Tuesday, November 06, 2001

Friends of dead girl charged

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Two friends of Jessica Calloway were charged Monday with failing to report the 14-year-old Franklin girl's death after allegedly seeing her struck and killed crossing Interstate 75 on Oct. 20.

        They are among nine people who now face charges in the aftermath of a teen-age drinking party on Clearcreek-Franklin Road that sent Jessica and her friends scrambling when Springboro police raided it, investigators said.

        “Springboro has received some criticism in the past because of zero tolerance for juvenile drinking,” said Springboro Detective Tim Parker, who investigated the case along with the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Lebanon post. “This is why we take this crime seriously — because it does have consequences that we can't even fathom.”

        Police said the teens, 16 and 17, were with Jessica on I-75. They also are charged with unruliness and with obstructing official business for allegedly lying to state troopers.

        In addition, Jimmy Yarber, a 21-year-old Middletown man accused of purchasing the alcohol for the party, and Chris Prater, 19, of Mason, who is accused of taking it to the party, were charged Monday with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and furnishing alcohol to an underage person. Mr. Prater faces an additional count of underage consumption. Mr. Yarber did not attend the party, Detective Parker said.

        Five teens who were in the apartment when police arrived at1:09 a.m. Oct. 20 were charged with underaged drinking soon after the raid. Police said two more arrests are likely.

        Detective Parker said Jessica, a Franklin High School freshman, and her friends ran from the party as police arrived. They hid for hours before heading back across the interstate to Franklin at 3:45 a.m. The trio successfully crossed the northbound lanes near Ohio 73, but Jessi ca was struck in the southbound lanes.

        “The two juveniles witnessed it and left. This girl was unidentified for a day, and they knew who she was. They were afraid, and they took off,” Detective Parker said.

        The driver will not be charged in Jessica's death, highway patrol officials said.

        Witnesses told police Jessica was drinking that night, but authorities won't know how much she consumed until toxicology results are completed by the Montgomery County Coroner's Office.

        Jessica's mother, Tina Calloway, who was working and staying in Loveland for the weekend, identified her daughter Oct. 21 from morgue pictures after hearing that an unidentified girl had been killed.

        Jessica had told her mother she was spending the night with a friend. Apparently, so had the others, Detective Parker said.

        “All the kids that attended the party were supposed to be somewhere else, and obviously their parents didn't know they were attending this party,” he said.


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