Ohio News Briefs

Man convicted of killing teen girl he recruited to rob bank

CLEVELAND (AP) — A Cleveland man has been found guilty of aggravated murder for killing his former 17-year-old girlfriend who he recruited to rob a bank

Prosecutors say a co-defendant and fellow gang member told Kiechaun Newell to kill the girl to silence her.

Cleveland.com reports a jury on Wednesday convicted Newell in the August 2016 shooting of Breanna Fluitt.

A prosecutor told jurors that Newell was afraid his former girlfriend would rat him and his accomplice out after surveillance photos of the bank robbery were made public.

Newell’s mother, sister and three 15-year-old boys who prosecutors say were with Newell when Fluitt was killed testified against him at trial. His mother contacted police after learning that Newell had bragged about the slaying.

Messages seeking comment were left with Newell’s attorney.

Ohio launches anti-opioid ad campaign to reduce prescribing

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio has launched its latest ad campaign targeting the state’s deadly opioid epidemic.

The $1 million “Take Charge Ohio” public awareness campaign targets prescribers, their patients and the public.

The campaign announced Thursday includes TV, radio, newspaper and online ads. There also will be billboards, social media postings and targeted emails. The funding comes from a federal grant.

One ad aimed at doctors says: “Before prescribing medication, discuss other ways to manage pain with your patient.”

The campaign is one of several in Ohio, which last year saw 4,050 overdose deaths. Many were linked to heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Ohio launched a $200,000 campaign last year urging drug users’ relatives and friends and the public to know the signs of an overdose and obtain an antidote.

Police: Man flees court at sentencing, crashes car

WADSWORTH, Ohio (AP) — Police say a man being sentenced in a road rage case walked out of an Ohio courtroom, jumped in a car and led police on a chase before crashing into an SUV.

Authorities say a couple and their baby were hurt in the crash near Akron along with the 19-year-old suspect. The injuries weren’t serious.

Police say Cyrus Matthews of Cleveland had just been sentenced to spend 60 days in jail when he looked around the courtroom and quickly walked out Wednesday.

Matthews wasn’t handcuffed and there were no police in courtroom. A bailiff gave chase and the judge yelled for Matthews to come back.

Police say he then jumped into a car outside the court and took off.

Court records don’t say whether Matthews has an attorney.

Police: Man pulls gun in Ohio after failing to get McMuffin

WARREN, Ohio (AP) — Police in northeast Ohio say they’re looking for a man who pulled out a gun after being told by a McDonald’s drive-thru worker there were no Egg McMuffin sandwiches available.

Police say the incident occurred shortly after 3:30 a.m. Wednesday at a McDonald’s in Warren, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southeast of Cleveland.

The worker told police that two men inside the car appeared to be around 20 years old. She said the driver called her a vulgar name after pulling out the gun and then cursed at her again before driving away.

Warren police hope to identify the men using surveillance video footage.

Receiver seeks sale of $30 million in gold from shipwreck

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A court-appointed receiver is asking an Ohio judge to approve the sale of $30 million in gold recovered from a shipwreck off the Carolina coast to pay off claims from creditors and investors.

The Dispatch reports receiver Ira Kane filed the motion Oct. 24 for the sale of gold dust, coins and bullion recovered in 2014 from the SS Central America.

The gold is not the same haul from the 1988 dive by treasure hunter Thomas “Tommy” Thompson. He has been jailed since December 2015 on contempt after refusing to answer questions about 500 missing gold coins.

Kane’s attorney says if the sale is approved, it would be the first time since the original dive that investors could get some of their money back.

Firefighter loses leg after being hit by car

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — Ohio police say a firefighter has lost one of his legs to amputation after he was hit by a car while working a crash scene.

Highway patrolman Sgt. Jason Cadle says the firefighter was at the scene of a two-vehicle crash in Springfield Wednesday night when he was hit.

Cadle says the man was pinned between one of the vehicles involved in the first crash and a third vehicle that drove through the accident scene. The firefighter has been taken to Miami Valley Hospital where he was last listed in critical condition.

Cadle says the two people involved in the first accident were hospitalized with minor injuries. He says the third driver was not hurt.

An investigation continues.

Ohio State creates center to study impact of war on drugs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State University has announced the creation of a center to study the societal impacts of the country’s drug war.

The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center is being established with a $4.5 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation.

The center is based in the Ohio State law school and will tap experts from across the university, including the College of Social Work and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

The university says the center will examine changes to law that prohibit or regulate the use and distribution of illegal drugs.

Ohio State law professor Douglas Berman will be the executive director.