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One of 7 suspects in Huber Heights AT&T robbery makes court appearance

Published: Friday, February 02, 2018 @ 10:49 AM
Updated: Friday, February 02, 2018 @ 7:00 PM

6 of 7 teens accused in phone store robbery appear in Juvenile Court

Update@1:20 p.m. (Feb. 5):

The judge entered a not guilty plea on the Johnson’s behalf during his initial court appearance Monday afternoon. The judge set bond at $50,000 after saying he was going to set it higher but decided to go with the recommendation from pre-trial services.

Johnson will be required to be on electronic home monitoring if he does make bail. 

A date for a preliminary hearing was not scheduled.

A large group of Johnson’s friends and current and former teammates arrived at the courthouse toward the end of the hearing and later held a quick prayer.

UPDATE @ 6:47 a.m. (Feb. 4):

Springfield High School football standout Caleb W. Johnson, 18, who was arrested along with six juveniles for their alleged roles in an AT&T robbery in Huber Heights Thursday has now officially been charged and is due in court early this week.

Johnson is charged with aggravated robbery, two counts of failure to comply with a police officer and a single count of improperly handling a firearm in a vehicle, according to Montgomery County Municipal Court records.

The 18-year-old is expected to make an initial appearance by video in the eastern division of the Montgomery County Municipal Court Monday at 12:30 p.m., records show.

Johnson, along with the six other juveniles, remain in jail or juvenile detention.

INITIAL REPORT

The number of law enforcement agencies investigating possible ties from cellphone store robberies in their areas to one Thursday in Huber Heights is expanding.

Seven teens, including a standout Springfield High School football player, were arrested Thursday afternoon in connection to the robbery of the AT&T store on Old Troy Pike, where more than $45,000 in merchandise was taken.

>> 6 juveniles, 1 adult in custody in AT&T robbery, manhunt in Huber Heights

Now, law enforcement agencies in Springfield and Miami Twp. said Friday they have been in touch with Huber Heights police regarding similar robberies:

  • 1 p.m. Sept. 6, 2017, at AT&T, 2427 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Miami Twp. Two masked, armed males entered the store. They were dropped off one car and picked up by a second car.
  • 10:30 a.m. Jan. 18 at Verizon Wireless, 1780 N. Bechtle Ave., Springfield. At least four armed males entered the store.

Surveillance video of a Springfield Verizon store being robbed in January. Police believe it may be connected with a AT&T store robbery in Huber Heights.

“We believe there is a connection between the robbery in Springfield and the robbery in Huber Heights just because the way the robbery was done in Huber, it was real similar to the robbery that we had here in Springfield. We are currently working with the Huber Heights PD to see if there is a connection in the two robberies,” said Lt. Jeff Meyer of the Springfield Police Division. “(Thursday) we had detectives go to Huber Heights to talk the individuals who were arrested.”

>> Multiple armed males rob Springfield Verizon store

The oldest of the seven teens is 18-year-old Caleb W. Johnson, who remains held in the Montgomery County Jail on suspicion of aggravated robbery. The Springfield wide receiver earned All-Ohio Division I football honors last season. He had transferred to Springfield High School from Trotwood-Madison High School. This weekend, the lone adult charged in the case was scheduled to make a college recruiting campus visit to Eastern Kentucky University.

>> Surveillance video released: Gunmen rob Miami Twp. AT&T store with customers inside

Miami Twp. police said they, too, have been in contact with authorities in Huber Heights. A Miami Twp. AT&T store on Miamisburg-Centerville Road was robbed in September when two masked males entered the store armed while more than a dozen customers were inside, police said at that time.

“We are aware of the similarities in the (cases) and we have been in preliminary communications with Huber Heights,” Miami Twp. Police Capt. John Magill said Friday.

No charges have been filed, Magill said.

“I do know there’s some similarities in the MO,” he said. “And that covers quite a bit. There are a lot of similarities in the MO.” 

>> Dayton sergeant finds 5 of 7 Huber robbery suspects hiding in shed near boyhood home

The six juveniles accused in the armed robbery and manhunt that followed appeared Friday afternoon in groups of two before Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi.

Judge's warning triggers emotional outbust in Juvenile Court

Multiple people ran out of court crying and yelling after Capizzi announced the first two juveniles who appeared could face more than seven years in prison, if convicted.

“I’m going to tell them the truth. I’m not going to sugarcoat anything,” Capizzi said.

Four of the boys are from Dayton – aged 15, 16, 16 and 17 – and two are from Trotwood – aged 15 and 16, according to records.

