Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report

Driver pleads guilty in fatal crash

A 21-year-old Springfield Township man pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated vehicular homicide for crashing into a boom lift on Interstate 75 earlier this year, killing a passenger in his car.

Scott Carpenter, 21, will be sentenced May 28.

Joshua Montgomery, 23, of Colerain Township, died at University Hospital after the Feb. 8 crash.

Petition drive leader quickly acquitted

LEBANON - A 50-year-old gravel truck driver who led a petition drive to repeal South Lebanon's 1 percent earnings tax was acquitted Monday of a felony charge of election falsification.

It took a Warren County jury about 20 minutes to issue the not guilty verdict in favor of James R. Pottorf. He was accused of falsely certifying last June that he personally witnessed 73 resident signatures on petitions he circulated in the village.

He needed 45 signatures to place the issue on the ballot for referendum.

Pottorf was charged after village officials learned that 10 of the signatures were collected by a friend who circulated the petition among his neighbors and relatives.

Pottorf faced up to a year in jail if convicted.

He testified Monday that he hurriedly signed a portion of the petition to attest that he had circulated it, and that he did not understand he could be charged with a felony if someone else collected the signatures. Prosecutors had to prove that Pottorf intended to defraud the board of elections.

Bar operator says landlord out of line

An Over-the-Rhine bar says its landlord's attempt at eviction was unfair.

Waleia Jackson, principal owner of The Next Level, said in court papers that owner Steve Ross was wrong when he boarded up the Sycamore Street property Friday morning and changed the locks.

A judge issued a temporary injunction that afternoon to let the bar stay open.

Jackson's affidavit said Ross alleged the lease had been breached because he needed an excuse to deal with the rumor that his liquor license was in danger of not being renewed.

No new court date has been set.

Veterans get special invitation to parade

HAMILTON - World War II veterans will be honored at Hamilton's Fourth of July celebration this year, and are encouraged to participate in the 10 a.m. parade.

Family and friends of World War II veterans are asked to encourage their participation. Transportation will be provided for the parade, with further details to follow closer to the event.

To register, contact Mary Heinrich, line-up chairwoman, 893-8490.

Indictment made in attack on hiker

A Harrison man tried to kidnap and kill a 21-year-old University of Cincinnati student April 17 as she hiked a trail at Miami Whitewater Forest, a Hamilton County grand jury has charged.

The grand jury Monday indicted Steven R. Potter, 39, on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and three counts of felonious assault for the attack.

Potter, a Crosby Township Fire Department volunteer, is accused of using a club fashioned from a sawed-off baseball bat to attack the women in brush alongside one of the park's popular nature trails. A jogger, Gary Stewart, 36, of Green Township, heard the woman's cries, confronted Potter and knocked him to the ground, according to court records.

Stewart's girlfriend then sprayed Potter with pepper spray and they detained him until police arrived.

Potter has been suspended from the fire department, according to fire officials.

Three men charged in robbery attempt

A Cincinnati police sergeant stumbled upon an alleged group robbery early Sunday in Corryville that ended with three arrests, nine victims and at least three guns.

Sgt. Dan Nickum was driving through the Kroger parking lot at 1 W. Corry St. when he saw four men with guns drawn standing over about 10 males lying on the ground, a police report said. They fled when they saw Nickum, and he called for help.

One escaped, but officers arrested three of the suspects - two 17-year-old juveniles and Donte Hobbs, 19, of Over-the-Rhine.

All were charged with aggravated robbery. One of the teen-agers threw guns out the window of a car, police said.

- Compiled from staff and wire reports

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