Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Death penalty sought in Warren Co. killing

LEBANON - Prosecutors said Monday they will seek the death penalty against a 46-year-old Wayne Township man accused in the Jan. 16 fatal shooting of his wife.

Rocky Barton, who is in a rehabilitation center recovering from an attempted suicide, was indicted on one count of aggravated murder with a death specification and a second charge of having a weapon under disability in the death of 44-year-old Kimberli Jo Barton.

Police said Barton, who spent nine years in a Kentucky prison for the attempted murder of a girlfriend in 1991, chased his wife down with a shotgun in their front yard and shot her in the back and shoulder as she tried to escape. Kimberli Barton was planning to separate from her husband after a fight earlier that day, and had returned to the Bellbrook Road residence to collect her clothes, authorities said.

Warren County Prosecutor Tim Oliver said Barton may be well enough to be transferred to the Warren County Jail this week.

Man pleads guilty to pornography charges

HAMILTON - A Hamilton apartment complex manager faces a possible sentence of 92 years in prison after pleading guilty to 20 Internet child pornography charges.

Steven Evans, 39, made his plea Monday, a day before he was to stand trial in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Evans had pleaded guilty to seven charges of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance and 13 counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor.

Eighteen additional charges were merged into those offenses, said Assistant Prosecutor Megan Shanahan.

Judge Patricia Oney has set sentencing for April 7.

Domestic dispute leads to seven charges

TRENTON - A 43-year-old man faces seven charges, including two counts of attempted murder, following a domestic dispute.

Archie W. Payne is charged with kidnapping, domestic violence, tampering with evidence, two counts of felonious assault and two counts of attempted murder.

Payne's bond was set at $142,000 Monday in Middletown Municipal Court. He remains in the Middletown jail awaiting a preliminary hearing today, said Trenton Police Chief Rodney Hale.

The charges stem from alleged attacks on Payne's wife, Christine A. Payne, 36, and an acquaintance of the couple, Charles D. Hembree, 27, on Sunday.

Four youths accused of smashing mailboxes

WEST CHESTER TWP. - Police arrested four male youths in connection with 21 recent criminal damaging reports in the Beckett Ridge subdivision.

The boys, three of whom are 13 and one who is 14, each were charged Friday with 15 counts of criminal damaging in connection with smashing light poles and mailboxes with crowbars and golf clubs, police records show.

The Enquirer is not identifying the teens.

One of the victims' relatives chased the boys about a half-mile and called police, who tracked the boys' footprints in the snow to their homes early Friday.

Most of the incidents were reported late last week and over the weekend, police records show.

The boys have been released to their parents' custody.

Cancer information session is tonight

HAMILTON - The Fort Hamilton Hospital will host a free information session about American Cancer Society (ACS) programs from 7-8 tonight at the Fort Hamilton Hospital, 630 Eaton Ave., in Auditorium A & B.

Programs that will be discussed include a support group for men coping with cancer, beauty techniques for female cancer patients, volunteers to help breast-cancer patients, a youth-centered camp for cancer patients, volunteers to drive cancer patients to treatments and the annual Great American Smokeout.

Information: Women's Health Choice at 867-2700.

Two juveniles accused in slashing of tires

HAMILTON - Two juveniles were accused of slashing tires on 28 vehicles within a 2-hour span, police said Monday.

The youths, who were not identified, were arrested Saturday and charged with criminal damaging after police began receiving reports of vehicle vandalism in the 400 block of Cleveland Avenue.

Middletown man killed in crash

MIDDLETOWN - Steven Craig Weiss, 35, of Middletown, was pronounced dead at the scene of a 9 p.m. crash Sunday in the 900 block of Nelbar Street.

He was a passenger in a vehicle that had been traveling at a high speed when it went off the roadway and struck a fire hydrant, police said. The vehicle then struck a tree.

The driver, Matthew Garitson, 25, of Middletown, was taken to Middletown Regional Hospital, then transferred to University Hospital. He was listed in fair condition Monday.

Compiled from staff and wire reportsTristate A.M. Report

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