The 15-year-old Trotwood boy, one Dayton 16-year-old and the Dayton 17-year-old have no juvenile record or only minor/misdemeanor cases. 

Three of the six juveniles have felony records – including one with previous aggravated robbery and felonious assault convictions – according to court records obtained by this news organization. 

>> Dayton sergeant finds 5 of 7 Huber robbery suspects hiding in shed near boyhood home

Along with the previous aggravated robbery and felonious assault cases, the 16-year-old Trotwood boy has felony convictions for trafficking in marijuana, grand theft auto and multiple cases for receiving stolen property. 

The 15-year-old Dayton boy has previous felony convictions for breaking and entering, receiving stolen property, grand theft auto and multiple cases for receiving stolen property.

All six were ordered to remain in custody. Pretrials are scheduled for Feb. 16.

Capizzi said transfers to adult court are a possibility, and that he expects prosecutors to request that any teen who was 16 when the crimes occurred to be moved to adult court. Transfers to adult court would be discretionary for the two 15-year-old suspects, Capizzi said.

WATCH: Police chase after alleged robbers; suspects captured in Huber Heights
The suspects were arrested after a manhunt in the area of Longford and Harshmanville roads Thursday afternoon following the robbery at the AT&T store.  The suspects had crashed and bailed out of a vehicle in the area while fleeing the store and officers from across Montgomery County, including a SWAT team, assisted in capturing the seven suspects.

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Huber Heights man found dead in Springfield park: What we know now

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 11:59 AM

Springfield police block the entrance to Virgil Mabra Park while police investigate a body found in the woods. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF
Springfield police block the entrance to Virgil Mabra Park while police investigate a body found in the woods. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Springfield police are continuing their investigation after a body was found at a Springfield park Tuesday morning.

Huber Heights police are also continuing an investigation into an incident hours before at the man’s home in that city.

Cedric Holt Jr. was found dead at Virgil Mabra Park in Springfield.

He is the father of one of two teenage boys who were tied up in a home invasion in Huber Heights on Tuesday morning. Other than the relationship between Holt and one of the boys, there’s no connection between the home invasion and Holt’s death, said Sgt. Charles Taylor of the of the Huber Heights Police Department. 

“We’re still ... just over 24 hours involved in this. So we’re still looking into everything,” he said. All stones will be looked under. And we’re going to continue to canvas the neighborhood, ask questions to anybody and anyone that’s willing to talk.”

READ: Springfield police investigate body found in Mabra Park

Both police departments are releasing limited information. Springfield police plan on hold a press conference today at 2 p.m.

Here is what we know now:

Initial phone call

Springfield police were called to the 1400 block of Oakleaf Avenue on Tuesday morning, according to a Springfield police report.

There they met a man mowing the park’s grass who said he found a body, the report says.

“The victim was found face up with his head to the north and feet to the south,” the police report says. A park employee who called 9-1-1 said the body was in a car.

Springfield Fire Division personnel told police the man, later identified as Cedric Holt Jr., was dead.

Suspicious death

The death is considered suspicious, the Clark County Coroner’s Office said. The cause and manner of death were not yet determined.

A Springfield police report describes the death as unspecified.

EXTRA: What we know: Virgil Mabra Park in Springfield

No arrests

A news release from the city of Springfield on Tuesday evening says no arrests have been made in the incident, and anyone with information is asked to call 937-324-7685.

Taylor said Wednesday that detectives are still working the case.

“As far as our home invasion we are still looking into everything,” he said.

Anyone with information about the home break-in can call the Huber Heights Police Division at 937-233-1565.

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Preble County man sentenced for possessing 4,700 images of child pornography

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 10:58 AM


            Matthew R. Perry
Matthew R. Perry

A 22-year-old Eaton man was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

Matthew R. Perry will serve his sentence consecutively with an upcoming sentence in a state case in Preble County, according to news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.

Perry was sentenced by Judge Walter Rice in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

RELATED: Eaton man facing attempted rape charge

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents found that Perry shared about 4,700 files from a folder that included, “Toddlers, babies, little girl” in the name according to court documents.

In August 2016, agents conducted an undercover operation on a peer-to-peer program to identify people sharing child pornography. When FBI agents tried to locate Perry at an Eaton residence they learned he had been arrested on a local charge of attempted rape of a 14-year-old.

Agents executed a search warrant on Perry’s phone, which was held at the Preble County Jail, and it contained thousands of child pornography images, including of minors under 12 and “hardcore” images.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

Perry pleaded guilty in July in the federal case to one count of possession of child pornography. He also pleaded guilty to attempted rape of a minor in Preble County and is awaiting sentencing on that charge.

