Ohio News Briefs

Awards taken from museum where gold lunar module was stolen

WAPAKONETA, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio police chief says a rare, solid-gold replica of the lunar space module wasn’t the only item stolen from the Armstrong Air and Space Museum over the weekend.

Wapakoneta Chief Russel Hunlock says award medals and presentation coins also disappeared from the same museum display case in late astronaut Neil Armstrong’s hometown.

Police responded to an alarm late Friday and discovered someone took the gold replica, which is less than a foot high. Hunlock says evidence indicates multiple people were involved.

A retired NASA agent who previously helped recover valuable stolen moon rocks has said he suspects the thief in this case intends to melt down the replica for the value of the gold rather than trying to sell the collectible.

The FBI is helping with the investigation.

Ex-convention head in Ohio pleads to child porn counts

HILLSBORO, Ohio (AP) — A former convention bureau director in southwest Ohio has pleaded guilty to two child pornography charges.

Federal court records show that Robert Lambert appeared Monday before U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott to change his plea from not guilty. Terms of a plea agreement weren’t made public immediately. His trial had been set to begin Aug. 7.

He was indicted on four federal charges after his arrest last year in Hillsboro on charges involving sexual material depicting minors.

Dlott allowed Lambert to remain free during presentencing investigation with conditions such as not contacting witnesses. Attorney William Butler said Monday it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment, pending sentencing.

Lambert was fired from the Highland County Convention and Visitors Bureau last year. Hillsboro is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Cincinnati.

Police: Woman jogger killed in suspected hit-and-run in Ohio

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Police say a woman jogger was killed in a suspected hit-and-run in central Ohio.

Westerville police say they received a call around 9:45 a.m. Monday about a body spotted near a road in the Columbus suburb.

Authorities say the body of 66-year-old Linda J. Evans was found in the bushes, a few feet from the road. Police believe the Columbus woman was running when she was struck.

Police also say they arrested a man on a charge of operating a vehicle under the influence. Police Chief Joe Morbitzer says the man is a person of interest in the woman’s death.

Police located the suspected vehicle involved in the hit-and-run outside an office building. They say the vehicle was registered under the name of the man arrested on the OVI charge.

Ohioan gets 17 years in prison for shootout that killed boy

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges in a shootout that killed a 1-year-old boy has been sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Montgomery County’s prosecutor says 27-year-old Isaiah Smith was sentenced Monday for his part in the January 2016 shootout in Dayton that killed Elijah Johnson and injured a woman. The Dayton man also pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and weapons charges, while three other charges were dropped.

Attorney Jay Carter said Smith wanted to accept responsibility and that the plea agreement was the “best route to go.”

Prosecutors say Smith and co-defendant Shawn Smith Jr. both fired guns in the shootout.

Shawn Smith Jr. was convicted earlier of murder and other charges. He was sentenced to 37 years to life in prison.

Ohio ex-cop who killed unarmed black man seeks reinstatement

CINCINNATI (AP) — The union representing a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist is moving forward with a grievance seeking his reinstatement with University of Cincinnati police after two mistrials in his criminal case.

It also seeks back pay for 27-year-old Ray Tensing and alleges he was improperly fired in July 2015 after killing 43-year-old Sam DuBose during a traffic stop. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the grievance was on hold for two years as Tensing faced murder charges.

A prosecutor recently declined to pursue a third trial. Federal authorities are reviewing whether there might have been civil rights offenses warranting prosecution.

Tensing says he feared he’d be dragged or hit as DuBose drove away.

A spokesman for the university has said it doesn’t intend to reverse Tensing’s firing.