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Prison Bars

Is There Finally Some Agreement On The Need For Bail Reform In Ohio?

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKSU) — In the early 1980s, Robin Turner got caught up in the world of drugs. She was arrested and incarcerated pending trial until her brother helped her post bond. “I lost my housing. I had to pack up and move and move back in with my mom,” she said. Today, she is… Read More

U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell is sworn in to testify to the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington

‘This Is How I’m Going To Die’: Police Sergeant Recalls The Terror Of Jan. 6

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WASHINGTON (NPR) — In gripping emotional testimony, U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell recounted the “horrific and devastating” violence of Jan. 6 during the first hearing of the select committee investigating the insurrection. “My fellow officers and I were punched, pushed, kicked, shoved, sprayed with chemical irritants, and even blinded with eye-damaging lasers by a… Read More

The shadow of a jail door

Advocates Face Challenges In Reforming Ohio’s Sentencing Laws

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKSU) — The number of offenses for which someone can be charged with a felony in Ohio has increased more than five-fold since the 1970s. And advocates say criminal sentencing remains uneven and tough to navigate. Ohio’s legislators have been passing bills to help people after they leave prison, but little is being… Read More

FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

FirstEnergy Charged In House Bill 6 Scandal, Agrees To $230 Million Penalty

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — FirstEnergy will pay $230 million after entering into a deferred prosecution agreement over charges that the company bribed then-House Speaker Larry Householder and former Public Utilities Commission chair Sam Randazzo. The company admitted it “conspired with public officials and other individuals and entities”, according to a release from Acting… Read More

Antonio McMullen (left), from the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, with Levi King at the Peacemakers' office in Slavic Village.

Cuyahoga County Gun Court Seeks New Ways To Stop Gun Violence

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (ideastream) — Officially, the new docket in Administrative Judge Brendan Sheehan’s Cuyahoga County courtroom is called the violence intervention program. Unofficially, it’s the gun docket. Sheehan got into the details of their lives with several of the program’s participants during recent hearings, asking each: Where are they working? Are they getting their high… Read More

The Ohio Statehouse building

‘Collin’s Law’ Signed To Stiffen Hazing Penalties In Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Tougher criminal penalties for hazing in Ohio will take effect this fall, nearly three years after the death of the college student for whom the law is named. Gov. Mike DeWine signed “Collin’s Law” on Tuesday. It’s named for Collin Wiant, an Ohio University student who died in 2018. Momentum for… Read More

In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, violent rioters supporting President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol in Washington.

Six Months After Capitol Riot, 46 From Ohio Valley Face Charges

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (OVR) — The January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol left five people dead and caused an estimated $1.5 million in damage to the Capitol building. In the six months since then, federal authorities say, about 470 people have been arrested in nearly every state, including at least 46 people in the Ohio Valley…. Read More

Athens County Courthouse

Mother Accused Of Covering Up Family Sexual Abuse Pleads Not Guilty

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — An Athens woman accused of trying to hinder investigations into alleged sexual abuse of her children pleaded not guilty to several felony charges Wednesday. Deborah Bellar, 49, was placed under a $1 million bond. She was arrested Tuesday after indictments were issued against her, her husband and two of her sons…. Read More

Gun Crime

Nelsonville Teen Admits To Shooting Death Of Another Boy

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — A 14-year-old Nelsonville boy admitted in court Tuesday that he killed another boy while playing with a gun. Meanwhile, the boy’s father, Donald Platt, 37, was indicted Tuesday on charges of involuntary manslaughter, endangering children and tampering with evidence. The accused boy was charged Friday with reckless homicide in connection with… Read More

graphic of a gavel on a blue background

Family Of Previously Missing Girl Face Charges Related To Sexual Abuse

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Four family members of a previously missing Athens County girl were indicted Tuesday on multiple felony charges that include rape and child endangerment. Serah Bellar, originally of Amesville, was reported missing in April 2020, a few weeks before her 17th birthday. She resurfaced a little over three weeks ago through a… Read More

graphic of a gavel on a blue background

‘Monster’: 7 Life Sentences For Ex-VA Hospital Worker In Deaths

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former nursing assistant has been sentenced to seven consecutive terms of life in prison for injecting seven elderly veterans with fatal doses of insulin. Reta Mays was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Mays didn’t say why she did it before being sentenced on seven counts of… Read More

Jake Wagner

Man Pleads Guilty In Fatal Shootings Of Rhoden Family

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WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) — A man pleaded guilty in the murders of his child’s mother and seven other members of her family on Thursday, the fifth anniversary of when the shootings were discovered in southern Ohio. Edward “Jake” Wagner pleaded guilty to 23 counts in Pike County court in a deal with prosecutors that spares him… Read More

Charles Reader

Former Pike County Sheriff Gets 3 Years Prison For Theft

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WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) — A former Pike County sheriff who rose to prominence for the investigation of the execution-style slayings of eight family members was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday for theft in office and other charges. Charles Reader, 47, sobbed and begged Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove for mercy during his sentencing… Read More

Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Sen. Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester)

Senators Urge Creation Of State Commission To Combat Violence Against Asian Americans

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A shooting spree in Georgia left eight people dead, most of whom are of Asian descent. Leaders in Ohio say this is just the latest example of the uptick in violent acts occurring against Asian American and Pacific Islanders since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and legislators say they… Read More

Gavel leaning against a row of law books

Former Nelsonville Deputy Auditor Indicted On Additional Theft And Corruption Charges

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – The former deputy auditor in Nelsonville pleaded not guilty to new felony charges related to theft while in office after previously pleading guilty to similar charges. Stephanie Wilson, 47, of Stewart, was arraigned Thursday in Athens County Common Pleas Court after being indicted on a felony charge of engaging in a pattern… Read More

In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, violent rioters supporting President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol in Washington.

Former Parkersburg City Councilman Charged In Jan. 6 Attack On U.S. Capitol

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Updated Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WVPB) — A third West Virginian has been charged and arrested for taking part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Former Parkersburg City Councilman Eric Barber appeared in federal court Wednesday afternoon in the Southern District of West Virginia for an initial… Read More

Gavel leaning against a row of law books

Kentucky Man Pleads Guilty To Improper Shipping Of Nuclear Waste

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man charged with illegally dumping low-level nuclear waste at an Estill County landfill has pleaded guilty in federal court to two charges of shipping the waste without the proper labeling. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Cory David Hoskins faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up… Read More

Red and blue lights, as if from a police vehicle

Report: Ohio Lawmakers Still Propose Too Many Crime Bills

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A report finds that nearly one of every 10 bills introduced by Ohio lawmakers during the last legislative session were criminal justice-related and at odds with efforts to reduce the state’s prison population. The American Civil Liberties Union Ohio chapter conducted the review, part of an ongoing analysis. The “Statehouse to… Read More