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Preble County man, accused of killing his son, found guilty on murder charge

Published: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 @ 9:05 AM

Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo

A Preble County man accused of murdering his son in Dec. 2016 was found guilty by a jury last week. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Murder charges approved for father accused in son’s homicide

Gabriel Schaaf, 58, of Lewisburg, was accused of killing his son, Jonathan Schaaf, 29, in a home on Sonora Road. 

Gabriel was convicted on aggravated murder and tampering with evidence charges, with the possibility of 20-years to life in prison, Preble County Prosecutor Martin Votel said in a media release Tuesday.

TRENDING: Girl, 16, to be charged in ‘sexting’ case involving local students

Sentencing was scheduled for March 13. 

Gabriel originally told investigators his son received threats weeks before his death, before later admitting to killing Jonathan with a hatchet, Votel said in the release. Gabriel also admitted to deputies a 911 call he made that claimed he found his son dead and the front door ajar had been a lie, Votel said. 

Gabriel had also claimed to investigators that he acted in self-defense, prosecutors said. 

“While the motive for the killing remains unknown, it is beyond dispute that (Gabriel) wanted his son dead and that he acted swiftly and with specific intent to end his life,” Votel said. 

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Storms push out of area to end severe thunderstorm watch for region

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 3:26 AM
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 7:01 PM

A line of strong to severe storms will move through the Miami Valley this afternoon.

>> LISTEN: Cloudy with a chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans 

UPDATE @ 7:02 p.m.: A severe thunderstorm watch  continues for Clinton County until 9 p.m.  The watch is dropped for elsewhere in the region as storms have pushed out of the area.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Scattered storms -- some strong -- moving out of the area
  • Humidity drops for midweek
  • Calmer weather the rest of the week

>> 5-Day Forecast

DETAILED FORECAST

THIS EVENING: Storms are moving out of the area near or shortly after dark. Temperatures will fall back to the 70s.

TONIGHT: Showers and storms will exit, with partly cloudy skies and lower humidity filtering into the area. Temperatures will fall back to the upper 50s overnight. 

>> WHIO Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

WEDNESDAY: Skies will become mostly sunny with more comfortable conditions and lower humidity. Not as muggy for the afternoon with sunshine and highs in the upper 70s. 

THURSDAY: A great day with it being dry from start to finish. Plenty of sunshine with highs in the low 80s. 

>>County-by-County Weather

FRIDAY: Another dry day with temperatures heating up again in the mid-80s. Expect sunshine and very few clouds. 

SATURDAY: Sun and clouds for the day that’s expected to muggy and very warm. Highs reach in the middle to upper 80s. A passing shower or storm is possible. 

SUNDAY: Muggy and warm with a chance of scattered storms. Highs will be in the middle 80s.

MEMORIAL DAY: Partly cloudy skies expected for the holiday with a chance of hit-or-miss storms. Highs will signal a very warm day, topping out in the middle to upper 80s.

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Teen bound in Huber Heights, father’s body found 19 miles away in Springfield park

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 8:59 AM
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 7:25 PM

Two teens were found tied up in a Huber Heights home following a home invasion and robbery Tuesday morning.

A father was found dead in a Springfield park Tuesday after his ex-girlfriend called 911 to report their son and another boy were bound with zip ties by unknown intruders at the father’s Huber Heights home.  

The 911 caller said her 14-year-old son said his father left the Shull Road house in Huber Heights around 11 the night before and didn’t return. 

Hours later the woman said her son and the other boy were tied up by two men — one with a mask, one without — around 4 a.m.  

TRENDING: Police investigation underway at Springfield park; Ohio BCI on scene

The boys broke free around 8:30 a.m., uninjured except for marks on their skin where the zip ties were fastened.  

“The house is a mess,” the woman said in the 911 call. “They untied themselves and called me.”  

Around 9 a.m., about 19 miles away, groundskeepers found the father, Cedric Holt Jr., 34, of Huber Heights, in Springfield’s Virgil Mabra Park.  

Cedric Holt Jr. (Courtesy/Springfield Police Division)

“My partner and I are over here mowing grass at Mabra Park on the south end off of Oakley,” the caller said. “There is an automobile tucked all the way in the back by the walking trails by the Boy Scouts bridge.

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Doors are open, someone’s in there.”  

The death is considered suspicious, the coroner’s office said. The cause and manner of death were not yet determined. 

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation was called to assist in Springfield police’s investigation.  

In her 911 call, the boy’s mother gave dispatchers her son’s name and date of birth — details this newspaper checked against a database of Ohio birth certificate data to determine Holt is the boy’s father.  

Law enforcement officials and Holt’s attorney declined comment Tuesday afternoon.  

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Ohio birth records show the Huber Heights 911 caller and Holt had four children together. Tuesday’s incident is not the first time Holt and his children were the subject of law enforcement inquiries, according to archival news coverage and court records.  

In 2013, Holt was playing dice in Virgil Mabra Park — also known as Rose Park — when two men pulled up to his car, pointed a semi-automatic weapon at him, handcuffed him and made him get in the back of their car, police said at the time.  

Police said during that incident, one of Holt’s children walked home from school to find Holt being held with a gun to his head while the men demanded money. The boy said his father told him to run after the men pointed a gun at the boy, then the men forced Holt back into their car, according to police.  

