Thursday, September 28, 2000

Events leading to fatal shots detailed in court

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A police detective said in court Wednesday that Coby Chavis told him he shot a man who had chased him with a stick because he feared for his safety.

        After initially escaping two men chasing him down Main Street in Hamilton, Mr. Chavis went to his nearby apartment and returned with a shotgun, Detective Dave Collins said.

        “He said he heard yelling and screaming and someone was coming at him,” he testified at a preliminary hearing in Hamilton Municipal Court. “He fired one shot, but didn't think he hit him. He fired another shot, and the man bent over at the waist. As (Mr. Chavis) ran from the scene, he pumped off two more rounds.”

        One shot blasted off part of Alden Little's face, he said. Mr. Little, 37, of Hamilton, was pronounced dead at the scene.

        Mr. Chavis, 30, is charged with aggravated murder. Judge John Rosmarin ruled there was enough evidence to send the case to a Butler County grand jury.

        Mr. Chavis is being held without bond at the Butler County Jail.

        Detective Collins said Mr. Chavis at first denied being involved in the shooting of Mr. Little.

        But after about 45 minutes of questioning, he said, he gave this account of the incident:

        Mr. Chavis, his girlfriend and a male friend were walking in the 300 block of Main Street when two men on a porch made insult ing remarks to his girlfriend.

        The men argued. Wielding 4-foot-long sticks, the men on the porch ran after Mr. Chavis, his friend and his girlfriend.

        Mr. Chavis became separated from his two companions and returned to his apartment in the 500 block of Main Street.

        He went back to the scene with a shotgun because he thought his girlfriend and friend might be in danger.

        When a man came toward him, he fired his shotgun.

        Under cross-examination by Mr. Chavis' attorney, Greg Howard, Detective Little said he read Mr. Chavis a Miranda warning, which informed him of his rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present.

        He said Mr. Chavis confessed to the shooting after being told that police talked to people who saw him fire the shots.

        “He realized I knew more about the case than he originally thought,” Detective Little said.

        Judge Rosmarin also sent a separate felonious assault case against Mr. Chavis to the grand jury.

        Four days before Mr. Little was shot, Rufino Garcia of Hamilton was stabbed twice in the back in a Hamilton bar called the Right Spot.

        Mr. Garcia testified that he tried to stop several men from hitting his friend at the bar. He said after he was stabbed, he saw Mr. Chavis waving a knife.

        He said he didn't see Mr. Chavis stab him. He said he didn't tell police who were called to the bar that he had been stabbed.


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