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Court News Ohio
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April 22, 2024

Court cases of intimidation, retaliation soar in Mahoning County: The Vindicator
In the sports world, the idea that a person can intimidate his opponent through fear is a good thing. Intimidation on a football or baseball field is a characteristic that helps teams win championships.

DeWine selects Natale for Warren Municipal Court bench: Tribune Chronicle
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Friday the appointment of Natasha K. Natale to the Warren Municipal Court bench.

Judge temporarily halts Ohio law to keep Columbus, other cities from regulating tobacco: Columbus Dispatch
A Franklin County judge issued a temporary restraining order late Friday afternoon, stopping a state law from taking effect next week that would prevent Columbus, several Franklin County suburbs, Cincinnati and other Ohio cities from regulating tobacco products.

Woman gets life in prison for shooting, killing man following argument:
An Akron woman who pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a man following an argument has been sentenced to life in prison.

Campbell man found guilty of murder: The Vindicator
A jury on Friday found Mekhi Venable guilty of murder in the 2022 shooting death of Jacob Moore.

Court roundup: Men sentenced for fatal shootings at Italian Village club, Sheetz station: Columbus Dispatch
Two men connected to fatal shootings learned their fates in Franklin County courts, and a teen who accidentally shot his friend will remain in custody for the foreseeable future.

Former CPD officer accused of killing Donovan Lewis expected in court: WSYX
A former Columbus police officer charged with murder is due in court Monday.

Canfield man who stole running car gets out of prison early: WFMJ
A Canfield man sentenced for injuring someone trying to stop him from stealing his car is being released from prison two years before completing his sentence.

Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office Hosts Educational Training Day for Area Seniors: WHIZ
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month.

Richland County commissioners OK design contract for fourth courtroom: Richland Source
Richland County commissioners on Thursday approved a design contract that will lead to a fourth courtroom for the Common Pleas general division judges.

7 local government officials across Ohio reprimanded for violating Ohio ethics law in 2023: Dayton Daily News
Every year, the Dayton Daily News uses Ohio public records laws to obtain settlement agreements from the Ohio Ethics Commission.

‘NBA2K’ makers win in lawsuit against Cleveland Heights tattoo artist over LeBron James’ inks in video games:
A jury on Friday sided with the makers of the popular video game series “NBA2K” over its use of two tattoos inked on LeBron James by a Cleveland Heights tattoo artist.


April 19, 2024

Court: Gov. Mike DeWine lacked authority to remove teachers' pension board member: Columbus Dispatch
In the latest turn in the battle to control the state teachers pension board, an appeals court ruled that Gov. Mike DeWine lacked the authority to remove his appointee and substitute another.

Wife convicted of possession for marijuana hidden in husband’s duffel bag gets new trial:
An appeals court on Thursday tossed the felony drug conviction of a Garfield Heights woman whose husband had more than 8 ounces of marijuana in a duffel bag in their basement.

Court rules in Ohio Renaissance Festival village detachment request: Dayton Daily News
A Warren County judge has ruled the Ohio Renaissance Festival cannot detach from the village of Harveysburg.

Breastfeeding mothers would be excused from jury service under bill on DeWine’s desk:
Nursing mothers soon will be excused from jury service.

Defendant’s testimony closes out aggravated murder trial, deliberations continue: The Vindicator
After listening to testimony from multiple eyewitnesses this week on either side of a dispute that led to Jacob Moore, 21, being shot to death on New York Avenue Sept. 29, 2022, jurors were given the task Thursday of sorting through testimony to determine who was telling the truth.

Man behind shooting at Alliance senior apartment complex gets prison term: Canton Repository
A 60-year-old Alliance man has been sent to prison for eight to 10.5 years for shooting another man in the arm and head on Sept. 22.

Man gets at least 22 years in South Toledo shooting that killed man, wounded woman: Toledo Blade
A Lucas County judge sent one of two men charged with a Sept. 23 shooting that killed a man and wounded a woman to prison Thursday for at least 22 years — and possibly for life.

