Friday, April 09, 1999

Man accused of shooting wife had previous trouble

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BATAVIA — Aaron Twitt had his bond continued at $1 million at arraignment Thursday in Clermont County Municipal Court. He is accused of shooting his former wife, Dawn, with a shotgun Tuesday afternoon.

        Mr. Twitt is charged with felony assault and remains in the Clermont County jail. His case will be turned over to the Clermont County grand jury to determine whether additional, or more serious, charges are warranted.

        Meanwhile, county sheriff's investigators continued to look into the 27-year-old Salinas, Calif., man's past and have discovered he was given jail time in California for shooting a crossbow at his former spouse, officials said.

        Mr. Twitt has refused to answer questions posed by investigators or attorneys representing the county public de fender's office, said Clermont County Sgt. Robert Evans.

        Ms. Twitt, 27, remained in fair condition at Clermont Mercy Hospital Thursday with a wound in the upper back. Mr. Twitt shot his former spouse with birdshot after blocking her car at Friend's Ashland gas station on U.S. 50 in Owensville, deputies said. He walked up to Ms. Twitt's car and fired through the driver-side window, deputies said. The couple's daughter, 8, and Ms. Twitt's 2-week-old daughter were in the back seat of the car.

        “It is not a serious wound. (Doctors) are going to leave ... (the birdshot) where it is. It does not involve major mus cles,” Sgt. Evans said.

        Mr. Twitt fled the shooting scene in his pickup truck. He was arrested Wednesday at the Eastgate Holiday Inn, on Ohio 32 east of Interstate 275, where he was registered.

        According to court and arrest documents provided by the Californian, Salinas' newspaper, Mr. Twittpleaded no contest to a charge of exhibiting a deadly weapon in the crossbow incident, which occurred in May 1997.

        He was sentenced in Monterey County Municipal Court in July 1997 to 31 days in the county jail, placed on three years probation and fined $500.

        According to police reports, Mr. Twitt fired the crossbow into a bush as he stood about 2 feet from his ex-wife at fountain near a shopping center in Prunedale, Calif.

        Other charges related to the incident — assault with a deadly weapon, threatening to commit a crime with intent to terrorize and inflicting corporal injury on a spouse — were dismissed, according to court records.

        Also, Mr. Twitt is scheduled to appear May 14 in Monterey County Court after entering a guilty plea to a recent felony marijuana possession charge, court records show.

        Sgt. Evans said Mr. Twitt arrived in Clermont County on Easter after his ex-wife had agreed to allow him to visit their 8-year-old daughter.

        “All parties agreed to the visit,” Sgt. Evans said. “What triggered him to go off after that, we do not know.”

        California records show the Twitts lived in Helena, Mont., prior to moving to California and were divorced in Helena in October or November 1996. Ms. Twitt told California police after the crossbow incident that her ex-husband was arrested in Montana shortly after the divorce for pointing a loaded shotgun at her.

        Mrs. Twitt, who is from Clermont County, returned here about a year ago and lives in Owensville, officials said.


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