Thursday, March 11, 2004

Inmate slugs Erpenbeck over TV


He wanted to watch something different

By James McNair
The Cincinnati Enquirer

About two weeks into his incarceration at the Hamilton County Justice Center, former homebuilder Bill Erpenbeck got into a scuffle with another inmate.

During an argument over Erpenbeck's choice of television programming, Erpenbeck, 43, was hit by a 20-year-old murder suspect, a sheriff's department spokesman said Wednesday.

Steve Barnett said the altercation occurred shortly before 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22, 17 days after Erpenbeck and his father, Tony Erpenbeck, were jailed on witness-tampering charges in connection with the sentencing phase of Bill Erpenbeck's bank-fraud conviction.

Barnett said the men were in a common area called a pod, where inmates share a TV.

After the inmates argued, "apparently over the TV and what was on," the younger inmate, Drew Sloan, punched Erpenbeck in the face and Erpenbeck reported the incident to an officer, Barnett said.

"If he hadn't, they probably would have gone in there and broken them up," Barnett said.

It was unclear what program triggered the dispute.

Barnett said Sloan, of Cincinnati, is charged in the Dec. 21 killing of Lamont Ross, which allegedly took place during a robbery.

Court records show Sloan has been jailed nine times on drug charges, aggravated robbery charges and domestic-assault charges.

Barnett said Sloan was confined to his cell for 10 days after the confrontation with Erpenbeck.

There was no indication that Erpenbeck needed medical attention.

Erpenbeck and his father are being held without bail on witness-tampering charges. Bill Erpenbeck is scheduled to be sentenced for bank fraud March 29.

Enquirer reporter Jane Prendergast contributed to this story. E-mail jmcnair@enquirer.com




TOP STORIES
County joins stadium suit
Q&A: What's not to like about the deal?
Inmate slugs Erpenbeck over TV
Energy, fresh ideas coveted by employers
Two bridge options dropped

IN THE TRISTATE
Workers must pass airport security
Clermont devising growth strategy
Colerain trustees compromise on subdivision runoff
County picks up 8-year-old plan to install home sewers
Symphony ready to tackle budget
Fernald cleanup firm cited
Schools get grant for math, science
News briefs
No trust in Monroe, residents want out
Neighbors briefs
$15M plan for voter education questioned
Archbishop faces faithful at public forum
Kings Island: Now playing...
Ross cutting costs after issue's failure
Public safety briefs
Monroe to keep open enrollment this fall
West Chester urged to file plans to protect grant for museum
West Chester weighs cost of swimming pool project
Lawyers sift evidence in Watkins shooting
Zoo launches wildlife conservation lectures

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Bronson: Cop nearly lost his life, so we don't want him
Crowley: A George Clooney sighting would be a boost for Nick
Good Things Happening

LIVES REMEMBERED
'Moose' Jones spun tales of old Newport
M.A. Walters, 85, taught in Terrace Park

KENTUCKY STORIES
Battery park moves closer
Sack Tenet, senator says
Boone residents appeal ruling
City moves ahead on townhomes
N. Ky. briefs
Kentucky Briefs