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A former Navy SEAL accused of fabricating a story about a shooting incident in March will see his trial begin in December. 44-year-old Chris Heben faces a final pre-trial hearing on November 10 before his case is heard in Akron Municipal Court on December 9. He's charged with misdemeanor counts of falsification and obstructing official business after allegedly telling authorities that he had been shot during a run-in with three black males in a sports car outside West Market Plaza on March 28. Investigators spent months looking into the claims, relying on his cell phone records and surveillance footage that could not support his story. He was charged in September.
A Summit County Court jury on Friday returned a recommendation for a death sentence for 20-year-old Shawn Ford Jr. The panel on Thursday afternoon began discussing what sentence he should get for the April murders last year of Jeffrey and Margaret Schobert, both beaten to death with a sledge hammer in the master bedroom of their home on Rex Lake Drive in New Franklin. The jury ended its work on Thursday night around 9:00 and got back to it on Friday morning before telling the judge they had reached the decision during the mid-afternoon. The jury recommended life in prison with no parole in the murder of Mr Schobert and the death penalty for the slaying of her his wife. Summit County Judge Tom Parker will make the final decision and no sentencing date was immediately set.
15-year-old co-defendant Jamall Vaughn will be tried as an adult when he goes to court next month.
The Ohio Department of Health has set-down new rules, ordering mandatory three-week quarantine for anyone returning from West Africa who may have been exposed to anyone potentially infected with the Ebola virus. Health officials will monitor travelers daily through the process and those determined to be low-risk may be allowed outside their homes but will have to avoid public areas. Returning travelers who were not exposed will still see their health monitored for 21 days, as well.
Authorities in Carroll County are continuing the investigation into a single-car accident that claimed the life of a woman last weekend. 35-year-old Jennifer Lindsay of Sherrodsville was a passenger in a station wagon driven by 27-year-old David Weinhardt of Sherrodsville. The vehicle struck and embankment last Saturday while headed south on Briar Road south of Magnolia, rolling-over and ejecting Lindsay from her seat and killing her on the scene. The Sheriff's office says charges are expected to be filed against Weinhardt.
A November 12 hearing date has been set in Portage County Court for an injunction filed by the Streetsboro Junior Rockets football team, allowing them to continue into the playoffs in the Portage Trail Youth Football League. The team was banned from the league last week after coaches, players and parents from both sides began arguing and scuffling at the end of an October 12 game between Streetsboro and Waterloo. The league based its ban on allegations that a Streetsboro coach had threatened to go to his car and get a gun. Streetsboro parents and coaches claim that a Waterloo coach ordered his players in the 10-13 year-old league to intentionally hurt their opponents taking a knee at the end of a 27-0 shut-out.
A December 5 sentencing hearing has been set for Democratic State Representative Sandra Williams, who pleaded no contest and was convicted on Friday in Franklin County Court on charges of illegal campaign finance conversion and attempted election falsification. The Cleveland lawmaker and eight-year House veteran, who happens to be running for State Senate, purchased Ohio State Football season tickets with campaign funds, then sold them to a lobbyist for more than 22-hundred dollars...depositing the money into her personal account instead of reimbursing her campaign. She faces up to a year in prison and a two-Thousand dollar fine.
The search is on for the person responsible for shooting a beagle in Lorain 105 times with a BB gun. Rescuers found the dog on Missouri Avenue last Friday and a veterinarian removed 45 pellets from his head before it was transferred to the animal ER at FIDO Companion Rescue...where X-Rays revealed 60 more pellets in the dog's body. Officials say not all of the pellets can be removed and they're treating the dog with medication to relieve the pain and help the healing. Police are trying to identify a suspect.
The Ohio Democratic Party is playing the Race Card again with regard to state laws governing absentee and provisional ballots. Party attorneys and two homeless coalitions claim certain state laws put minority registered voters' ballots at risk of being invalidated and make it hard to correct issues with their ballots. The complaint is a supplemental filing to a 2006 case that centers on provisional ballots that's currently under study by a Federal Court. The complaint alleges that the absentee and provisional ballot restrictions intentionally disenfranchise minorities.
An investigative report by a Columbus TV station has revealed that the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation has been setting quotas for the number of fraud cases referred for prosecution...leading to charges being filed against innocent people. WCMH TV reports that a 2009 evaluation within the Bureau's Special Investigations Unit listed “expectations” for each agent in 16 closed cases and says that a former special investigator who was fired in 2010 blew the whistle, calling the tactic quotas. A former Ohio Attorney General says the quotas promote injustice, encouraging investigators to hide evidence that could be favorable to suspects.
Two men were rescued from their flooding boat on Lake Erie this week. The Coast Guard says the 23-foot vessel began taking-on water late Wednesday afternoon near Conneaut, spawning a mayday call that sent crews rushing to the scene from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. The Coast Guard says the water was too shallow to pull along-side, so the men were hoisted to a helicopter to get them off the lake. The boat was left-behind partially submerged and unable to be towed.
The Cleveland man accused of shooting to death his 12-year-old step-daughter and leaving her mother in critical condition Thursday night has a violent history. The Plain Dealer reports that 59-year-old Rufus Gray did time in prison after copping a guilty plea to reduced charges of voluntary manslaughter during a 1989 murder trial. He had just been released from his probation for his fourth domestic violence conviction last Saturday when he burst into the home of 45-year-old Sonya Garth of Clement Avenue around 7:00PM Thursday, firing several bullets that struck her and her 12-year-old daughter, Davia. The girl died a short time later at the hospital. Sonya Garth had filed for divorce in April, saying the relationship with Gray had become too abusive.
A two-year prison term was handed-down to an Alliance man who stabbed another with a box-cutter during a fight in an Edinburg Township strip club last year. 51-year-old Anthony Townes pleaded guilty to a felonious assault charge and was facing up to eight years in prison for the crime. He got into it with another man at the club in the 3100 block of State Route 14 on September 21 last year, leaving the victim with a large cut on his arm and a bloody nose.
A family of four in Streetsboro is in need after flames left serious damage to their home this week. The Record-Courier reports the house in the 800 block of Frost Road was left uninhabitable after the fire began in a bedroom and spread, leaving over 50-Thousand dollars’ worth of damage, with heat and smoke damage throughout the structure. While the cause remains under investigation, authorities are looking at an over-heated electric blanket as the source. Fundraisers to help the family are already in the works.
A Summit County Court jury resumed deliberations in the case of 20-year-old Shawn Ford Jr on Friday. The panel on Thursday afternoon began discussing what sentence he should get for the April murders last year of Jeffrey and Margaret Schobert, who were both beaten to death with a sledge hammer in the master bedroom of their home on Rex Lake Drive in New Franklin. The jury ended its work on Thursday night around 9:00 and got back to it on Friday morning. He faces a possible death sentence for the slayings following his conviction. 15-year-old co-defendant Jamall Vaughn will be tried as an adult when he goes to court next month.
A Federal judge in Columbus this week vacated the scheduled November 6 sentencing date for a former Ohio Deputy Treasurer, who fled to Pakistan to avoid going to prison after being convicted in a political corruption case. 39-year-old Amer Ahmad pleaded guilty last year in Federal Court to charges of bribery and money laundering for his role in a kickback scheme at the State Treasurer’s office. He took-in more than a half-Million dollars in bribes in exchange for awarding business to various brokerage firms. Prosecutors want him brought back to Ohio to spend 15 years in prison.