Chinese immigrant pleads guilty in gift card scam Wednesday in Coshocton court: Coshocton Tribune
A Chinese immigrant charged with stealing and altering hundreds of gift cards changed his plea Wednesday afternoon in Coshocton County Common Pleas Court.


April 18, 2024

Stark County attorney who stole nearly $900K from his clients finds out his punishment: Canton Repository
One of the victims of a former lawyer's theft said the experience cost him over $10,000 in losses on investments and extra attorney fees.

Man who shot his pregnant sister, her husband at Maple Heights picnic gets life sentence:
Jason Iverson ended three lives when he fatally shot his pregnant sister and her husband at a Labor Day picnic.

Plea deal for convicted killer in Rowan Sweeney case in jeopardy: The Vindicator
A filing in the criminal case against Kimonie Bryant in the 2020 killing of Rowan Sweeney answers a question that arose at the end of the February trial of co-defendant, Brandon Crump Jr.: Why didn’t Bryant testify?

Man who assaulted cop, stole gun sentenced: The Vindicator
Judge John Durkin sentenced Zachary R. Crespo, 36, of Norquest Boulevard in Austintown, to 14 to 17 years in prison Wednesday for a May 12 confrontation in Beaver Township in which Crespo attacked and injured a Beaver Township police officer.

Youngstown council OKs settling 2 lawsuits, costing city $520,000: The Vindicator
City council agreed to permit the board of control to settle two lawsuits: giving $80,000 and other financial considerations to the owners of the former Anthony’s on the River building and $440,000 to a student housing complex for water improvements.

Family of Donovan Lewis files lawsuit accusing Columbus police of systemic racism: Columbus Dispatch
The family of a man fatally shot by a Columbus police officer in 2022 has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the Columbus Division of Police of systemic racism with the hopes of achieving reforms that have eluded the department for decades.

Ex-candidate George ‘Geo’ Kuriatnyk, 61, charged with intimidation, menacing: Tribune Chronicle
A former mayoral candidate faces charges related to an incident at a city council meeting in March.


April 17, 2024

Ohio Supreme Court says death records in a database aren't subject to public disclosure: Columbus Dispatch
In a 5-2 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that names and addresses contained in a state database of people who died are not subject to disclosure under the state's open records laws.

Ohio Supreme Court rejects Moundbuilders Country Club appeal; clears way for valuation trial: Columbus Dispatch
When the long-awaited trial over the value of Moundbuilders Country Club's lease on the Octagon Mounds finally is before a jury, the country club won't have any witnesses.

Ohio judge temporarily blocks ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors: Columbus Dispatch
A Franklin County judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked an impending law that would restrict medical care for transgender minors in Ohio.

Hilliard student coerced to ‘identify as opposite sex,’ anti-LGBTQ+ lawsuit says: WCMH
Several central Ohio parents suing Hilliard City Schools allege a student suffering from “severe emotional trauma” was pressured by teachers to adopt “a new name and identity as the opposite sex.”

A 'brazen act.' Canton police detectives speak out at men who ambushed them with gunshots: Canton Repository
When two men fired a total of 14 gunshots at police detectives on June 29, they changed the lives of everyone involved, Canton police Detective Matthew Thomas told a judge on Tuesday.

Assaults on girlfriend net man prison sentence: The Vindicator
Sammy F. Anderson Jr., 28, was sentenced to 15.5 to 19.5 years in prison Tuesday after being convicted at trial of two counts of felonious assault, one count of having weapons while not allowed and two gun specifications.

Columbus man pleads guilty to killing a woman, wounding 2 in July 2020 shooting: Columbus Dispatch
A Columbus man pleaded guilty Tuesday and was sentenced to an indefinite term of at least 20 years in prison for his role in a July 2020 shooting that left one woman dead and wounded two others, the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office announced Tuesday.

Man sentenced for 2023 fatal drug deal gone wrong: WCMH
A Columbus man was sentenced to as much as 18 years in prison for a fatal double-shooting tied to a drug deal gone wrong in 2023.

