Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Judge sets $4M bond in torture-murder case

HAMILTON - A Butler County judge Monday set an extraordinarily high bond - $4 million - for a man accused in the torture slaying of an elderly man.

Donald Joseph Ketterer, 53, jokingly told Judge Patricia Oney that he would get together that amount right away, said Craig Hedric, a Butler County assistant prosecutor.

Ketterer is accused of aggravated murder with specifications, and could get the death penalty if convicted in the Feb. 24 slaying of Lawrence B. Sanders, 85.

Sanders was beaten with a skillet and tortured with household implements, including a fork, scissors and knife, court records show. Ketterer, a handyman who knew Sanders for many years, was found with items that had belonged to Sanders, documents show.

Sanders was one of three victims found dead Feb. 25 within a few houses of each other. Police are still trying to determine whether the deaths of Helen and Donald Riley were connected to the Sanders case.

Supermarkets' banks robbed over weekend

Two weekend bank robberies appear to be connected to a string of 19 across Greater Cincinnati and Louisville, authorities say.

Sunday afternoon, a man held up a First National Bank inside the Biggs on Mason-Montgomery Road in Deerfield Township. The same man is suspected in a Friday evening robbery at a U.S. Bank inside Meijer on Tylersville Road in West Chester.

Both times, the man gave a note to the teller, was handed an undisclosed amount of money and then left the store.

The robber is described as white, with a deep tan, between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 160-175 pounds, with dark hair and eyes, and facial hair that appears to be light.

The FBI is assisting local authorities in the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.

Ex-La Salle minister sentenced to prison

HAMILTON - A 51-year-old man who had worked as a campus minister at La Salle, an all-boys Catholic school in Hamilton County, was sentenced Monday to spend four years and one month in prison for offenses involving Internet pornographic photos of young boys.

Joseph Michael Childs, also known as Michael Childs, pleaded no contest in January to two counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material and four counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor. The photos were found on his home computer.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Oney sentenced Childs.

Former clerk sued over alleged theft

FRANKLIN - City officials have sued a former chief deputy Municipal Court clerk accused of stealing more than $16,000 in bond money and fines.

Diane Hayslett has not been charged, although county prosecutors have been aware of the case since at least September, when a state audit confirmed suspicions raised in a criminal investigation by Franklin police.

The lawsuit alleges that Hayslett, of Franklin, failed to deposit $16,265 in court funds between March 1, 2000 and Jan. 31, 2001, and then took the money for her own personal use. Some of the money was discovered missing in October 2000, but Judge James Ruppert allowed Hayslett to continue working until late January 2001, while she paid back $6,787 to the court.

According to the lawsuit, the city wants Hayslett to pay back the $9,478 remaining balance, $25,000 in punitive costs and another $15,186.38 the city paid to have the audit performed.

Acting Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said her office recently received the criminal case against Hayslett and will review it to see if there is enough evidence to take it to a grand jury. Hayslett could not be reached.

Residents must boil water for two days

WAYNESVILLE - Residents using the village's water system will need to boil their water for two days next week.

The boil water advisory, effective 1 a.m. March 19, applies to all customers on the Waynesville water system, including those who pay their water bill to the village as well as Warren County customers in Corwin, Caesars Creek Lake, Harveysburg and the Township Line Road area.

The village will be upgrading its water system, which requires depressurization of the water mains to the well field.

The Ohio EPA requires an advisory be issued when water pressure drops below 20 pounds per inch, according to the village.

Officials expect the advisory to be lifted around noon March 20.

County agrees to pay construction company

Hamilton County commissioners voted 3-0 Monday to pay $2 million to the company it blamed for concrete problems at Paul Brown Stadium.

Construction management company Turner Barton Malow D.A.G. billed the county $3.5 million for concrete and other work at the $451 million stadium.

The county refused to pay, however, after concrete on the stadium plaza began crumbling in the fall of 2001.

Some of the concrete was fixed last summer, and as part of Monday's settlement, the company agreed to make any other necessary repairs.

- Compiled from staff and wire reports

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