Holt then took the men to a storage unit, where he told them he had some money stored, according to police. Investigators said the men took thousands of dollars from the storage unit then abandoned the man.  

This year, Holt was found guilty of a January domestic violence charge involving his 16-year-old son, according to an affidavit. A child endangerment charge was dropped as part of a plea agreement, according to court records.  

In that incident, Holt was accused of repeatedly punching his son’s body while filming the incident on the boy’s Snapchat.  

A Springfield man who declined to give his name but said he knew Holt described a generous man.  

“Cedric is a good dude, he would give you the shirt off his back,” the man told News Center 7. “He is the No. 1 dad … he never left his kids home alone.”

Marshall Gorby/Staff

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Body of man found in Springfield park identified

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 10:30 AM
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 1:29 PM

Police and Ohio BCI units were called to the area of West Rose Street and Iowa Avenue.

UPDATE @ 5:58 p.m.: 

Newscenter 7’s Sean Cudahy spoke with a park visitor who said she’s shaken up by Tuesday’s news. 

“It's kind of scary, you've got young kids of your own,” said Helen Threats. “I just hope that they find whoever did it.”

>>RELATED: Springfield man found dead in Mabra park

A news release put out by 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.

UPDATE:

A man found dead in a Springfield park today has been identified as the father of one of two teenage boys who were tied up in a Huber Heights home invasion early this morning, according to public records and the Clark County Coroner’s Office.

>>FULL STORY: Father of zip-tied Huber Heights boy found dead in Springfield park

Springfield and Clark County officials say they are investigating the suspicious death of Cedric Holt Jr., a man public records and a 911 call indicate is the father of one of the teens in the Huber Heights home.

Coroner’s officials confirmed Holt’s suspicious death today.

UPDATE @ 3:04 p.m.:

A park worker mowing grass at Virgil Mabra Park in Springfield found a vehicle with the doors open and a person inside near the walking trails at the park, according to a 911 call.

"My partner and I are over here mowing grass at Mabra Park on the south end off of Oakley,” the caller said.  "There is an automobile tucked all the way in the back by the walking trails by the Boy Scouts bridge. Doors are open, someone's in there."

The condition of the person reportedly found has not been released by police, however the coroner’s office responded to the park earlier today.

A call to the Clark County Coroner’s Office has not been returned.

Springfield police and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation were on the scene into the afternoon, however police have released no additional information other than an investigation was ongoing.

UPDATE @ 12:31 p.m.:

The coroner’s office has arrived on the scene of a police investigation at Virgil Mabra Park.

Police have yet to release any details on the investigation.

 

UPDATE @ 11:25 a.m.: 

Springfield police have closed off Virgil Mabra Park on West Rose Street in Springfield for an active investigation involving the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. 

Additional details about the nature of the police investigation have not been released. 

We’ll continue to update this page as we learn more. 

FIRST REPORT

A police investigation is underway in the area of West Rose Street and Iowa Avenue this morning, according to Springfield police.

Police said officers were in the area around 10:15 a.m.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is also on the scene.

Details on the investigation were not immediately available.

We’re working to learn more.

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11-year-old Springboro boy accused of making gun threat on school bus

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 3:54 PM


            Judge Joe Kirby allowed 11-year-old Springboro student to go home after an alleged gun threat on a Springboro bus.STAFF / LAWRENCE BUDD
Judge Joe Kirby allowed 11-year-old Springboro student to go home after an alleged gun threat on a Springboro bus.STAFF / LAWRENCE BUDD

An 11-year-old Springboro student accused of threatening to use a gun on a school bus last Friday — the same day 10 people were fatally shot at a school in Texas — was released from detention on Tuesday.

MORE: Middletown High cancels last day after school threat

On Friday, the Clearcreek Twp. boy is alleged to have said he had a gun in his backpack while riding the bus home from Springboro Intermediate School and “asked if he should use it,” then “reached into his bag and used his fingers to simulate guns,” according to court records.

MORE: School shooting unlikely to bring gun restrictions in Texas

On Tuesday, he was charged in Warren County Juvenile Court with making false alarms and disorderly conduct, according to court records. He spent two hours in detention before being released to his parents, according to court officials.

MORE: Judge resorts to polygraph test in Warren County school threat cases

Judge Joe Kirby ordered a lawyer be appointed to represent the boy, who denied the allegations and was ordered to attend an educational and monitoring program at the detention center in Lebanon until school lets out in Springboro. Kirby also placed the boy on house arrest, pending a hearing on June 13.

It was the latest of about 15 school threat cases in Warren County since the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Florida and first since the school shooting on Friday at Sante Fe High School in Texas.

RELATED: Warren County boy, 11, accused of threatening to shoot up school

On Monday, an 11-year-old Kings Mills student admitted to an aggravated menacing charge in a case stemming from an April 24 incident in which the boy threatened “to shoot up the school ” at Columbia Intermediate School and make a teacher “his first target,” according to court records.

MORE: Warren County spike in school threat cases mirrors nation

Kirby barred the boy from having access to weapons and continued a no-contact order, but suspended a 45-day detention sentence, provided the boy complies with probation conditions.

The boy is to complete 20 hours of community service, comply with any rules set out by the school and pay $65 in court costs.

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