Friday, June 13, 1997
Witness: Doan
covered in blood

Court papers say he
talked of killing Culberson

BY LISA DONOVAN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WILMINGTON, Ohio - Hours after he allegedly kidnapped and killed Carrie Culberson in August, Vincent Doan was ''observed covered with blood,'' according to Clinton County court documents.

This latest allegation is detailed in court documents filed by prosecutors Thursday as part of the capital case against Mr. Doan, 24, of Blanchester, Ohio.

Prosecutors also claim Mr. Doan had talked of how he planned to kill Ms. Culberson.

''Vincent Doan later made statements of his prior planning of how to kill Clarissa Ann Culberson before he actually killed her,'' the documents said.

Prosecutor William Peelle declined to comment. He has not given statements to the media about the case because of a court-imposed gag order.

Mr. Doan has pleaded not guilty to murder and aggravated murder in the commission of a felony (kidnapping), making him eligible for the death penalty; and four counts of kidnapping.

His father-son attorney team, John Rion and Jon Paul Rion, reiterated their belief in Mr. Doan's innocence Thursday, saying allegations in the court documents don't point to their client.

The documents allude to a motive in the case, citing that Ms. Culberson had filed an assault charge against Mr. Doan in the month before her disappearance. The document also says Ms. Culberson gave an affidavit July 28 in support of those allegations.

In that affidavit, Ms. Culberson alleged Mr. Doan had hit her in the head with a heater. That case was dismissed in October after Ms. Culberson - the state's complaining witness - did not appear for the proceedings.

Between 12:30 and 1 a.m. Aug. 29, a witness saw Ms. Culberson and Mr. Doan arguing in the vicinity of South Wright and East streets near his Blanchester home, according to court documents.

''Clarissa Ann Culberson was struggling to free herself as Vincent Doan grabbed her, threatened her life and struck her in the face with his fist as he held her with his other hand,'' the document said.

A short time later, a car was heard leaving the area, tires ''squealing.'' Mr. Doan, Ms. Culberson and her red Honda CRX, which had been parked in the area, were nowhere in sight, according to the documents.

John Rion has said his client denies there was an argument that night.

He said Ms. Culberson came by Mr. Doan's home early Aug. 29 and asked him to follow her to a bar in Marathon. Mr. Doan refused, and she left, Mr. Rion said. Mr. Doan soon became concerned that Ms. Culberson might have been intoxicated, so he borrowed his father's truck and decided to drive to Marathon to find her. En route, the truck broke down.

Mr. Rion and Mr. Doan say authorities haven't pursued all their leads - including potential sightings of Ms. Culberson and her car. On May 16, a Norwood police officer reported seeing a small red car with a front license plate registered to Ms. Culberson's 1989 Honda CRX. The car disappeared before police could stop it.

Prosecutors say Ms. Culberson has made no contact with family or friends.

Mr. Doan, who is being held without bond at the Warren County Justice Center, is set to go on trial July 14.