Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Newport man charged in homicide

Friends took victim to fire house

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

DAYTON, Ky. - A Newport man was arraigned Monday on a charge of murder in connection to Northern Kentucky's first homicide of the year.

Dayton Police say John Gilene, 44, of Newport was shot once in the stomach during a fight at 9:20 p.m. Friday in the 1100 block of Dodd Drive, which runs parallel to the Ohio River. Friends took Mr. Gilene to the Bellevue/Dayton Fire Department after the shooting. There, rescue personnel rushed him to the hospital in an ambulance. Mr. Gilene died Saturday morning at University Hospital.

Acting on a tip, the Newport Police SWAT team was sent to a home on Liberty Street in Newport where the alleged shooter was hiding. Officers arrested Donald Donatelli, 29, of Newport and charged him with murder. Police say Mr. Donatelli's family persuaded him to surrender to authorities without confrontation. The Liberty Street house was the home of Mr. Donatelli's father.

Mr. Donatelli was being held Monday evening at the Campbell County jail

Dayton Police Chief Mark Brown would not say what led to the argument, citing an ongoing investigation. He did, however, say a weapon was recovered.

This was the first homicide in recent memory to take place in Dayton, Ky., a town of about 6,000,In December of 1996, the Campbell County town was shaken by a murder-suicide. Fred Burchfield fatally shot his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself in the apartment the couple shared.In 1997, a 15-year-old girl was convicted of reckless homicide.

She was accused in August of 1996 of shaking to death her 5-month-old son. The mother was not identified because she was a juvenile.

E-mail jhannah@enquirer.com

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