Ohio News Briefs


Ohio Supreme Court puts ruling on rapist’s sentence on hold

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has put on hold its decision overturning a convicted rapist’s 112-year prison sentence.

In a 5-2 ruling Wednesday, the court agreed with a prosecutor’s request to delay the case while an appeal is made to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Mahoning (muh-HOH’-ning) County Prosecutor’s Office wants the high court to take up the case of the 2008 sentence given to Brandon Moore for crimes committed when he was 15.

Moore was tried as an adult and convicted by a jury in the 2001 armed kidnapping, robbery and gang rape of a 22-year-old Youngstown State University student.

The Ohio Supreme Court overturned the sentence in December, saying it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Ohio panel suggests changes in system for bail release

CLEVELAND (AP) — A state panel is recommending changes to Ohio court practices that keep defendants in jail because they can’t afford bail.

A special committee of the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission wants the state to create a system that determines release based on a defendant’s likelihood of committing new crimes or skipping hearings.

The commission says release shouldn’t depend on defendants’ ability to pay for their freedom.

Cleveland.com (http://bit.ly/2mIW4EX ) reports the committee plans to present its recommendations to the Sentencing Commission on Thursday. The commission is expected to vote on the proposal in June.

A committee report says the reality is defendants with money can buy their freedom regardless of any danger they present to the community. The report says poor defendants, meanwhile, remain in jail before trial.

70-pound popcorn ball, valued at $700, stolen from Ohio shop

CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio (AP) — It’s a new twist on sticky fingers: Police say someone swiped a 70-pound popcorn ball worth hundreds of dollars from a suburban Cleveland shop where it was being auctioned.

The oversized snack dyed red, white and blue was taken from outside the Chagrin Falls Popcorn Shop over the weekend, and police have asked area residents to keep an eye out for it.

Shop owner Dewey Forward tells Cleveland.com the popcorn ball can be returned with no questions asked and no charges filed, but it hasn’t turned up so far.

It was created for a New Year’s Eve popcorn ball drop and was being auctioned this week, with the proceeds slated to go toward renovations of a town hall. It’s valued at $700.

Video shows man pepper-sprayed, hit by officer at hospital

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Three security officers are suspended after video shared on Facebook showed a man being pepper-sprayed, hit with a baton and forced to the ground outside an Ohio hospital.

A spokesman says OhioHealth Grant Medical Center near downtown Columbus is investigating the Monday altercation.

Thirty-eight-year-old Shelton Adams was jailed on a disorderly conduct charge and pleaded not guilty. The Columbus Dispatch reports authorities say he’d been asked to leave the hospital after trying to punch security officers.

The video shows him stepping toward officers, then being shoved by one. Adams flicks a cigarette at that officer, who pepper-sprays him and hits him with a baton.

A witness in a nearby vehicle says she recorded it because she saw security personnel following Adams.

Ohio’s 20-week abortion ban in effect, unchallenged in court

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new law banning abortions after 20 weeks of gestation has taken effect in Ohio as anti-abortion activists plan further efforts aimed at curbing abortion access in the state.

Abortion rights advocates have criticized the law as a barrier for women seeking safe medical care but haven’t challenged it in court.

The 20-week ban is based on the assertion that fetuses can feel pain then, which opponents characterize as scientifically unsound.

Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) signed the law in December, and it took effect Tuesday. Kasich vetoed stricter provisions in a separate measure that would have barred the procedure at the first detectable fetal heartbeat.

The Dayton Daily News reports Ohio has enacted 18 abortion restrictions since Kasich became governor in 2011, and Ohio abortions have steadily declined since 2000.

Ohio man pleads guilty in bank sexual assault case

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting an employee at a bank.

Police say 32-year-old Billy Dee Anderson visited Columbus’ Chase Tower and asked to rent a safe-deposit box Feb. 19, 2016. Authorities say Anderson then threatened an employee when she refused to give him a hug after setting up the safe in a private room.

Police say Anderson sexually assaulted the woman until she feigned a medical event. Authorities say Anderson left, taking the victim’s keys and phone.

Anderson pleaded guilty to kidnapping and three counts of rape. He faces up to 44 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender for life. Sentencing is scheduled for April 18.

Man charged after daughter eats THC-laced gummy bear

NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Police say a northeast Ohio mas has been charged after his 5-year-old daughter ate a gummy bear laced with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Thirty-four-year-old Nicolas Hall, of North Ridgeville, was charged Tuesday in Elyria (eh-LEER’-ee-uh) Municipal Court with felony child endangering and misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Police say Hall was charged after his daughter was found unresponsive last week and was taken by an emergency crew to a hospital. Medical tests showed she’d been poisoned by THC. Police say the child found the drug-laced gummy bear in a dresser drawer.