Ohio News Briefs


Hunters check nearly 73K deer in weeklong hunting season

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say hunters checked nearly 73,000 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s weeklong deer-gun hunting season.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says 72,814 deer were checked last week. Hunters last year checked more than 66,700 deer over the weeklong period.

Hunters will have two more days of deer-gun season on Dec. 16 and Dec. 17.

The department says Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication says hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio.

Village’s ex-mayor gets month in jail for theft in office

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The former mayor of a central Ohio village has been sentenced to a month in jail for theft in office.

Former Mount Sterling Mayor Charles Neff also was sentenced Monday to three years of probation and was ordered to pay nearly $10,000 in restitution.

The state auditor says Neff approved excessive payouts for employee sick time and vacation pay that weren’t allowed or earned. Authorities also say Neff failed to credit 25 percent of village income tax revenue to the village’s capital improvement fund as locally required.

Neff was also convicted of falsification and dereliction of duty.

A defense attorney has said that Neff maintains his innocence and was manipulated by another administrator now imprisoned for stealing village funds.

Mount Sterling is about 24 miles (39 kilometers) southwest of Columbus.

Police: Fugitive fired at officers during high-speed chase

WOOSTER, Ohio (AP) — Police are searching for a fugitive suspected of shooting at Ohio officers during a high-speed chase.

Authorities allege that James Schmidt, who’s known as Bubba, fired at Wooster police and Wayne County sheriff’s deputies Tuesday morning. They say several police vehicles were hit. No one was seriously hurt.

Police say the Orrville man was spotted at a Wal-Mart around 1:30 a.m. and fled in a vehicle with a woman when authorities tried to stop him. An officer tells the Akron Beacon Journal that the woman may have been an “unwilling participant.”

Investigators allege Schmidt later crashed in a field and fled, then broke into a home and escaped in a stolen gray SUV. Police are looking for that vehicle.

Police say Schmidt is wanted on warrants for crimes including assault.

Man dies by stray bullet from shooting that also killed teen

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in central Ohio say gunfire aimed at an SUV full of teenagers killed one teen along with a man in a nearby home who was likely hit by a stray bullet as he slept.

Columbus police say officers found 33-year-old Severen Clayborn after noticing bullet holes in the home behind where two people opened fire on the vehicle Monday morning. Investigators say the attackers, who fled, used high-powered firearms in the shooting on the city’s west side.

The younger victim, 17-year-old Quentin William Smith, was found in an alley and died at a hospital. A Columbus schools spokesman says Smith was a sophomore at West High School.

Police say they questioned two teenage witnesses who were in the SUV and are searching for another teen who was with them.

Union says police used reasonable force on suspect now suing

EUCLID, Ohio (AP) — A police union in suburban Cleveland says a white officer accused of kicking a black man in the face and kneeing him in the groin used reasonable force to control the man when he resisted arrest and wounded an officer.

Erimius Spencer alleges he was mistreated last December in Euclid (YOO’-klihd) after an officer found marijuana on him. He’s suing the city and two officers.

One is Michael Amiott, who in October was fired for using excessive force in another case after video showed him repeatedly punching a black man during a traffic stop.

A statement from the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge says that physical force is sometimes necessary to control uncooperative suspects and that in Spencer’s case, Amiott and the other officer acted reasonably.

Spencer denies resisting.

Man pleads guilty, gets life in prison for 2 shooting deaths

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — The suspect in a drive-by shooting that killed two men in southwestern Ohio has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder to avoid a potential death sentence.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports 24-year-old Tony Patete, of Newark, was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole.

He was accused in the August 2016 shooting deaths of Hamilton residents Orlando Gilbert and Todd Berus, both 25.

Patete didn’t make a statement in court Monday but did turn to face Gilbert’s relatives when one asked him to look toward them to see people whose lives had been affected by his actions.

A woman who was driving with Patete as her passenger when the shooting occurred pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and has agreed to a sentence of 30 years to life in prison.

Officer accused of paying women for sex gets probation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio police officer has been sentenced to two years of probation after three women alleged he paid them for sex while on duty.

The Columbus Dispatch reports 46-year-old Randy Mayhew pleaded guilty Monday to dereliction of duty. According to court records, the women claimed they met Mayhew in 2015.

One woman said he picked her up in his police cruiser in October 2015, and court records show he didn’t arrest her even though she had two active arrest warrants.

Mayhew, who serves for the Columbus Division of Police, was placed on restricted duty during the investigation.

The newspaper reports Mayhew was one of three officers investigated for similar acts in 2015. One was not criminally charged, and the other pleaded no contest to solicitation.

Republican Sandra O’Brien announces run for state treasurer

CLEVELAND (AP) — Republican Sandra O’Brien is mounting a repeat run for Ohio state treasurer 11 years after defeating an incumbent treasurer in her party’s primary and losing to Democrat Richard Cordray in the general election.

O’Brien announced her intention to run again in an email to members of the Ohio GOP Central Committee. Cleveland.com reports her entrance into the race will not be official until she files paperwork with the state.

O’Brien will be competing against state Rep. Robert Sprague from Findlay in the primary. The winner of the GOP primary will go on to face Democrat Rob Richardson, an attorney from Cincinnati, in the general election.

Man charged in shooting death of Salvation Army worker

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Cleveland man accused of fatally shooting a Salvation Army worker who was going out to collect money at one of the charity’s kettles is being held on a $5 million bond.

Police say the shooting happened Saturday as 21-year-old Jared Plesec was leaving the lobby of his apartment complex and wearing his full Salvation Army uniform. A spokesman for the charity says Plesec died with a Bible in his hands.

Prosecutors have charged 27-year-old William Jones with aggravated murder. He appeared in court Monday.

Investigators say Jones ran away after the shooting and stole four cars before police surrounded and arrested him. Police say he shot a woman in the leg during one of the carjackings.

Court records don’t indicate whether Jones has an attorney.

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