DAYTON — A verdict has been reached in the trial of a Dayton man accused of murder in the killing of a Germantown man earlier this year.
The Montgomery County Common Pleas jury found Christopher Debord guilty on all 16 charges he was facing, including aggravated murder. News Center 7 was in the courtroom Thursday for closing arguments and the verdict.
Debord, 27, was indicted in May on eight charges: four counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated burglary, three counts of tampering with evidence, and single counts of felonious assault, grand theft of a motor vehicle and having weapons while under a disability, according to court documents.
The charges were in connection to the death of Joshua Shortt, 29, of Germantown. Shortt was found by a family member in the basement of a house in the 300 block of North Main Street on Feb. 15.
News Center 7 previously reported that a 911 caller, who identified herself as Shortt’s mother, reported finding Shortt in a bloody scene. The woman reported to police she was last in contact with Shortt the evening of Feb. 13 and went to the house to check on him.
Police found him on the basement floor. He had a gunshot wound to his head, officers detailed in the court documents also obtained in a News Center 7 public records request. Shortt was covered in a blanket and there was no gun seen in the immediate area near the victim, officers said.
The Montgomery County coroner’s office determined that Shortt was also shot in the chest and upper right arm, according to an affidavit and statement of facts.
Court documents indicated that a 2001 red Honda CR-V was stolen from the house. Investigators also found that a Walther Pellet Gun CP99, a small safe with at least $2,000 in cash and illegal narcotics were missing from the residence.
The SUV, owned by Shortt, was recovered at the Clark gas station in the 3400 block of East Third Street in Dayton the night of Feb. 15, according to court records and a Dayton police incident report.
Court documents showed that Debord was driving the SUV at the time, but ran away.
On Feb. 16, a neighbor of Debord’s on Blackwood Avenue in Dayton called Germantown police and said they had previously seen Debord cleaning out a red Honda CRV. The neighbor said they saw his trash full and on the curb, which the neighbor deemed as unusual, according to court documents. Officers then conducted a trash pull and found pieces of evidence, including three bottles of bleach and cleansers, a white T-shirt with possible blood stains on it, a tire cover belonging to a Honda CRV and a receipt from the Chick-Fil-A at the Mall at Fairfield Commons that was dated Feb. 15.
Officers later obtained security video from the Chick-Fil-A on the date and time shown on the receipt and found video of Debord purchasing food, according to the statement of facts.
Police also surveilled Debord’s apartment in Dayton and stopped a vehicle leaving the residence. The female driver of that vehicle said she had been staying with Debord at a local hotel and told police she saw him keep a gun, inside a fanny pack, in the room.
A search warrant of the hotel room was obtained and police found a Walther Pellet Gun CP99 in a fanny pack, the same kind of weapon that had gone missing from Shortt’s residence.
Police executed a search warrant on the Blackwood Avenue residence and found a green Crown Royal bag, believed to have belonged to Shortt, with numerous drugs inside. Court records showed that burned documents belonging to Shortt were found in a fire pit outside the front door. A spare tire for the stolen SUV was also located.
Debord was arrested by his parole officer on Feb. 18 for violations. While being interviewed by police, he said he was at Shortt’s house on Feb. 13. He claimed he was moving in with Shortt.
Debord told officers that he was upstairs when he heard five gunshots. When he went downstairs, he found Shortt choking on his own blood. He said did nothing to help the victim, collected marijuana and the keys to the CRV and left. He denied taking a gun, but admitted the pellet gun found in the hotel belonged to Shortt. Court documents showed that Debord also admitted to burning some of Shortt’s property and that he went to the gas station to get gasoline to burn the SUV.
A second search was done at the Blackwood Avenue residence and police found three 9mm shell casings in the yard. The casings were sent to the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab and compared to casings found underneath Shortt’s body. Results showed that all of the casings matched and were determined to have been fired from the same unknown weapon.
Police were later notified to two jail inmates who had information regarding the Germantown slaying. Both claimed Debord had admitted to killing Shortt. One inmate said Debord admitting to killing a man in a “robbery gone bad.”
“Inmate #2 said that Debord was bragging and telling this story to all who would listen inside the jail and that Debord was acting as if this was no big deal,” according to the statement of faces.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 15 for Debord, who will remain in the Montgomery County Jail until then.
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