Friday, March 28, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Compiled from staff and wire reports

Assault victim suing former UC player


A man who was tied up and assaulted last year by former University of Cincinnati basketball center Donald Little and a group of others is suing the now semi-pro player and another man.

Justin Hodge, 21, of Oberlin filed the suit Wednesday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court against Little and Portfirio Baldwin. Both men have pleaded guilty to assaulting Hodge and are awaiting sentencing.

Hodge alleges he was stabbed in the neck and left leg by the two men. They also knocked out a tooth, burned his neck with cigarettes, and hit him with a whiskey bottle and a weight bar, according to the lawsuit.

Hodge is suing each for more than $50,000.

20-year-old Avondale man charged in deaths

A 20-year-old Avondale man has been arrested and charged with vehicular homicide for a Jan. 6 crash in Columbia Tusculum that killed a mother and her 2-year-old daughter.

Cincinnati police arrested Gary Lee Brown of the 800 block of Blair Avenue late Tuesday and charged him with vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter. Killed were LaJoi Richardson, 22, and her daughter, Jagara Brown, of Kinney Avenue in Evanston.

Police said the crash occurred at 11:10 a.m. in the 2800 block of westbound Columbia Parkway when Brown lost control of a 1993 Nissan Maxima, crossed the center line and struck two other vehicles. The victims were passengers in Brown's vehicle.

Police say woman sold drugs to neighbor kids

FAIRFIELD TWP. - A 45-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with selling marijuana to neighborhood children, who police said were taking it to school and selling it.

Peggy L. Blair of Fairfield Township made a statement to police about selling the drug to children on more than one occasion after undercover officers observed her selling marijuana at her home to a 12-year-old girl about 6 p.m., according to the Butler County Sheriff's Office.

Blair was charged with two counts of trafficking in drugs to a juvenile, permitting drug abuse, possession of prescription medication and possession of marijuana.

Sheriff's deputies and Fairfield Township police recovered two bags of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and numerous prescription drugs that did not belong to her inside her Tuley Road home.

Her daughter, Nichole L. Bailey, 21, also was charged with drug abuse and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were being held at the Butler County Jail.

Mother says three men took $1,100 cash

WEST CHESTER TWP. - A 32-year-old mother and her two small children were robbed at gunpoint Wednesday inside their apartment.

No injuries were reported.

Three men, including one armed with a rifle, forced their way into the second-story apartment in The Fountains off Cincinnati-Dayton Road about 9:30 a.m., asking for the woman's husband by name, West Chester Township Police Sgt. Steve Oakes said.

The men - who all wore hooded sweatshirts - demanded cash, so the woman gave them $1,100, Oakes said. Then, they moved her and the children into a bedroom and took $1,000 worth of items, including her purse, two cellular phones and jewelry. The men fled on foot, Oakes said.

Anyone with information is asked to call West Chester police at 777-2231.

Former corrections officer sentenced

LEBANON - A former state corrections officer was sent to prison for six months Thursday after pleading guilty to having sex with an inmate at Warren Correctional Institution (WCI).

Judge Neal Bronson of Warren County Common Pleas Court also placed Norma Dunson, 38, of Dayton, Ohio, on probation for five years and declared her a sexually oriented offender. She will have to register her address with the local sheriff's office annually for 10 years.

Dunson, who pleaded guilty last month to a reduced charge of attempted sexual battery, faced up to 18 months in prison.

Initially charged with two counts of sexual battery, she was accused of having an illegal affair with a convicted robber after she began working at the prison in January 1999. The charges alleged that the pair had sex twice in a room next to the prison gymnasium.

Dunson was the third WCI guard to be prosecuted since 1991 for having sex with inmates.

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