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The State of Ohio has turned-away an Akron killer's effort to delay his execution. The State Attorney General's office rejected the proposal to delay the January 12 execution of Ronald Ray Phillips, whose attorneys wanted at least a one-month delay in order to argue against Ohio's new three-drug combination for lethal injection procedures. Lawyers for Phillips were trying to put-off his date in the Death Chamber until at least April. He was sentenced to die years ago for the rape and murder of his girlfriend's three-year-old daughter, Sheila Marie Evans...but Phillips has managed to delay the proceedings on several occasions.
A Canton man accused of sexually assaulting a young relative was in Stark County Court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the crime. 49-year-old Robert Posey copped guilty pleas to counts including rape and sexual battery. His crimes involved assaults on a girl under the age of 16 that were committed between 2010 and 2012. Immediately following his admissions, Posey was ordered to spend the next 13 years behind prison bars. He will have to register as a sex offender once he's released.
Gasoline prices rose again over the past week, according to data released on Monday by auto club AAA. The average cost for a gallon of regular fuel here in Ohio rose 13 cents from last week's level to a new state-wide average of $2.16 per gallon. A month ago, the price was at $2.12 a gallon and this week's price is significantly higher than the $1.91 we were paying for fuel last year at this time. The nation-wide average this week came in two cents higher than Ohio.
The Cincinnati-area man who plotted an attack on the US Capitol in support of the Islamic State group was back in Federal Court for sentencing on Monday...and he didn't go to prison without shouting his support for Allah. Defense attorneys called a psychologist to the witness stand to testify on the mental condition of 22-year-old Christopher Cornell, whose lawyers say he has rejected the “radical Islamic propaganda” that influenced his decision to plan the attack during the 2015 State of the Union address. When the judge imposed a 30-year sentence, Cornell began shouting that Allah is in control – not the judge. Cornell was arrested on January 14 last year and later pleaded guilty to charges including attempted murder of US officials and employees.
A Monday sentencing hearing for an area gang member for the murders of three people last year has been rescheduled. 21-year-old Douglas Shine Jr will be formally sentenced on December 20 for the February 2015 shooting deaths of 32-year-old William Gonzalez of Garfield Heights, 31-year-old Brandon White of Warrensville Heights and 23-year-old Walter Barfield of Cleveland. All three were killed and others were wounded in the shooting that happened at Chalk Linez barber shop in Warrensville Heights. The jury that convicted Shine last month for the crimes recommended that he get the death penalty.
The second suspect accused in the July drug overdose death of a man in Mahoning County has pleaded guilty to his role in the case. 28-year-old Jesse Kellum appeared in court on Monday to enter Alford pleas to charges of involuntary manslaughter and permitting drug abuse. He and 27-year-old co-defendant Marisha Robinson were both arrested following the July 20 overdose death of Matthew Godfrey, who lost his life after ingesting heroin at the home of the accused in the 2000 block of McCartney Road. Robinson already pleaded guilty to similar charges last week and is awaiting sentencing. Following his conviction on Monday, prosecutors recommended to the judge that Kellum get a sentence of drug treatment and three years of probation when he returns to court.
With the stroke of his pen, the Mayor of Green has put the brakes on a plan by City Council members to award themselves an 89-percent pay raise. The first veto issued this year by the mayor struck-down Council's recent 4-3 vote that would have raised the annual salaries of members to more than 15-Thousand dollars – the equivalent of one-seventh the pay grade of the city's chief executive. Council members are currently taking home eight-Thousand a year...the same salary they've earned since the last pay raise was approved in 2004. The mayor's veto came with a statement that the massive pay hike wasn't in the best interest of the residents, saying the rate Council members wanted for themselves was unreasonable.
Akron Police are continuing to investigate two separate fatal traffic incidents that happened over the weekend.
Around 7:30 Friday night, 18-year-old Eric Carson of Dover Avenue in Akron was found dead in the 1200 block of Diagonal Road after he had been run-over by a passing vehicle. Police say they're not sure if he was struck by more than one vehicle and no suspect has been identified.
Shortly after Noon Sunday, a 53-year-old Fairlawn man was driving east on Smith Road at Sand Run Road when he went left-of-center and struck an oncoming car. His car then went over an embankment and hit a tree before stopping. He was taken to AGMC where he was pronounced dead and investigators believe he may have had a medical problem before the wreck. The other driver wasn't hurt.
An argument over fast food sent one young man to the hospital and landed the other in jail after the squabble culminated in a stabbing incident. Akron Police said on Monday that the incident happened around 12:30 Saturday morning at an apartment in the 400 block of Grant Street, where two University of Akron students got into it before one pulled a knife and plunged it into the chest of the other. The 23-year-old victim from Newark was taken to City Hospital and listed in critical condition while officers booked 22-year-old Kendall Scheid of Norwalk into Summit County Jail on a felonious assault charge. Cleveland media outlets reported that the victim had died but police said he was still alive on Monday.
A young man was stabbed outside an apartment complex on Akron's south side over the weekend. Police say the 20-year-old victim was outside his apartment in the 700 block of Wren Walk around 4:00AM Sunday when the assailant approached and asked if he had any money. An argument followed when he said “no” and the suspect drew a knife, cutting the victim twice before running-off southbound through a parking lot. Police are looking for a black male around 22 years old, five-feet-nine and 175 pounds, last seen wearing a black Nike hooded sweatshirt and jeans.
