tests used up all of the remaining DNA, according to a motion filed in Warren County Common Pleas Court.
“The prior tests were not inculpatory, and the evidence has totally been consumed at this point,” Rob Kaufman wrote in the motion.
This leaves the defense team no opportunity to do their own tests and violates Perone’s right to a fair trial, Kaufman said in the March 24 motion.
Even if Oda finds the new tests only “potentially useful,” Kaufman claimed that, by using up all the DNA, prosecutors acted in “bad faith.”
Perone is accused of murdering Richard “Dick” Woods, 41, of Dublin, Ohio, on Oct. 8. 1992.
Perone and his wife told officials they last saw Woods between 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the day Woods was killed. Both denied any involvement in Woods’ death.
Woods’ Lexis was found by a Pinkerton agent the next day off Interstate 71, but his body, with gunshot wounds to the head, was not found until Nov. 9, 1992, in a nearby ravine.
The case was investigated by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and federal agents, and later taken up by a cold-case team.
In 2014, the sheriff’s office issued a press release indicating investigators were returning to the spot on Middleboro Road in Washington Twp., Warren County, where the body was found.
Perone, 67, owned a furniture store in the Colony Square shopping center in Lebanon, but was living in Desert Hills, Ariz., at the time of his arrest.
Authorities say they believe Woods was fatally shot in the head in the back of the store, Just Living Rooms. Blood was found on a square of carpet taken from the store.
A UPS shipping outlet is now in the space.
Perone faces a single count of murder. He remains in the Warren County Jail in Lebanon on $750,000 cash bond.
On Tuesday, Oda ordered prosecutors to provide Perone’s lawyers with a complete file from the regional crime lab.
Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 10:45 PM
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A Georgia woman left her Rottweiler in her car for five hours while she was in court at the Gwinnett County Jail, causing the dog’s death, sheriff officials said.
Connie Wright Gomez, 46, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
Gomez went to the jail as a “court visitor” around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, leaving her dog, Rambo, in her car, she told deputies. She left the windows open about an inch.
Around 6:30 p.m., deputies heard Gomez mention she had left her dog in the car. One of the deputies went with Gomez to the car to check on the dog because the weather had been warm all day, with a high temperature of 82 degrees. When they arrived at the car, Rambo was dead.
When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172 degrees, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gomez was arrested and booked into jail. She is being held on a $16,700 bond.
Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway expressed dismay at the case.
Conway started the Operation Second Chance “jail dogs” program, which matches jail inmates with adoptable dogs and cats. The inmates train and socialize the animals.
“I hope this poor dog’s horrific death reminds pet owners to make responsible choices for their pets,” Conway said.
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 3:20 AM
ATLANTA — Residents at Aspire Lenox Park Apartments in Atlanta are wondering what it will take to stop the recent spike in car break-ins at their complex.
“It’s not like they’re breaking into unlocked cars. They’re all locked cars, and it’s just -- there’s no rhyme or reason,” resident Bailey Beckham said.
Atlanta police told WSB 28 cars were targeted, mostly in the parking deck.
“I hadn’t heard that number. I know there were eight the other weekend, but 28 is a lot,” resident Alex King said.
"It's kind of scary because we don’t know why or what's going on or how we're going to stop it. It’s just nerve-racking,” Beckham said.
The break-ins have been especially frustrating for victims like Ryan Colley, who had nothing visible in his car and nothing taken.
“It’s devastating and it hurts because we had to pay out of pocket. Our deductible, of course, and the insurance is $500, and anything below that you have to pay out of pocket,” Colley said.
Residents said they received emails about increased patrols and security, but there are mixed opinions on the results so far.
“They say they’re going to hire some security. I haven’t seen anything yet,” Colley said.
“I guess that's helpful, but I just don’t know how we’re going to stop it if we don't know how many people or where or when,” Beckham said.
“Maybe setting up cameras in the area, so if they don’t catch the people and this continues to happen, at least they have cameras and can find them a little easier,” King said.
Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 2:52 PM
KETTERING — A man who was suspected of breaking into a Kettering home early Thursday morning and eating the victims’ ice cream was later arrested after causing a school lockdown, according to police.
Around 1 a.m. Thursday, Kettering police responded to a home in the first block of Abbott Drive after the occupants found a man inside their home, according to a police incident report.
“(The occupants) woke up to find (the) suspect in their residence eating ice cream, going through their personal items, and fled the scene, leaving his clothing behind,” the report said.
The man was able to flee on foot, taking a victim’s wallet, but left behind his shoes, jeans, and hat, police said.
Around 9 a.m., administrators at Greenmont Elementary School in Kettering initiated a lockdown after receiving a report of a suspicious person on school property, a Kettering police spokesman said.
“Officers responded and after a search of the area, located the subject near Smithville and Watervliet (roads),” the spokesman said.
The man, later identified as Jonathan Jacob Hazelbaker, 23, was arrested for an outstanding warrant for his arrest and booked into the Kettering City Jail.
The school returned to normal activities after Hazelbaker was taken into custody, police said.
Hazelbaker, who hasn’t been charged in connection to the break-in, was later booked into the Greene County Jail, where he’s being held on $20,000 bond, online records show.
Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 11:02 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 11:02 PM
BUTLER COUNTY — Butler County sheriff’s deputies spent Thursday verifying the addresses of registered sex offenders in the county.
Beginning at 9 a.m., 15 teams of deputies began the annual verification operation of nearly 500 registered sex offenders.
Periodic spot checks of offenders are conducted throughout the year, but mass verification is conducted annually.
“This operation is vital to keep the people in this community safe by keeping track of where these sex offenders are. If they are not following the orders of the court, they go to jail. It’s that simple,” said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.