Tuesday, September 19, 2000

Worker, 18, indicted in slaying

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — An 18-year-old construction worker from Mexico, jailed in the Aug. 27 slaying of his Mason roommate, received a little break Monday when a grand jury indicted him on a reduced charge of murder.

        Jesus Plasencia, of Parkside Lane, initially faced a charge of aggravated murder in the stabbing of Roberto Santos, 26. A conviction on that charge would have put him in prison for 20 years to life. The murder charge trims the minimum mandatory sentence by five years.

        “This is what we think is the appropriate charge,” Warren County Prosecutor Tim Oliver said, declining to elaborate.

        Earlier, a witness testified that Mr. Santos had punched Mr. Plasencia in the face several times throughout the night before the fight escalated in the living room.

        Mr. Santos was stabbed twice in the chest with a steak knife during an argument that started hours earlier on the way home from a dance, witnesses said.

        Mr. Plasencia and Mr. Santos are among seven Mexican men who shared the apartment in the Kings View complex. Police said the men are in the United States illegally. Authorities have videotaped all court proceedings in case witnesses leave the country.

        Mr. Plasencia was arrested more than two hours after the 5 a.m. slaying when Warren County sheriff's deputies found him walking along U.S. 42.

        Jailed in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond, Mr. Plasencia is scheduled to appear Sept. 29 in Warren County Common Pleas Court for arraignment.

        In another case, the daughter-in-law of County Commissioner Larry Crisenbery was indicted on a felony count of illegal cultivation of marijuana.

        Tommie ""Lynn” Crisenbery, 40, of Lebanon, was arrested July 13, along with her husband, Steven, after a raid on their East Warren Street home.

        In an agreement with prosecutors, Steven Crisenbery, 40, pleaded guilty in August to a charge of preparing drugs for sale.

        He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 10.


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- Worker, 18, indicted in slaying