Ohio News Briefs


Ohio unemployment rate rises to 5.1 percent, above US rate

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohio’s unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent in February, slightly higher than the 5 percent reported for January and for February 2016.

Ohio’s rate was a bit higher than the national rate, which dropped from 4.8 percent in January to 4.7 percent last month.

The state Department of Job and Family Services says Ohio’s nonagricultural employment increased by 15,200 in February.

The sectors that saw job gains included construction, leisure and hospitality, and educational and health services. Job losses were reported in state government, financial activities and mining and logging.

Panel tasked with addressing problems at southwest Ohio jail

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A retired rabbi and a university official will lead an independent committee created to address problems at an Ohio jail that’s facing lawsuits over treatment of inmates.

Dayton officials have announced the names of nine individuals who will oversee and address issues at Montgomery County’s jail in Dayton. The group will suggest policies and resources to the sheriff and the Montgomery County Commission.

The county commission has said there are seven civil cases pending over alleged misconduct or civil rights violations at the jail and has asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate.

Sheriff Phil Plummer has defended jail workers, saying they do an excellent job of managing a “difficult population” that includes murderers, rapists and other criminals.

Ohio woman sentenced in murder-for-hire plot

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman accused of arranging to have her estranged husband killed has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Forty-two-year-old Shelly Carter was sentenced Thursday in southwestern Ohio. The Middletown woman earlier pleaded guilty to attempted conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

Middletown police say Carter feared losing her home and custody of her children when she arranged in 2016 to have her husband killed. They say she paid a man $500 to kill him in a car crash and promised another $500 and an SUV when the job was finished.

Investigators say the man contacted police. Carter’s husband wasn’t hurt.

A Middletown couple accused of arranging Carter’s meeting with the would-be hit man had pleaded guilty to the same charge. They each were sentenced to six years in prison.

Man charged in slaying of Ohio mother found dead in car

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A man has been indicted on charges including aggravated murder in the slaying of a woman found fatally shot in a car with her unharmed 6-month-old daughter in southwestern Ohio.

Montgomery County’s prosecutor said in a statement Thursday that 35-year-old Brandon Carr also has been indicted on charges of murder, kidnapping and felonious assault, among other counts, in last year’s slaying of 29-year-old Brittany Russell.

The Middletown woman’s body was found inside her car in the parking lot of a Dayton apartment complex on Feb. 10, 2016. Her infant daughter was found unharmed, strapped in her car seat with the car and its heater running.

Carr is being held in jail on $1 million bond.

A message seeking comment on his behalf was left at his attorney’s office.

Ohio paying 2 men declared wrongfully imprisoned $1.45M each

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio has agreed to pay about $1.45 million each to two men declared wrongfully imprisoned for more than 16 years in a woman’s 1988 slaying.

The Ohio Court of Claims announced Thursday that it has approved a settlement between the state, Robert Gondor and Randy Resh. The men were 24 years old when a man who pleaded guilty in the murder of 31-year-old Connie Nardi in Portage County implicated them as accomplices.

Both were convicted, but continued to argue their innocence. Resh was acquitted in a retrial and charges were dropped against Gondor. They were freed in 2007.

A 2014 civil case ruling affirmed by an appeals court found both men were wrongfully imprisoned.

An attorney for Resh and Gondor said Thursday that they are moving forward with their lives.

Ohio house fire kills teen, mom, grandma; dad hospitalized

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Officials say a house fire in central Ohio killed a 16-year-old girl, her mother and her grandmother, and the teen’s father was hospitalized in serious condition.

Firefighters were called to the home on the west side of Columbus early Friday morning.

WCMH-TV reports firefighters pulled out three people — two through bedroom windows, and one through a door. A fourth person escaped the home without firefighters’ help.

There was no immediate word on what started the fire.

Emergency responders didn’t immediately release the victims’ names.

3rd Ohio ex-inmate freed after 20 years sues prosecutors

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio man who spent 20 years in prison before his murder conviction was overturned is suing prosecutors and East Cleveland detectives.

Cleveland.com reports the federal lawsuit seeking unspecified damages for 39-year-old Eugene Johnson is separate from one filed last month by two other men imprisoned in the same 1995 slaying. Both suits allege detectives manipulated a witness used against the defendants.

Johnson, Laurese Glover and Derrick Wheatt denied killing 19-year-old Clifton Hudson. They were freed in 2015 after a judge ordered a new trial when attorneys working for the Ohio Innocence Project found that evidence was suppressed in the case.

Prosecutors say they don’t intend to re-try the men, and they’ve generally denied the allegations in the first lawsuit. East Cleveland officials asked for it to be dismissed.