Friday, June 16, 2000

Charges heard in prank case

Attorney asks time to review case

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        OXFORD — A thin man with gray hair and a slight mustache stepped forward when the judge called his name Thursday in Butler County Area I Court. Larry Mullins, ordinary in appearance, faces charges that are anything but ordinary.

        Police believe Mr. Mullins, 58, of Hamilton, might have made more than 100 prank telephone calls to relatives of victims of fatal traffic accidents and crimes — years after the tragedies occurred.

        He was in court Thursday for a pretrial hearing on one count of telephone harassment. He is accused of making a prank call on May 15 to a Morgan Township woman about her daughter-in-law, who was killed in a car accident 10 years ago.

        Visiting Judge Jonathan Fox continued the hearing to July 13. Mr. Mullins' attorney, Carl Ferris, said this would give him more time to review evidence.

        “We're still in the beginning phases of this case,” he said. “I want to find out more about it.”

        Judge Fox allowed Mr. Mullins, who was accompanied to court by an unidentified woman, to remain free on his own recognizance.

        Mr. Mullins said nothing in court.

        Mr. Ferris said Mr. Mullins is unemployed and living with relatives.

        Police confiscated more than 230 journals that they say are filled with detailed notes and newspaper clippings about fatal traffic accidents and missing persons.

        Mr. Mullins also has been charged with obstructing official business in Clermont County's Miami Township.

        Police said Mr. Mullins watched a TV news report in January on the 10-year anniversary of the disappearance of 18-year-old Karen Spencer. Then Mr. Mullins made a telephone call meant for Ms. Spencer's family and claimed to know where her body was buried, police said.


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