Ohio News Briefs


Ohio health officials recommend some get hepatitis A vaccine

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state health department is recommending that people with certain risk factors receive a hepatitis A vaccine as the number of cases in Ohio has risen.

The Department of Health said Thursday there have been 47 reported cases in Ohio this year, compared with five cases during the same period in 2017.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease typically spread by ingesting even microscopic amounts of fecal matter from objects, food or drinks.

The health department says people most at risk of contracting the disease include those in contact with someone who’s infected with the disease, men who have sex with men, street drug users, and people with blood clotting disorders or chronic liver disease.

High-risk individuals are encouraged to contact doctors or local health offices about receiving the vaccine.

400-pound man pleads guilty to accidentally smothering boy

GEORGETOWN, Ohio (AP) — A 400-pound Ohio man who pinned his 11-year-old step-grandson against the arm of a couch while trying to control the boy with mild autism during a tantrum has pleaded guilty to killing the boy.

Fifty-eight-year-old Donald Martin Jr., of Mount Orab, entered a plea Thursday to a reckless homicide charge in Brown County.

Brown County sheriff’s Sgt. Chad Noble on Friday called Dylan Dylan’s death a “tragic accident.” He says Martin tried to intervene when the 90-pound boy began acting out last November.

Dylan’s grandmother called 911 to report that the boy had passed out after a tantrum. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

A coroner ruled that he died of positional asphyxiation.

Martin’s attorney couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Friday. Sentencing is scheduled for May 8.

4 plead guilty in Coast Guard drug seizure near Galapagos

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Federal prosecutors say four men arrested by the U.S. Coast Guard near the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean while transporting a large shipment of cocaine in a speed boat have pleaded guilty in Ohio’s capital city to drug charges.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Columbus says the men — a Mexican citizen and three Ecuadorian nationals — entered pleas Thursday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of cocaine on a vessel subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Their sentences could range from 10 years to life in prison.

They were arrested in international waters off the Ecuadorian cost in August 2017 with nearly 1,600 pounds (720 kilograms) of cocaine. They were brought to Columbus the following month to be prosecuted.

Ex-Cleveland councilman agrees to plead to ethics charges

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former Cleveland city councilman facing multiple misdemeanor ethics charges for voting on contracts involving a company he had close ties with has agreed to plead to guilty during a court hearing.

Cleveland.com reports an attorney for Joe Cimperman and a lawyer for the Ohio Auditor’s Office outlined a plea bargain Friday in a Cleveland courtroom that would call for a $10,000 fine. Cimperman was charged by information Wednesday with 26 counts of having an unlawful interest in a public contract.

The case has been assigned to a judge who will decide whether to accept the deal.

An investigation by the state Auditor’s Office focused on city contracts and grants made to a company where Cimperman had been a board member and where his wife worked as a project manager.

Authorities confirm ID of body found in Ohio landfill

MOUNT GILEAD, Ohio (AP) — Authorities have confirmed the body found Tuesday at a central Ohio landfill is a 14-year-old boy seen in a surveillance video climbing into a trash bin.

Mount Gilead police said Friday the Lucas County Coroner’s Office hasn’t determined how Skylar Bentley died.

He was seen climbing into the bin at the back of a school in Mount Gilead around 5:15 a.m. Monday and was reported missing by his parents several hours later. They told police they last saw him heading to bed Sunday night.

Video from the surveillance camera shows the container being dumped into a garbage truck Monday morning. The truck later emptied its contents at a Crawford County landfill. His body was found after an extensive search.

Mount Gilead is roughly 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Columbus.

Man gets 44 years in prison for shootout that wounded 2 cops

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A man accused of wounding two police officers during a shootout at a Cleveland-area car dealership has been sentenced to more than 44 years in prison.

Thirty-one-year-old Timmothy Schmidt, of Willoughby Hills, pleaded guilty last month to felonious assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest. A charge of attempted aggravated murder was dropped as part of a plea deal.

Schmidt, who was also injured in the September shootout, has said he was heavily medicated at the time. He told the judge at Thursday’s sentencing that he was “unhealthy and mad at the world.”

Officers had responded to a report of problems involving a customer upset about his bill at a BMW dealership. One officer was shot in the chest and the other in the leg.