Thursday, January 23, 2003

2 accused in West End slaying


One surrenders in beating death

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati homicide investigators say they know who killed a West End man Jan. 4 in a Linn Street park as he screamed for help.

Police announced Wednesday they've signed murder warrants for two men, both from the West End neighborhood - Decorian "C-Bone" Rice, 28, and Michael "Man-Man" Earthman, 23. Mr. Earthman turned himself in Wednesday afternoon; Mr. Rice was still wanted.

The two argued with Robert Eason Jan. 4 outside Amir Mini Mart, detectives wrote in court documents. They walked him across the street to the park and repeatedly hit him while he was on the ground calling for help, detectives wrote.

Witnesses helped police identify the suspects.

Mr. Eason, 50, died at University Hospital, the first of three homicide victims this year in the city.

Two of the killings took place in the West End within two days, prompting the West End Community Council to say it wanted to hire private security to help police watch over the neighborhood. Mayor Charlie Luken and Chief Tom Streicher both said they supported the neighborhood's efforts to get more involved with police.

The department assigned extra officers, on 12-hour shifts, to concentrate on the neighborhood the week after the killings. Officers on overtime arrested a suspect in the second West End killing, the shooting Jan. 6 of a 17-year-old mother who was holding her toddler.

Community Council President Dale Mallory asked the city Jan. 13 for an initial $10,000 to try out the security. He did not yet have an answer Wednesday.

"There's peace in the neighborhood now," Mr. Mallory said. "We want to keep it that way."

E-mail jprendergast@enquirer.com




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