“The visual depictions that Perry possessed were created for a criminal market that is engaged in the business of brutally victimizing children, and Perry actively and willingly participated in that market,” a prosecutor’s sentencing memorandum said.

Perry’s federal public defender wrote in a sentencing memo that Perry “is a young man who was sexually tortured during his infancy” who was beaten by two stepfathers and “hit almost every day.”

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Officer accused of violence against child was on performance improvement plan

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 10:32 AM


            Martin D. Stringfellow
Martin D. Stringfellow

The Clay Twp. police officer accused of domestic violence against an elementary school child was put on a performance improvement plan by his employer earlier this year.

Martin D. Stringfellow, 47, had performed below standards in multiple categories and had once been described as not having the respect of junior officers, according to personnel records obtained by this news organization.

Stringfellow signed an Employee Performance Improvement Plan (EPIP) on March 6, 2018 that was initiated due to “unsatisfactory performance.”

RELATED: Local police officer arrested after child found with severe bruising: What we know now

The document noted that Stringfellow had been verbally counseled on June 21, July 26 and Aug. 22 in 2017 for “sub-standard performance for traffic contacts, house checks and business checks” and that his performance was still sub-standard in the first two months of 2018.

Stringfellow was arrested May 15 by Brookville police and jailed on a count of domestic violence for allegedly causing severe bruising on the face of an elementary school student with an open-handed slap, according to court records.

Stringfellow was alleged to have hit the child May 8 at a home in Brookville, according to court documents filed in the western division of Montgomery County Municipal Court.

RELATED: Arrested cop severely bruised child’s face with slap

A Brookville officer was later dispatched to an elementary school to assist Children Services with a case of possible child abuse and to speak to the school’s principal, according to records.

A school counselor told police that the child at first denied how the injury occurred but later said the striking happened after the child got out of bed during the night to get a stuffed animal out of the closet, according to a complaint and affidavit.

Stringfellow admitted to spanking the child but said the slap to the face was unintentional, according to court records.

RELATED: Clay Twp. officer arrested on domestic violence charge

Stringfellow has pleaded not guilty. His defense attorney has filed a motion to continue a scheduled June 4 hearing.

The firm representing Stringfellow has not returned messages seeking comment.

Stringfellow also had numerous commendations in his personnel files.

Those included his efforts in locating two suspects who had committed crimes in Huber Heights in February 2014, executing a search warrant with professionalism in 2011, assistance to an out-of-state officer in 2005 and quick investigation of a business breaking and entering in 2003, among others.

Stringfellow had completed an online “domestic violence refresher course” on April 13, 2017, according to his personnel records.

Clay Twp. police Chief John Van Gundy said Stringfellow is on administrative leave, but he wouldn’t comment on the officer’s performance.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

The EPIP followed a string of mixed work evaluations in the past few years of Stringfellow’s nearly 20-year career with the department.

His 2017 evaluation noted that Stringfellow is a “seasoned officer with vast knowledge, but at times doesn’t apply it,” that he has repetitive mistakes in daily paperwork and that, in evaluating subordinates, he does “poor evaluation with minimal documentation.”

Earlier evaluations noted his lack of attention in paperwork, giving the minimum effort and having disorganized records and evidence.

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Stringfellow signed a “last chance agreement” in 2013 in which he was supposed to improve in multiple areas.

Other performance evaluations were generally positive, but one in 2007 said Stringfellow “does not have respect of junior officers” and that he was issued an EPIP in 2006.

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Police: Man exposed himself at West Chester Kroger

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 9:51 AM

A man was arrested after he allegedly exposed himself in the Kroger parking lot at 8238 Princeton Glendale Road in West Chester Twp.
STAFF FILE PHOTO
A man was arrested after he allegedly exposed himself in the Kroger parking lot at 8238 Princeton Glendale Road in West Chester Twp.(STAFF FILE PHOTO)

A 22-year-old Hamilton man was arrested after he allegedly exposed himself in a West Chester Twp. Kroger parking lot last week.

RELATED: 3 Middletown residents to plead guilty to plotting $1.2M jewelry heist

Dylan McCoy, 22, of Hamilton, was arrested at around 8 a.m. May 16 after West Chester police were called to the Kroger, 8238 Princeton Glendale Road.

McCoy was allegedly still in his car, exposed, when police arrived, according to township spokeswoman Barb Wilson. 

McCoy is scheduled to be arraigned May 29 on a second-degree misdemeanor public indecency charge, according to court records.

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