Authorities have released new details about the murder of a teenage girl in Ashtabula County and say that a total of four people are now facing charges in the case. Documents filed in Common Pleas Court allege that 46-year-old murder suspect John Bove killed 13-year-old Kara Zdanczewski was killed May 9 and her body set on fire in a dispute over a three-Thousand dollar methamphetamine debt owed by the victim's father. The girl's body was found May 11 in a field in Saybrook Township and a knife believed to have been used in the murder was found in the home of an acquaintance to the suspect. Bove is charged with aggravated murder and kidnapping and remains jailed in Pennsylvania, awaiting extradition following his arrest on the day the victim's body was found. 47-year-old Debra Bove of Ashtabula is charged with obstruction of justice while 56-year-old Stanley Wilfong III and 30-year-old Michael Schultz, both of Ashtabula, face counts of tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.
Police in Stark County's Perry Township issued a plea to the public on Tuesday following the abduction of a four-year-old girl. Police say that the biological mother of Amiri Beasley took the child, although she doesn't have legal custody. The little girl, autistic and legally blind, is biracial with brown hair, brown eyes and stands three feet tall and 40 pounds. Police issued a Be On Look Out for a black Chevy Equinox with Ohio plates in connection with the disappearance. Call police at 330-478-5121 if you have any information.
Interstate 271 in Richfield was closed in both directions on Tuesday afternoon, following a crash involving an overturned semi tractor-trailer that caught fire and began burning. Richfield Police announced the closure of the Interstate shortly before 2:00PM and said the driver escaped the cab before flames broke-out, but provided no further immediate details. One lane on the southbound side was re-opened around 3:30PM.
An evidence search was conducted in a city park in Canton, with agents from the FBI and dive teams from the Police Department reportedly looking for possible evidence in connection to a murder case. The Repository reported that authorities were conducting an underwater search along the south side of Mahoning Road NE, looking for additional evidence regarding the April 10 shooting along Fourth Street that took the life of Khaleel Kimbrough. Two 19-year-old Canton men, identified as Xavier Hatchett and Trevonne Pounds, were previously arrested on charges of complicity to murder in the case. The underwater search began on Monday and continued on Tuesday.
The deaths of seven people in a house fire on May 15 along the 600 block of Fultz Street in Akron have been ruled murders due to an act of arson. Mayor Dan Horrigan, the State Fire Marshal's office and Akron Police announced on Tuesday afternoon that 58-year-old Stanley Ball of Hillcrest Street was arrested during the mid-morning, booked into Summit County Jail on one count of aggravated arson and seven counts of aggravated murder.
The scene of this month's murders is only four doors east of the scene of another deadly house fire, one that happened in the 700 block of Fultz Street last year that killed 66-year-old Lindell Lewis and 65-year-old Gloria Hart.
The man accused of starting the blaze that killed five children and two adults lives just around the corner from the scene where they died – victims of smoke inhalation, huddled together near a second-floor window. Police and state investigators searched two homes owned by Ball last Thursday and collected bags and boxes of evidence.
The state has agreed to pony-up some big bucks to help pay for upgrades to the East Reservoir Dam in Coventry Township. Ohio.com reports that the Department of Natural Resources plans to re-build the 14-hundred foot dam that was originally constructed in 1840...but has fallen into disrepair and no longer meets safety standards. The Ohio Controlling Board has released 29.6-Million dollars to fund the project along Portage Lakes Drive, slated to begin later this year and be completed by Spring of 2019.
The city of Alliance is pinning its hopes on historical designation for the downtown district in a bid to win State and Federal tax credits, which city officials hope to use for future rehabilitation efforts. A city commission has joined-up with the Ohio History Connection to have the downtown district in Alliance placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city's development director says that such a designation could help, due to the unique history of the district. The goal is to market downtown Alliance as a place of destinations – and to gain some financial aid in sprucing-up the area.
The state has a new crime lab in place...one that will work exclusively on testing drugs that lead to overdose deaths. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine was joined on Tuesday by local officials in the Clark County city of Springfield, pulling the wraps off the new lab to be used by the state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The BCI already has other labs up and running in Richfield, London and Bowling Green, but the one in Springfield will only focus on drug-testing efforts as Ohio ramps-up its efforts to combat record-high death rates related to opiates, painkillers and other drugs including fentanyl and carfentanyl.
The Ohio Lottery Commission has withdrawn its request for a no-bid, 71-Million dollar contract for a Greek-based firm that runs the state's gaming operations. The Commission previously asked the State Controlling Board to approve a two-year contract with Intralot, providing a waiver of the competitive bidding process for two-year contract renewal options through 2027. The last time a lottery proposal request was made was ten years ago and at least one lawmaker in Columbus says officials are no longer certain how good their deal with the current firm may be. Intralot has been paid some 250-Million dollars since 2009 to provide lottery terminals and electronic slot machines at racinos throughout the state.
Set-up a Ravenna Township man for another round – of drunk-driving charges. 62-year-old Gary Hensley of Concord Road had at least three misdemeanor and two felony OVI convictions to his discredit before he was stopped and arrested in Ravenna. The latest one happened May 13 along North Sycamore Street. He was indicted by a Grand Jury on another felony charge of OVI, coupled with a count of driving under suspension and was ordered held in Portage County Jail under a 50-Thousand dollar, ten-percent bond. His rap sheet on driving drunk dates back to 1997.
