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Girlfriend of double murder suspect says he admitted to first crime

Published: Thursday, June 28, 2018 @ 1:28 PM


            James Geran
James Geran

The girlfriend of a man charged with killing two women then turning a gun on himself during a standoff in Trenton told detectives he admitted to the first crime.

James Edward Geran, 45, killed his “business associate in criminal activity” and dumped her body on the side of the road June 12 before killing his girlfriend’s mother during a standoff with deputies the next day in Trenton, according to the sheriff’s office.

MORE: $4 million bond set for Middletown man charged with double murder

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Gina McCleary, Geran’s girlfriend, was transported to the sheriff’s office for questioning after the standoff, according to court documents obtained by the Journal-News.

She told detectives that Geran admitted to shooting Megan Motter in the head and dumping her body on Woodsdale Road “by the sheriff’s office sign,” according to the court documents.

Geran is being held on a $4 million bond set Wednesday during arraignment in Middletown Municipal Court. He was released from a Dayton hospital Tuesday afternoon and booked into the Butler County jail.

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Geran was wearing a lime green Butler County Jail jumpsuit at the hearing, which indicates he is on suicide watch. Sheriff’s office officials say he is being held in the jail’s medical wing.

The case will be presented to a Butler County grand jury, likely before before the preliminary hearing date scheduled for July 6, and it is possible more charges could be filed.

“There well be a presentation to the grand jury and we will seek an indictment against anyone who was involved,” Butler County Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer said.

Geran, a convicted felon, shot Motter in the head, killing her, and dumped her body off Woodsdale Road in Madison Twp., according to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.

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

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

When deputies knocked on the door of the Sal Boulevard apartment, Geran shot at them, according to Jones. Deputies returned fire.

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.

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

However, when he let the second sister out, he immediately closed the door, said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.

Deputies tried to make entry when they heard gunfire.

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

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