Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Fatal crash case kept in juvenile court

GOSHEN TWP. - A 17-year-old accused of causing the car crash that killed four teens will be tried as a juvenile, a Clinton County Juvenile Court judge decided Monday.

Judge G. Allen Gano determined that the Loveland teen, charged with four counts of reckless homicide, would benefit more from the juvenile system than the adult system.

Prosecutors had asked that the case be transferred to adult court, citing the seriousness of the offense and the teen's age.

The teen is not being named.

The crash occurred Aug. 12 in Clark Township along Ohio 28. The teen was a front seat passenger in a 1995 Geo Prizm. The driver lost control and the car struck a fencepost and then a tree, officials said.

The four teens in the back seat, Lester Smith, 16, of Loveland; Jennifer McRoberts, 16, of Goshen; Natasha Schnelle, 17, of Pleasant Plain; and Jessie King, 16, of Loveland, were killed.

The driver has not been charged.

No new court date has been set.

Robbers get away in four holdups

Three Greater Cincinnati banks and a check-cashing business were robbed within a two-hour span Monday. In all four incidents, robbers got away with undisclosed amounts of cash; no one was injured, police said.

• Provident Bank 9850 Colerain Ave., Colerain Township, was first to be hit, at 9:08 a.m. The robber, who fled on foot, did not show a weapon.

• Check 'N Go, 9405 Colerain Ave., Colerain Township, was robbed at 10:21 a.m. The gun-toting robber was described as having brown skin, was wearing a blue construction outfit and had a bandage on his face. He fled on foot.

• U.S .Bank, 560 Main St., Hamilton, was robbed about 10:50 a.m. The robber indicated he had a firearm but showed none, and fled on foot. He was described as white, 5-foot-6 or 5-foot-7, 165 pounds and wore a black and white plaid jacket, a dark hooded sweatshirt, jeans and a dark hat with a white or light-colored bill.

• U.S. Bank at 9184 Winton Road in Springfield Township was robbed about 11 a.m. That man was described as light brown-skinned, about 6 feet tall and wearing a tan jacket, tan pants, a dark fisherman-style hat and dark shoes, police said. He may have been driving an older, rusty car north on Winton. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.

River swimmer charged in Ohio

A man who tried to swim across the Ohio River in his underwear Sunday night ended up going to jail.

Mike Nelson, 23, in town from the Cleveland area, was with friends at one of the riverfront restaurants along Northern Kentucky when he bet he could swim across, Cincinnati police said.

He made it almost to the Ohio side, but not before witnesses used their cell phones to tell police a little after 7 p.m. that there was a man in the water waving his arms and splashing.

Police and firefighters responded from both sides of the river. Cincinnati Sgts. Chris Conners and Phillip Buccino waded into the water a few feet to pull Nelson out.

After taking him to University Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, Conners said police charged him with inducing panic

Motorcyclist killed in Franklin accident

FRANKLIN - Police are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash at a rail overpass early Monday.

Ronnie Combs, 33, of Franklin was pronounced dead at the scene of the one-vehicle accident about 100 yards south of the overpass on Oxford Road, according to Franklin police.

A motorist reported about 1:45 a.m. that a motorcycle had crashed on Franklin-Trenton Road, authorities said. An investigation has determined Combs was traveling north bound on Franklin-Trenton and left the right side of the road, striking the guardrail. He was thrown from the motorcycle.

Rape suspect sought in group home attack

Cincinnati police are looking for a man they say raped a manager Monday at a College Hill group home.

Alonzo Johnson, 22, bit the night manager and used a knife when he forced her to have sex, according to court records, and hit her on the head numerous times. He was charged with rape.

His previous address was in the 2900 block of Eden Avenue in Corryville. Court documents did not say what kind of group home it was, nor did they say why Johnson had been placed there. Anyone with information about Johnson's whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.

Hydrant tests may cause rusty water

SYCAMORE TWP. - The fire department will be flow-testing hydrants in the north areas of the township this month, Monday through Saturday beginning April 7.

After each test, the water in the immediate area might appear rusty, and this could last up to four hours. If rusty, run the cold water periodically until it clears. Do not use hot water if the water is rusty. The township also recommends that you not do laundry on the days your street is scheduled.

Call the fire department at 792-7246 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit www.sycamoretownship.org, for the testing schedule.

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