North Side murder trial resumes: The Vindicator
Another eyewitness to the Sept. 29, 2022, shooting death of Jacob Moore, 21, on New York Avenue on the city’s North Side testified Tuesday in the aggravated murder trial of Mekhi Venable; however, he was not a willing witness.

Warren man gets 8-10 years in shooting: Tribune Chronicle
A Warren man was sentenced Tuesday for the shooting death of Ruby Sanchez, 43, at the Hampshire House Apartments.

Warren man gets six years for robbery and weapons charges: Tribune Chronicle
A Warren man who previously pleaded guilty to robbery and weapons charges received a six-year prison sentence Tuesday from Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Andrew D. Logan.

Nurse accused of stealing drugs at three nursing homes granted treatment sentence: Dayton Daily News
A nurse accused of stealing prescription painkillers and forging signatures at a Kettering nursing home where she worked was granted treatment in lieu of conviction.


April 16, 2024

Supreme Court orders Blendon Twp. to give justices records in fatal Ta'Kiya Young shooting: Columbus Dispatch
The Ohio Supreme Court has ordered the Blendon Township Police Department to release the the names of two police officers involved in the shooting of 21-year-old Ta'Kiya Young — but the names will not be made public yet.

Judge presses defendant to explain robbery that led to killing of 2 including teen girl: Cincinnati Enquirer
In a Hamilton County courtroom Monday, Jaylan Dubose heard heart-rending statements from family members of two people, including a 15-year-old girl, who were killed during a robbery in which he participated.

Sentencing for man guilty of killing ex-girlfriend in Cleveland Heights: WOIO
A 39-year-old Euclid man guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend in January 2023, was sentenced to 25 years in prison by Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge William McGinty Tuesday.

Shooter in Columbus drug deal that left two teens dead gets 15 years in prison: Columbus Dispatch
One of the shooters in an April 2023 drug deal that went sideways, resulting in the death of two teenagers, admitted his guilt Monday.

Warren man sentenced for 2023 shooting death of Ruby Sanchez: Tribune Chronicle
A Warren man was sentenced Tuesday for the 2023 shooting death of Rudy Sanchez, 43, at the Hampshire House Apartments.

DNA expert testifies about evidence found on kitchen knife possibly used in Perrine murder: Newark Advocate
A kitchen knife that might have been used to kill Debra Perrine contained what appeared to be her blood on the blade and what appeared to be her son’s DNA on the handle, a DNA analyst testified Monday.

New trial date set for former Franklin County deputy Jason Meade's murder trial: WBNS
A new trial date has been set for former Franklin County sheriff's deputy Jason Meade.

Cedar Point settles lawsuit with woman struck in head by metal part from Top Thrill Dragster: WEWS
The family of a woman who was struck in the head by a metal part of the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point has settled a lawsuit with the amusement park.

County worker says she failed to see through mom’s lies in case that ended in 5-year-old’s death:
One year before police discovered the body of a 5-year-old boy buried in his mother’s backyard in Cleveland, a Cuyahoga County child services worker was assigned to investigate allegations that another child in the family was being abused.

Supreme Court gives some military veterans more generous educational benefits: Associated Press
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with a decorated veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in a protracted fight with the government over 12 months of G.I. Bill educational benefits.


April 15, 2024

Former Upper Arlington football coach, teacher sentenced for abusing former student: Columbus Dispatch
A judge in Madison County sentenced former Upper Arlington Schools teacher and coach Joel Cutler to serve three months in jail and five years probation for sexually abusing a former student.

Man convicted of fatal road-rage shooting gets at least 15 years in prison:
A Summit County judge sentenced a Columbus man to at least 15 years in prison for the shooting death of an Akron man during a road-rage incident last year.

Harrison Twp. woman accused of lying after toddler shoots self gets probation: Dayton Daily News
A woman who reportedly lied to investigators and hospital staff after a 22-month-old shot himself in a Harrison Twp. apartment was sentenced to probation earlier this week.

