Tuesday, August 07, 2001

Man indicted in killing, rape

Hamilton man could get death penalty

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A 31-year-old Hamilton man could get the death penalty if convicted of killing a South Dakota man, kidnapping the man's girlfriend and raping her.

        James R. Sedan Jr. was indicted Monday on two counts of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications, two counts of kidnapping and a count of rape.

        Mr. Sedan remains jailed awaiting further action of the Butler County Com mon Pleas court.

        Authorities allege that on July 26, Mr. Sedan shot Ronald J. Thennis, 20, in the head, dumped his body in the Great Miami River, and raped Mr. Thennis' 17-year-old girlfriend.

        The couple, who lived in South Dakota, had been visiting the girl's relatives in Hamilton and had met Mr. Sedan along the riverbank to socialize the evening before the crimes occurred.

        Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper said he intends to handle the case personally.

        Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the crimes.

        Mr. Sedan, who had recent convictions for disorderly conduct and drug abuse, faces two pending felonious assault charges that were filed in an unrelated case in March.


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