Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report



Video maker out of jail, awaits new trial

The Anderson Township woman accused of selling videotapes of her sexual encounters was freed from prison Monday.

Jennifer Dute was released after Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Norbert Nadel reinstated her original $5,000 bond. The release was made possible by an appeals court decision last week that overturned Dute's conviction on charges of pandering obscenity.

The appeals court ruled that Dute, who has served seven months of her one-year sentence, did not get a fair trial and was sentenced too harshly.

The appeals court found that Judge Patrick Dinkelacker should have granted Dute a mistrial after several jurors acknowledged they had read or seen media reports about previous pandering charges against Dute. The court also found that the judge should have allowed Dute's attorneys to show jurors other explicit videos that are available in Hamilton County.

The pandering charges stem from the sale of videos on a Web site that also ridiculed Sheriff Simon Leis, a staunch opponent of pornography.

A trial date has not been set.

Defense arguments in 2 murders mulled

HAMILTON - A Butler County judge is being asked to consider key decisions in two high-profile murder cases that involved elderly victims.

Judge Patricia Oney on Monday heard arguments in the case of Donald L. Korn, 58, accused in the 1974 stabbing and mutilation of a retired elementary school principal.

Prosecutors say the case against Korn should proceed because they followed procedures correctly.

But defense lawyer Greg Howard says authorities forfeited the right to retry Korn for the Fairfield Township slaying of Mildred "Ruth" Doench when they returned Korn to an Indiana prison where he has been serving a potential life sentence for rape. Korn's previous conviction in the case had been thrown out, and authorities lacked evidence for a new trial until recently.

Oney also is being asked to decide whether to suppress the statement of Donald Joseph Ketterer, 54, in this year's February torture-slaying of 85-year-old Lawrence B. Sanders on Shuler Avenue. The judge set another hearing for June 13.

Monroe sets public hearing on tax issue

MONROE - Residents will have an opportunity June 24 to voice their opinions about what type of tax issue they'll see from this city on the November ballot.

City Council's regular meeting on that date will instead become a forum on the city's proposed tax issues and cuts to cover its $750,000 budget deficit, William Brock, acting city manager, said Monday.

City officials are considering either a property tax increase to fund safety services at an estimated 5 mills, or an increase of a half percentage point in the city's 1 percent income tax.

The council meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Alcohol likely affected driver's judgment

WAYNE TWP. - A 21-year-old Hamilton man was intoxicated when he was killed in a car-train collision, the Butler County Coroner ruled Monday.

Witnesses told police that the victim, identified as Douglas A. Briscoe, drove through flashing warning lights and around the lowered crossing gate, said Detective Monte Mayer, Butler County Sheriff's spokesman.

The incident occurred shortly before 5:30 a.m. Sunday. Briscoe was driving a 1986 Chevrolet Caprice south on U.S. 127 (Hamilton-Eaton Road) near Seven Mile. The impact pushed the car 170 feet, Mayer said, and Briscoe, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected.

Butler County Coroner Dr. Richard P. Burkhardt ruled the death accidental. The influence of alcohol likely caused Briscoe to believe he could beat the train, Burkhardt said, noting that Briscoe's blood-alcohol level registered nearly three times the legal limit in Ohio.

Nine empty beer bottles were found inside the car, Burkhardt said.

Pageant to pick Little Miss Heritage

MASON - Upcoming second-graders in the Mason or Kings School districts can apply for the 10th annual Little Miss Heritage Pageant.

Contestants will be interviewed Aug. 16 and will be judged on personality, not talent or dress. Each will participate in Mason's Heritage Festival Parade Aug. 23.

Applications and the $5 entry fee are due July 31. They can be picked up at the city municipal building, public library or Yost Pharmacy.

Little Miss Heritage 2003 and her court will be crowned after the parade.

Lawrenceburg city worker found dead

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. - A 59-year-old city utility worker was found dead Monday near a transformer base station on Walnut Street near the Ohio River.

John R. Davis, an employee of Lawrenceburg Municipal Utilities and a Lawrenceburg resident, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1 Walnut St. by a representative of the Dearborn County Coroner's Office, the Lawrenceburg Police Department said.

Rescue personnel responded to the scene at 3:43 p.m.

Lawrenceburg police and the coroner's office are conducting the death investigation.

- Compiled from staff and wire reports




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