Dayton man gets 50-plus years for shooting, sexually assaulting woman two years ago: Dayton Daily News
A Dayton man will spend a half century in prison for shooting a woman in the leg in June 2022 while pistol-whipping her before forcing her into a vehicle and sexually assaulting her.

Man sentenced after admitting to fatal shooting behind Italian Village's Go-Go: Columbus Dispatch
A man who, along with his brother, had been charged with murder in a June 2023 shooting will spend at least 15 years in prison.

Wauseon man found guilty of three charges in child's death, but not murder: The Crescent-News
A Wauseon man was found guilty of three charges involving a child’s death following a jury trial here in Fulton County Common Pleas Court, but not murder.

Retrial to start Monday for former Richland County corrections officer charged in inmate death: WOIO
A retrial is set to begin Monday in the case involving a former Richland County corrections officer charged in the 2019 death of an inmate.

‘A True Life Sentence’: Seeking solutions for youth and adults after incarceration: Signal Cleveland
Each year more than 3,000 people return home to Cuyahoga County from jail and prison.

Distracted driving law off to promising start: The Vindicator
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Traffic Safety Office are optimistic about the impact of Ohio’s strengthened distracted driving law on road safety.

Art Modell law is ripe for legal challenges, but could help Cleveland keep the Browns:
As Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam continue mulling over the possibility of moving the team to Brook Park or elsewhere, one of the most vilified figures in Cleveland’s history has surfaced on the city’s consciousness once again.

LeBron James’ ink heads to court in trial pitting Cleveland Heights tattoo artist against makers of ‘NBA2K’ video games:
Even though LeBron James won’t show up in person, his presence will loom large over a trial in federal court in Cleveland that is set to begin Monday.


April 12, 2024

‘Exonerated’ — Ohio judge removes lawmaker’s protection order against Rep. Elliot Forhan: WEWS
State Rep. Elliot Forhan, who has been battling a civil stalking protection order from his colleague, was just"exonerated" by a Cleveland court, which said the case had no merit and has denied the request.

Cleveland joins Ohio cities suing state over tobacco law: Signal Cleveland
Cleveland joined 13 other Ohio cities this week to sue the state over a new law that strips local governments of the right to regulate the sale of tobacco products such as menthol cigarettes and flavored vapes. 

The steps you should take to prevent your will from being contested in court: Times Reporter
Will contests have been a popular topic in our practice in the last year or so.

Youngstown likely to settle 2 lawsuits: The Vindicator
City council will consider Wednesday settling two lawsuits: one to give $440,000 to owners of a student-housing complex and the other to resolve the former Anthony’s on the River building demolition for $80,000 and other financial considerations.

81-year-old Clark County man charged with murder following scam call confusion: WKEF
An 81-year-old Clark County man is now being charged with murder after a scam phone call lead to the shooting of a 61-year-old woman.

Former substitute teacher sentenced for inappropriate relationship with student: WLWT
A former substitute teacher was sentenced Thursday after he admitted he had a relationship with a student, but the case took an unusual twist when the defendant also said the relationship might not be over.

Man sentenced to five years in prison for I-75 school bus crash that hospitalized six students: WTVG
The man that rammed into a school bus in 2023 was sentenced to five years in prison on April 3.

Butler County woman found guilty of animal cruelty sentenced to prison: WDTN
The woman who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges is headed to prison.

Lie could earn Youngstown man more charges: Tribune Chronicle
Additional charges could arise for a Youngstown man who was sentenced to 24 months of probation on a gun charge.

16-year-old boy to stand trial as adult in drive-by shooting that killed 15-year-old: Cincinnati Enquirer
A 16-year-old boy accused of killing another teen last year in a drive-by shooting outside a Bond Hill gas station has been indicted on charges including murder and will stand trial as an adult.

Dayton sergeant case referred to Butler County special prosecutor: WDTN
The case of a Dayton police sergeant has been referred to a Butler County special prosecutor.