Police detectives in Akron are still investigating after a car was shot-up on the south side over the weekend. Police say the incident happened shortly before 11:00PM Saturday night in the 700 block of Corice Street, where a witness told responding officers that two black males were walking in the area when they drew firearms and ripped-off several rounds into the car that was parked on the street. Two nearby houses were hit with stray bullets but no injuries were reported. Detectives are looking for the suspects, last seen wearing all-dark clothing.
Authorities in Cleveland on Monday announced that an arrest had been made in connection with the kidnapping of one young girl and attempted kidnapping of another. 29-year-old Justin Christian was arrested at his home in Lorain, booked on a charge of kidnapping and rape involving a six-year-old Cleveland girl who was abducted from her family's home on May 21, then held against her will for 17 hours before she was dropped-off near her home. Investigators used DNA evidence to connect Christian to that incident and another attempted abduction that happened in February involving a 10-year-old Elyria girl.
The accidental shooting death of a three-year-old boy at the hands of his seven-year-old brother has led to charges filed against a teenage boy who owned the gun. Authorities in Toledo say charges of complicity to negligent homicide have been filed against a 15-year-old following the October incident, which took the life of Tyrne Hoskins. Police say there were several adults inside the house at the time of the incident, which happened when the seven-year-old got his hands on the teenager's weapon. The boy began playing with the weapon when it fired, sending a bullet through the wall of a bedroom and killing the toddler. The teenager also faces a charge of failure to secure firearms.
Authorities are continuing their search for the gunman who shot two people to death last week in Ravenna, including a woman who was around seven weeks pregnant. 25-year-old David Calhoun Jr of Akron disappeared shortly after the shooting that happened on Thursday in the 6600 block of Henderson Road, which took the life of 33-year-old LaShaun Sanders of Ravenna and hospitalized 32-year-old Sara Marsh of Kent until she lost her fight to survive at UH Portage Medical Center later that night. Calhoun is a black male, five-feet-nine and 182 pounds. He should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of David Calhoun Jr should call the Portage County Sheriff's office at 330-296-5100, extension 0.
A car crash on I-76 near Wadsworth left a passenger hospitalized with serious injuries and authorities say the driver admitted using heroin before the wreck. 25-year-old Samantha Liptay of Parma was driving east along the Interstate when she went off the side near State Route 94, hitting a guardrail that sent her car spinning into the path of another oncoming car, driven by a Cuyahoga Falls man. Liptay and a female passenger in her car were both taken to City Hospital, where the passenger was admitted in critical condition. Liptay reportedly admitted to authorities that she and her passenger had used heroin a short time earlier. Charges are expected to be filed.
A member of Akron City Council has been indicted by a Grand Jury on allegations of conflict of interest. 67-year-old Ward 6 Councilman Bob Hoch was accused by former Mayor Don Plusquellic's administration of voting on legislation that benefited his two sons, both members of the city's fire department. The claims were investigated by the Ohio Ethics Commission and State Attorney General's office, leading to the charge that was formally filed last week that claims Hoch overstepped his bounds as an elected official for the benefit of a family member. The misdemeanor counts involve alleged activities beginning in June 2012 and others in 2014 and last year.
Akron Fire officials say the deaths from a blaze on the city's north side on Saturday morning could likely have been avoided if smoke detectors had been installed in the family's home. Surveillance footage from a neighboring home shows that the smoke began to show at the house in the 200 block of East Tallmadge Avenue around 12:30 Saturday morning. An hour later, fire crews were called to the scene to find flames coming from both sides of the house. Killed in the blaze were 36-year-old Omar Riley, 33-year-old Shirley Wallis and two young girls...nine-year-old Aniyla Riley and her eight-year-old sister, Shanice. 12-year-old Shaniya Wallis and a woman who was visiting the home were both hospitalized after they were taken from the scene and both are expected to eventually recover. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation and counselors were on-hand Monday at the schools the young victims attended.
A CSX freight train derailment in Toledo caused some tense times for emergency workers responding to the incident over the weekend. Two tankers in the 187-car freight line went off the tracks on Sunday on the city's east side and authorities said they were carrying the highly-flammable chemical toluene, though neither of the tanks ruptured or resulted in a leak. Crews remained on the scene near York and North Wheeling Streets throughout the day to conduct the clean-up effort. Two nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution and the derailment caused heavy damage to a high-tension tower supporting power lines. No injuries were reported and the cause of the incident remains under investigation.
The state-wide ban on smoking indoors in public areas and workplaces has apparently had little impact on the number of people who light-up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released data that shows Ohio's adult smoking rate only fell from a level of 23-percent to around 22-percent over the course of the past decade, indicating that Ohio's ban imposed in 2006 hasn't deterred people from going outside for a smoke. The study did show, however, that indoor air quality has improved and there have been fewer people visiting the emergency rooms with asthma and heart attacks.
A driver who fled the scene of a crash later died in a confrontation with a police officer that led to shots being fired in northern Summit County. Police in Hudson say the driver was traveling on the Turnpike at a high rate of speed around 2:45PM Sunday when he sideswiped another vehicle, flipped his car and crawled out from the wreck...running into a wooded area nearby. A Hudson Police officer tracked the man down near Hudson-Aurora Road and the confrontation led to a struggle, which ended with the officer drawing his weapon and firing the deadly shots. The suspect died on the scene and the officer involved was treated for minor injuries. The Ohio BCI now has the lead in the follow-up investigation.