Dayton officers suspended after woman, daughter found dead hours after domestic violence call

DAYTON — Two Dayton officers have been suspended after an internal investigation after a woman and her 6-year-old daughter were found dead hours after a domestic violence call they responded to.

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News Center previously reported in July that the Professional Standards Bureau was looking over body camera video from the two officers that responded to a home in the 300 block of Burleigh Avenue in the early morning hours on June 23 in response to a concern about a possible domestic violence incident.

“After a months long investigation Officers Terrell Moore and Kathryn Santos have been suspended for 160 hours and received written reprimands. Both officers are scheduled to attend extensive domestic violence refresher training and tactical training as it pertains to domestic-related calls for service,” a spokesperson said in a release Friday.

“The investigation concluded that Officers Moore and Santos should have completed a crime report for Domestic Violence and should have seized the deadly weapon as contraband per department policy,” the statement read.

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In body camera video previously obtained through a public records request, officers spoke to 31-year-old Aisha Nelson, who had reached out to police dispatch three times earlier that night. She told officers around 2 a.m. that while she called, she did not want officers to come to her home.

Nelson’s live-in boyfriend, Dante Hawes, who was also known as Dante Harris, came to the door and that was when the officers split up. Moore headed to the basement to speak with him.

Hawes had also called police, but apparently only after he realized Nelson had called three times. He also complained about a gaming system.

Moore believed he had convinced Hawes to remain in the basement and stay away from Nelson, so he headed back outside.

At some point after Moore and Hawes speak, Nelson told the officers Hawes is “walking around the house, waving the gun that I purchased. He didn’t start making any threats last night until he had the gun.... All this in front of my daughter, that’s the issue that I have.”

The officers step away for a moment to try to decide what to do, but struggled with the fact they don’t believe there are explicit threats and Nelson clearly doesn’t want to leave the residence, apparently even if Hawes stays.

One of the officers can be heard saying, “It would be a stretch. We could articulate [it] as domestic threats and take him to jail.”

Nelson asked the officers if they can make Hawes leave for the night, but she made it clear she doesn’t want him to go into the system [be arrested and detained in jail]. They told her they can’t make him leave and that’s how the situation is left.

Hours later, around 11 a.m., Nelson and her daughter, Harper Guynn, were found shot to death inside the home. Police previously said they believed the homicides occurred sometime between 3 and 4 a.m.

On the afternoon of June 23, Hawes was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Alabama. He was in a vehicle law enforcement found through pings to his mobile phone GPS, the Decatur Daily in Frankville reported.

Nelson’s family filed a wrongful death suit against several parties including the City of Dayton and the Dayton Police Department in December.

In her administrative interview, Santos admitted that she didn’t complete a Domestic Violence DIBRS report or make an arrest “because at the time, she did not believe the elements of domestic violence were met,” according to the Professional Standards Bureau report.

While she admitted in her review that Nelson believed Hawes’ threats were genuine, “she did not believe Ms. Nelson truly believed Mr. Harris’ threats.” Santos said in her review that Nelson “did not paint the picture of somebody that was in fear of harm.”

The review found that Santos “allowed her bias of how a crime victim should act to cloud her judgement. She then conveyed this opinion and bias to Officer Moore, who agreed with her assessment of the situation.

We’ll have more on this story tonight on News Center 7 starting at 5 p.m.

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