Ohio News Briefs


Mayor accused of abusing power said wait for verdict scary

HILLSBORO, Ohio (AP) — A veteran standup comedian acquitted of all charges against him after he was accused of abusing his power as mayor of a small Ohio city says waiting for the verdict was “very scary.”

A Highland County jury on Wednesday found Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings not guilty of a charge of election falsification concerning his residency and of a charge stemming from alleged misuse of city trash bins. A judge threw out two other felony counts.

The Times-Gazette reports Hastings said after his acquittal that the short reading of the verdict was almost “anticlimactic” compared with the stress he and his family went through for a year.

The investigation of Hastings, who has appeared on late-night television shows, began shortly after the Republican’s re-election to a second term last November.

Activists in Ohio protest presidential election results

CLEVELAND (AP) — Several dozen activists rallied in downtown Cleveland to protest Donald Trump’s election as the next U.S. president.

The small rally of less than 100 people on Cleveland’s Public Square on Wednesday included individuals concerned with LGBT rights, reproductive rights and environmentalism, among other issues. The demonstrators took turns using a megaphone to air their views about the election results and their dislike of Trump.

No violence was reported in the rally that lasted about an hour before some protesters began marching through the city, chanting anti-Trump messages. Activists ended their march back at Cleveland State University’s campus.

The Cleveland protest was small compared with demonstrations taking place nationwide Wednesday in cities like Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C.

Local veteran services agency ex-chief gets prison for theft

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A former veterans services director accused of stealing thousands of dollars from her county agency in Ohio has been sentenced to three years in prison on charges including theft in office.

Prosecutors say Rebecca Lee was ordered to pay over $19,000 in restitution to the Pickaway County Veterans’ Service Commission.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the 52-year-old Lee spoke briefly in court Wednesday to deny allegations that she had an attitude of entitlement and said she’s been humbled.

Besides the financial matters, Lee was accused of stealing an historic World War II flag donated by a local veteran who’d been imprisoned a prisoner at a camp in Poland. The flag featuring a swastika was signed by other soldiers after their liberation.

Authorities suspect Lee sold the flag. It’s still missing.

Mom sentenced in beating death of 8-month-old daughter

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A central Ohio woman has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars in the beating death of her 8-month-old daughter.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 21-year-old Evette Taylor of Columbus pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter under a plea deal. She was sentenced Wednesday. Taylor declined to make a statement in court.

A message seeking comment was left for her attorney on Thursday.

Prosecutors say Adriana Barker wasn’t breathing in February 2015 when Taylor called police. She died at a hospital. Prosecutors say the baby suffered broken ribs, a lacerated liver and bruised internal organs.

An autopsy determined she was injured while in the care of Taylor and her boyfriend.

Taylor’s boyfriend has pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering and is scheduled for trial next month.

Man gets 23 years to life in slaying outside gas station

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison with the parole possibly after 23 years stemming from a deadly 2015 shooting outside a central Ohio gas station that was recorded on surveillance video.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 26-year-old Pierre Darty pleaded guilty under a plea deal on Wednesday to aggravated murder with a gun specification.

Authorities say 20-year-old Maxx McDaniel was shot outside the service window of a gas station in Columbus in August 2015.

Surveillance video shows Darty and two women walk up to the station. Darty can be seen shooting McDaniel in the back of the head following a brief exchange. The two didn’t know each other.

Defense attorney Robert Krapenc says the mother of his client encouraged him to plead guilty. Darty apologized in court.