Rep. Sykes, activists called for a federal investigation of Akron police. What happened?: Akron Beacon Journal
Jayland Walker's death nearly two years ago prompted widespread protests and led to increased demands for police reform, culminating in legal challenges, calls for a federal investigation and the creation of a citizens' police oversight board.


April 11, 2024

Appeals court extends order on ex-judge: The Vindicator
A panel of the 7th District Court of Appeals has affirmed last June’s ruling by a visiting judge extending a civil stalking protection order Struthers Mayor Catherine Cercone Miller obtained against former Struthers Municipal Court Judge Dominic Leone III.

After client's death, Sam Randazzo's attorney blasts Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost: Columbus Dispatch
An attorney for former Public Utilities Commission of Ohio chairman Sam Randazzo, who died in an apparent suicide Tuesday, lashed out at Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and his team, saying their high-profile approach was unfair.

Jury finds man not guilty of child endangering: The Vindicator
A jury has found an Akron man not guilty of child endangering following a trial in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Dayton man arrested after giving food to homeless without a permit; Some say city law ‘criminalizes’ charity: Dayton Daily News
A handful of community members say they are outraged that Dayton police last weekend arrested a man who was handing out food to the homeless because he did not have a permit.

Paulding County commissioners hear about new juvenile program: The Crescent-News
A new state program to help youth with behavioral issues was discussed at a recent Paulding County commissioners meeting.

Girl testifies that man’s back rubs turned into sexual assaults: The Vindicator
A 15-year-old girl’s decision two years ago to tell her mother a man committed sex offenses against her not only resulted in an arrest on rape and other charges, but it encouraged two other victims to come forward, according to a prosecutor.

Judge sentences Canton man, 49, for raping impaired person: Canton Repository
A 49-year-old city man has been sentenced to six to nine years in prison for rape and sexual battery.

Man gets prison time for fatal punch after car crash: WKRC
A local man was sentenced to up to 13 years in prison for killing someone after a car accident in 2020.

Woman pleads to homicide charge in child's car-crash death: Toledo Blade
A Toledo woman pleaded guilty Tuesday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to aggravated vehicular homicide and drunken driving for a crash early last year that killed a 9-year-old child.

Robinson Elementary student found guilty of trying to stab principal: WTVG
A student at Robinson Elementary was found guilty of Felonious Assault after police say he tried to stab the school principal.

Pinwheels honor child abuse victims: WTVG
Wednesday is Wear Blue Day in Ohio which comes during Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Circleville Council votes to part ways with police chief and deputy chief: Columbus Dispatch
Circleville City Council has approved "separation agreements" for the city's police chief and deputy chief, agreeing to pay them $70,000 and $69,000, respectively, an end to potentially costly investigations against both men.


April 10, 2024

Cleveland lawyer should be disbarred, conduct board recommends:
A state panel of attorneys has recommended that a Cleveland lawyer be disbarred after a series of misconduct stemming back to 2019.

New trial ordered for man who hit Grandview Heights police sergeant with spiked bat: Columbus Dispatch
A state appeals court has ordered that a man who had been sent to prison for injuring a Grandview Heights police sergeant with a spiked bat should get a new trial.

Charge of racism in redistricting resurrected: The Vindicator
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th District ruled in favor of three African-American Youngstown residents who contended a federal judge erred when he dismissed a case seeking to invalidate the state’s congressional map because it disenfranchised black voters in the Mahoning Valley.

Two in $1M burglary and arson ring get probation: The Vindicator
Jessica Gonzalez, 54, of Forest View Drive, was sentenced to two years of probation Tuesday and ordered to pay $900 in restitution for her misdemeanor conviction in a three-county, seven-person, $1 million arson and burglary ring.

Man stands trial over severe burn injuries to 15-month-old: The Vindicator
Devontay M. Anderson, 23, went on trial Tuesday on one count of felony child endangering and is facing allegations that he failed to protect a 15-month-old boy he was babysitting last November on Youngstown’s North Side.

Noel Flores receives 14-19 year sentence in shooting death of Warren mother: Tribune Chronicle
The fate of Warren man Noel Flores was sealed as he stood before Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew Logan on Tuesday.

