Tuesday, August 03, 1999


2nd trial starts in 1996 homicide

        The man accused of killing former Lincoln Heights Mayor Eugene Jenkins is on trial again.

        Edward Smith, 44, began his second murder trial Monday when prosecutors and defense attorneys began selecting a jury to hear the case.

        Mr. Smith was convicted of murder two years ago but was granted a new trial when an appeals court overturned the guilty verdict because of “prosecutorial misconduct.”

        The appellate judges said Assistant Prosecutor Gus Leon acted improperly at the first trial when he accused defense attorney John Burlew of trying the case “not by evidence, but by his speeches and misrepresentations.”

        The same two attorneys are trying the case again, this time before Common Pleas Judge Ann Marie Tracey.

        Mr. Smith is accused of shooting to death the 56-year-old Mr. Jenkins in a dispute over a construction contract. The shooting occurred Dec. 27, 1996.

Man accused of trying to lure girls from park
        A traveling carnival worker is being held in the Hamilton County Jail after two girls told police he tried to lure them away from a park Sunday afternoon.

        Cincinnati police arrested Frank Smith, 34, who listed no permanent address, on two counts of criminal child enticement.

        The arrest came after children at Caldwell Park in Carthage flagged down police officers Sunday and pointed him out as the man who asked an 8-year-old girl to leave the park to see his puppies.

        An 11-year-old girl told officers he asked her to ride her bike home with him and he would give her money if she would let him take pictures of her.

        Court records say Mr. Smith told police he just wanted to give the children a puppy, but when officers asked to see the puppy, he said it was not in town yet.

        Hamilton County Municipal Judge Guy Guckenberger set bond at $50,000 cash. Mr. Smith entered a not guilty plea.

        If convicted, the misdemeanor charges each carry a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

        Mr. Smith has a sex offense conviction from Florida, said Lt. Steve Luebbe, commander of Cincinnati's personal crimes unit.

Dad, 24, accused of child endangerment
        A Clifton father faces a child endangering charge after his 3-year-old son was found wandering a few blocks from home early Monday.

        A man discovered the boy, who was wearing shorts but no shirt or shoes, about 5:30 a.m. on the 3100 block of Jefferson Avenue. The man, who works at University Hospital, took the boy to the hospital and called police.

        The boy's father, James Crain, 23, contacted police about four hours later.

        Mr. Crain told police his son has a history of unlocking doors but that he was asleep and didn't realize the boy had gone outside, police said. Mr. Crain is expected to be arraigned today in Hamilton County Municipal Court on the endangering charge, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

        The boy is now in his mother's custody.

        Mr. Crain is the second parent to be charged this week in similar cases.

        Quisha Gooden, 24, of Corryville, also faces a child endangering charge after her 16-month-old daughter was left unattended.

        The toddler was found Saturday on Martin Luther King Drive, wearing only a diaper and red socks.

        Police arrested her mother more than 16 hours later. The woman's three children are in foster care while the case is pending.

4 men sentenced on federal drug charges
        Four men arrested in January drug sweeps in Lincoln Heights and Lockland were sentenced Monday by U.S. Judge Sandra S. Beckwith.

        Sent to prison for distribution of crack cocaine were:

        Robert Washington, 21, of Chester Road, 46 months; Eric Lewis, 39, of Byrd Avenue, 37 months; Taiwan Smith, 22, of Wayne Avenue, 46 months, and James Mayberry, 19, of South Leggett Court, 70 months, all of Lincoln Heights.

        Mr. Lewis and Mr. Mayberryeach was fined $2,000; the others were fined $1,000 each.

        About 100 federal agents and police officers searched multiple Lockland and Lincoln Heights locations after a four-month investigation.

        U.S. Attorney Sharon Zealey said then that the arrests removed “some of the worst drug dealers from the streets.”

        Authorities also shut down a multi-unit building in the 600 block of Walnut Avenue in Lockland, saying it was a distribution point.

        Others have been convicted in state and federal courts or await trial.

Man gets probation for tax conviction
        James L. Wright, 44, of Germantown, Ohio, was sentenced Friday to five years of probation, including four months of home confinement, for failing to file a proper 1992 federal income tax return.

        Similar charges involving 1993 and 1994 returns were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea.

        U.S. District Judge Herman J. Weber also ordered Mr. Wright to pay the Internal Revenue Service at least $13,500 in back taxes.

        Mr. Wright, who operated Wright Financial Services insurance agency, used trusts to conceal income and assets.

Teen kills himself following chase on I-75
        FINDLAY, Ohio — A Wisconsin teen-ager and a young woman led authorities on an 8-mile chase early Monday before he killed himself as police officers begged him to drop his gun.

        The two had been sleeping in a stolen sport utility vehicle at an Interstate 75 rest stop when a state trooper checking license plates approached the Jeep, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

        The woman, Chellie Wagner, 19, of Oshkosh, Wis., fired at the trooper at least once and he shot back, but nobody was hit, Trooper Don Pratt said.

        Ms. Wagner then drove onto I-75, then left it and drove into a cornfield near Cygnet, about 30 miles south of Toledo.

        When officers approached, they saw Jason Cahoe, 17, of Winneconne, Wis., holding a gun to his head. Seconds later, he fired.

Grill coals start fire at apartment
        Hot coals from a grill are the apparent cause of an apartment fire Monday in the East End.

        The blaze began about 3 a.m. on the 2500 block of Eastern Avenue. Damage was estimated at $15,000.


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