Thursday, September 19, 2002

Tristate A.M. Report

Truck wrecks snarl traffic on two roads

        Two separate truck accidents within 30 minutes of each other hampered traffic on two highways Wednesday afternoon.

        There were no injuries in either mishap, but in both cases the trucks ended up on their sides.

        The first accident happened at 12:19 p.m. on northbound Interstate 75 near Tylersville Road in West Chester Township, when a large utility truck blew a tire and went off the left side of the road, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. The truck then rolled over into the median.

        Driver Jerry Laughlin, 37, of Florence, had not been cited as of Wednesday evening, the patrol said.

        Less than 30 minutes later, a semi flipped over at the top of the ramp from northbound Interstate 75 to eastbound Interstate 275 in Sharonville. The driver of that truck, Everett Phillips, 48, of Louisville was cited for failing to maintain reasonable control, Sharonville Police Sgt. Bill Hensley said.

        Eastbound I-275 was down to one lane, and the ramp from northbound I-75 to eastbound I-275 was closed for about 90 minutes, Sgt. Hensley said.

Judge must say why he sealed records

        Hamilton County Municipal Judge Ralph E. “Ted” Winkler has been ordered to explain his reasons for sealing court records of former Cincinnati Police Officer Stephen Roach.

        The opinion came from 1st District Court of Appeals Judges Rupert A. Doan, Robert H. Gorman, and J. Howard Sundermann Jr.

        Judge Winkler declined comment on the court's opinion, but said he would respond in the coming weeks.

        According to the appellate opinion, there is no record showing what rationale Judge Winkler used to order the records withheld from public scrutiny.

        The Enquirer sued the judge to have the records and official court proceedings of Officer Roach's bench trial made public.

        Officer Roach, who now works as a police officer in Evendale, had been accused of negligent homicide and obstructing official business. He shot and killed Timothy Thomas April 7, 2001. The death of the unarmed African-American sparked days of riots and civil unrest in Cincinnati.

        Officer Roach was acquitted of the charges Sept. 26, 2001, after a trial before Judge Winkler.

        On Nov. 5, 2001, Judge Winkler granted a request by the then-Cincinnati police officer to have all “official records” about his case sealed.

Ex-manager of club pleads guilty

        LEBANON — The former Bristol's day manager accused of promoting prostitution at the adult club in Monroe pleaded guilty Wednesday to a reduced charge.

        Randy Trimble, 36, of Middletown, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempted promoting prostitution. He faces up to one year in prison when he returns to Warren County Common Pleas Court for sentencing in about one month. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop a second felony count of promoting prostitution.

        Drug agents, who raided Bristol's Show Club & Revue last March, had accused Mr. Trimble of receiving bonuses involving private dances that exotic dancers performed for club patrons.

        Mr. Trimble's plea came two weeks after a jury convicted dancer Jana Ullman of three misdemeanor counts of prostitution for having sex with another dancer during couch dances for undercover agents. Another dancer accused in the incidents was acquitted of similar charges. Several more have yet to go to trial.

        More than 30 dancers, bartenders and other Bristol's employees were charged with drug trafficking, prostitution and liquor violations as a result of the five-month undercover investigation by the Warren County Drug Task Force.

Butler Co. plans weekend DUI watch

        HAMILTON — Police from three agencies will pool resources to ground drunk drivers from 10 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Saturday.

        Hamilton police, the Butler County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol will set up a driving-under-the-influence checkpoint at an undisclosed location, authorities said Wednesday.

        Citizens with questions may call the Hamilton Police Department's public affairs section, 868-5811, ext. 2007.

Concert to benefit case of slain man

        HAMILTON — Family and friends of Paul Wesley Brown, a 33-year-old victim of an unsolved homicide, have set a benefit concert to raise more reward money.

        A local music group, Big In Iowa, is scheduled to play beginning at 9 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Hamiltonian Hotel. Cost is $15 a ticket.

        Mr. Brown, who had been stabbed several times, was found dead in Two Mile Creek in March. Police say their investigation is at a standstill, but Mr. Brown's sister, Leanne Bowling of Hamilton, said, “I think somebody knows something.”

        Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mr. Brown's assailant. Supporters hope the concert will add to the available reward.

        For more information on the event, call Ms. Bowling at 867-5677, or to buy tickets, call the Hamiltonian at 896-6200.

— Compiled from staff and wire reports

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