Evidence dispute in 20 Fed case heats up: The Vindicator
The city disputes claims in a court filing from Carrier Services Group, the last tenant at 20 Federal Place, that it is withholding evidence in an eviction lawsuit.

'Mercy and grace': Ex-judge Tracie Hunter speaks on behalf of Kelli Prather at sentencing: Cincinnati Enquirer
Kelli Prather, the community activist and one-time candidate for Cincinnati mayor and U.S. Senate, was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison for fraud related to COVID-19 relief.

Columbus man who filed more than $2M in fraudulent COVID relief claims sentenced to prison: Columbus Dispatch
A Columbus man who admitted to fraudulently collected more than $900,000 in federal COVID relief funds has been sentenced in U.S. District Court to six years in prison.


April 9, 2024

Ohio Supreme Court takes Columbus’s Appeal in Local Gun Law Case: Ohio Capital Journal
The Supreme Court has accepted an appeal from the City of Columbus in a dispute over local firearm ordinances. In 2022 the city approved a handful of laws banning large capacity magazines and requiring safe storage of firearms in the home. Columbus officials argue their home rule authority gives them the latitude to enforce those provisions.

Miami County Judge Nasal resigns; attorneys can apply for vacancy: Dayton Daily News
Judge Gary Nasal of Miami County Municipal Court resigned effective March 31. All attorneys in the county will be notified of the vacancy. Applications will be taken and reviewed by a local committee, whose members will make a recommendation to the governor’s office for appointment.

One-time mayoral candidate appears in court:
Joshua Hayes, a former candidate for mayor in Lima, on Friday admitted that marijuana found inside a Breese Road residence in June of 2022 belonged to him. He declined to say the same about psilocybin mushrooms also discovered in the home.

Norfolk Southern settles class action lawsuit related to fiery East Palestine derailment in Ohio for $600 million: Associated Press
Norfolk Southern settles class action lawsuit related to fiery East Palestine derailment in Ohio for $600 million.

One year of Ohio’s new Distracted Driving Law: Mahoning Matters
Date shows that Ohio’s strengthened distracted driving law, which went into effect a year ago, has had a positive impact on roadways.

Willoughby, Medina men accused of getting $4.2 million in fraudulent coronavirus relief funds:
Two area men created a slew of fake businesses to get $4.2 million in fraudulent government funds meant to help small businesses and employees survive the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal prosecutors.


April 8, 2024

‘I do not feel safe’: State reps. Forhan, Brent meet in court hearing over restraining order:
State Rep. Juanita Brent teared up on the witness stand Friday as she described how months of erratic behavior from embattled Rep. Elliot Forhan led to her filing for a civil protection order against him last November.

Discriminatory and unenforceable: Judge strikes down Dover Chemical electricity surcharge: Times Reporter
Common Pleas Judge Elizabeth Lehigh Thomakos has ruled that a surcharge the city of Dover put on electricity it sold to Dover Chemical Corp. violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and is discriminatory and unenforceable.

Judge sentences Youngstown man for rape of a 4-year-old: The Vindicator
A man convicted of sexually assaulting a relative when she was 4 years old received his prison sentence Friday.

Mansfield man pleads guilty to 250 counts related to child pornography: Mansfield News Journal
A 59-year-old Mansfield man pleaded guilty Friday to 250 counts of pandering obscenity.

Man pleads guilty to charges involving altercation with Ravenna police officers last summer: See video from the incident: WKYC
Court records from Portage County show 33-year-old Matthew Ziegler has pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated robbery and assault of a peace officer connected to an incident that happened last July in Ravenna.

University of Akron did not discriminate against two professors during layoffs, judge rules:
Two University of Akron professors were not discriminated against during widespread layoffs at the school amid the coronavirus pandemic, a judge ruled.

Assistant Lucas County prosecutor named Perrysburg Municipal Court prosecutor: Toledo Blade
Perrysburg Municipal Court has a new prosecutor.