Thursday, May 25, 2000

Tristate Digest

Woman convicted in death of pedestrian


        A North College Hill woman was convicted Wednesday of aggravated vehicular homicide in the death of a former radio news director.

        Elizabeth Pease, 22, will face up to five years in prison when she returns to Hamilton County Common Pleas Court for sentencing June 21.

        A jury found her guilty of losing control of her car on the morning of Nov. 21 and slamming into Doug Doench, former news director at WUBE-FM (105.1).

        Mr. Doench, 57, known on radio as Doug Anthony was walking to get the morning newspaper at a store near his home in Groesbeck.

        Prosecutors say the car swerved off West Galbraith Road and struck Mr. Doench on the sidewalk.

        Prosecutors say Ms. Pease had traces of marijuana and cocaine in her system at the time.

        They also have said Ms. Pease is an epileptic who failed to take her medication the day of the crash.

Man indicted in August slaying
        A Hamilton County grand jury indicted a College Hill man Wednesday in a murder case that had remained unsolved for nine months.

        Keith Harris, 30, of 5509 Bel mont Ave. is charged with one count of murder.

        Prosecutors say he beat Kerwin Banks to death and left him for dead inside Mr. Banks' Clifton apartment.

        Mr. Banks was struck several times in the head with a blunt object, possibly a hammer.

        Although the beating occurred Aug. 25, police did not focus their investigation on Mr. Harris until recently.

        He already is in jail on an unrelated burglary charge.

        Prosecutors say police found a fingerprint from Mr. Harris in Mr. Banks' apartment and have a statement from a witness who implicates Mr. Harris in the crime.

        If he is convicted, Mr. Harris could be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

16-40 years in prison for a 1990 killing
        Richard Jones Jr. will spend up to 40 years in prison for stabbing a woman to death 10 years ago in Cincinnati.

        Mr. Jones, 41, fled Cincinnati after the stabbing and spent nearly eight years in California before authorities tracked him down in 1998.

        He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter last month in the death of Rochelle Hardy.

        Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Mark Schweikert sentenced Mr. Jones on Wednesday to 16-40 years in prison.

        Prosecutors say Mr. Jones was fighting with his girlfriend when Ms. Hardy, a mutual friend, intervened by striking him in the face with a hammer.

        They say he then stabbed Ms. Hardy and fled the city.

        But Ms. Hardy had struck Mr. Jones so hard she knocked out a tooth.

        The tooth and blood were later used to link Mr. Jones to the homicide.

Judge frees city to pursue gun lawsuit
        A judge will not stop the city of Cincinnati from pursuing its lawsuit against gun manufacturers.

        After a hearing in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Judge Norbert Nadel rejected Councilman Charlie Winburn's request to bar the city from spending any more money on the lawsuit.

        Mr. Winburn claims the lawsuit is unconstitutional because it seeks to punish gunmakers for producing a legal product.

        He also argues the lawsuit is a waste of money because another judge already has thrown it out of court.

        City officials, however, are appealing that ruling and say their decision to pursue the lawsuit is a policy decision that is allowed under Ohio law.

        City Council has set aside $100,000 to cover the cost of the legal battle.

        Mr. Winburn sought to block spending of that money.

        Judge Nadel said it would not be proper for him to restrict the city's right to participate in a lawsuit.

        He did, however, agree to hear more arguments about the case Aug. 18.

Toll-free number to recruit police
        Cincinnati police have a new tool for recruiting potential officers.

        A toll-free phone number — (877) 852-7641) — rings into the police academy. Division officials are trying new ideas to attract more qualified applicants, said Sgt. Tom Waller, commander of the recruiting unit. Like most cities, Cincinnati is experiencing decreases in the numbers of people who apply to be recruits.

        The number is posted on the division's Web site, It also will be used in future out-of-town advertising, Sgt. Waller said.


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- Tristate Digest
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