Police in Canton booked a man on a list of charges after he was reportedly seen dragging a woman from her apartment. 22-year-old Trevhon Spencer was booked into Stark County Jail, charged with abduction, felony counts of domestic violence and obstructing official business, burglary and resisting arrest. He was also wanted on a warrant for failure to appear in court on a previous domestic violence charge. The latest incident happened early Monday in the 1500 block of Robin Court, where neighbors called when they saw the woman being dragged. The victim was later found and taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.
A woman being placed under arrest following a domestic fight apparently wasn't done being combative when Portage County Sheriff deputies arrived...and is now facing felony charges as a result. The cruiser rolled-up recently to a house in the 4700 block of Valley Hills Drive in the northeast part of Rootstown, where 31-year-old Danielle Mordarski had apparently thrown food at someone and sparked the call. While being led to the cruiser, she reportedly jerked-away from the deputy before kicking him in the left knee. Once they got her cuffed and stuffed, Mordarski was booked on charges including felonious assault on a law enforcement officer, domestic violence and other counts.
The Ohio Attorney General's office has approved the language of a proposed ballot issue that centers on re-drawing boundaries for Congressional districts. Mike DeWine's office called the paperwork a “fair and truthful” overview of the proposed Constitutional amendment in the second submission, after the language contained in the first plan was pushed-aside. The plan laid-out by a group known as Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio is similar to one that was approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2015 – changing the process for re-drawing maps of state legislative boundaries. The group says its intent is to put the clamps on gerrymandering, with lawmakers consistently stacking the deck with districts that become overwhelmingly Democrat or Republican. They want to get the issue to the ballot in November next year.
The Monday-night bombing of a concert venue in Manchester, England has an Ohio connection. Two brothers from Strongsville were on stage as backup singers during the concert that claimed a number of lives and left many more injured. 32-year-old twins Brian and Scott Nicholson told reporters in the UK that they were “shaken up,” but otherwise okay following the deadly blast. The pair graduated from Strongsville in 2003 and later from the University of Akron, with degrees in business and dance. They've performed with several pop stars over the course of their careers.
For the time being, charges of vandalism and evidence tampering have been withdrawn against the brother of a victim in the Rhoden family massacre. Prosecutors requested and were granted the dismissal in Pike County Court after telling the judge they want to take the case to a Grand Jury. James Manley of Peebles was initially charged after he reportedly found and destroyed a GPS device, attached to his pickup truck by investigators following-up on the murders of the eight family members in Piketon in April last year. Manley's sister was among those killed and to this date, no suspect or motive has been determined.
Four days after falling from a cliff, with both arms and legs fractured, a man was finally rescued by firefighters in Elyria on Monday. Firefighters were called to Spring Valley Country Club, where Gerald Muskiewicz said he had been hiking last Thursday when he fell from the cliff into the Black River below. He managed to crawl some 300 yards while battling hypothermia in addition to multiple injuries while seeking help. The victim was taken by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center.
As the investigation proceeds into the beating death of an Ohio prison inmate, the State Highway Patrol says authorities are in no rush to file charges, explaining the suspect is already behind bars and isn't going anywhere. 64-year-old Donald Harvey was serving 15 life sentences after copping a plea deal in 1987 to avoid the death penalty for 35 murders he admitted to committing. On March 28, another inmate entered his cell at the State Prison in Toledo, beating him until he was comatose. He died two days later. Harvey was dubbed the “Angel of Death” for the murders of dozens of hospital patients in Ohio and Kentucky during the 1970's and 80's. The State Patrol says the investigation into his murder is moving at a slow, methodical pace to assure no mistakes are made along the way before charges are formally filed against the other inmate.
A condemned man who survived a botched execution attempt at Lucasville has been told when the state will try again to deliver his punishment. Justices on the Ohio Supreme Court have set June 17, 2020 as the date when 62-year-old Romell Broom will take the long walk to the Death Chamber. He was sentenced to die for the 1984 kidnapping, rape and murder of 14-year-old Tryna Middleton in Cleveland, but in September of 2009, the first execution attempt was called-off after two hours and 18 unsuccessful attempts to find a usable vein for lethal injection. His defense attorney says there are still several appeals pending, but the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor says Broom has stalled his date with death for years and his time is up.
Authorities from the State Fire Marshal's office, Akron Fire officials and Mayor Dan Horrigan will hold a press conference this afternoon to update the public on progress in the ongoing investigation into the house fire that killed seven people more than a week ago. Officials will gather at Akron Police headquarters for a press conference as the follow-up continues into the deadly May 15 blaze that destroyed the home in the 600 block of Fultz Street, killing five children and two adults who were trapped inside. Officials released no preliminary information about what details may come in the briefing.
A new state crime lab will focus exclusively on testing drugs including opiates contributing to record overdose deaths. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab in Springfield will test drugs such as heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil. Attorney General Mike DeWIne and officials from Clark County and Springfield plan to unveil the lab this afternoon. BCI also operates crime labs in Bowling Green, London and Richfield. Last year a record 3,050 Ohioans died from fatal drug overdoses , most of them heroin-or painkiller -related deaths.