By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer
COVINGTON - Dennis R. Greene Sr. told police he got so angry at his wife because she had let their child play unsupervised outside that he slashed her throat - while their 7-year-old was present.
"He stated he had her in a choke hold," said Lakeside Park/Crestview Hills police Officer Chris Schutte. "She began to gasp for air. He reached around to the drawer, grabbed a knife and put it in her throat."
Schutte said there were no wounds caused by stabbing. The only cut was a single slice through the neck.
These details became public for the first time Thursday during Greene's preliminary hearing in Kenton County District Court. Greene, 31, is charged with murder in connection with the death of his wife, Tara. Police found her body on May 5 in the couple's Derby Ridge apartment in Lakeside Park.
Greene, who worked for a home for troubled children, sat quietly through the hearing wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, shackled at the wrists and ankles.
Tara Greene's family sat in the gallery a few yards away with tears in their eyes as Schutte told a judge that Greene confessed to police twice, once over the phone and a second time in person.
Schutte said Greene told investigators he was using marijuana with his wife the day of the killing; marijuana was found at the apartment by homicide detectives.
Autopsy results on Tara Greene, a math teacher at Holmes Junior High School in Covington, are not complete. The Kenton County coroner has said preliminary results indicate she had been strangled.
Schutte didn't testify to Greene's prior criminal history, but Hamilton County court records show he had a history of violence dating back a decade, once attacking the mother of another of his children in a supermarket parking lot.
There is no record of Tara Greene filing a criminal complaint against her husband in Kenton or Hamilton counties.
The first sign police had that there was trouble was at 2:30 a.m. May 5, the morning of the killing. Lakeside Park/Crestview Hills police received a tip through Crime Stoppers that prompted them to respond to Greene's home.
Schutte didn't testify to what the tip was or why officers didn't find Tara Greene's body until hours later. Her body was finally found, in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor, after Tara Green's mother called police concerned about her daughter.
By that time, police said, Greene had dropped off the couple's son at his parents' home in Blue Ash and fled to Chicago.
Schutte said police have taken a taped statement from the couple's son, Chi'an Greene, but Schutte didn't say if the child actually saw the killing.
Greene remained in the Kenton County Jail Thursday night without bond. Kenton District Judge Douglas Grothaus declined to set a bond for Greene, saying he briefly took a hostage, causing a seven-hour standoff in Chicago.
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