Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Public safety notebook

Man who killed twice sentenced to prison

Staff/Wire reports

A 30-year-old Cincinnati man who killed two men in separate shootings will spend at least 23 years in prison.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles J. Kubicki Jr. convicted Carlton James Monday on charges of voluntary manslaughter and improperly having a weapon in the killing of Tony Johnson on May 25, 2002.

Kubicki sentenced James to spend 18 years in prison.

The sentence follows a separate case in which James was convicted of killing Rashad Barnes on Sept. 16, 2002.

After a jury found James guilty June 3, Kubicki sentenced James to spend 23 years to life in prison.

That sentence and the one imposed Monday will run at the same time, Kubicki said.

James was on the run for almost a year before federal authorities caught him in July 2003. He was arrested in Indianapolis.

Guilty plea made in attack on jogger

A 41-year-old Harrison man accused of attacking a woman as she jogged along a hiking trail at Hamilton County's Miami Whitewater Park last year pleaded guilty Monday to charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and felonious assault.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert S. Kraft convicted Steven Potter and sentenced him to spend 10 years in prison.

The 21-year-old victim did not know Potter.

Prosecutors say on April 17, 2003, Potter attacked the woman with a club fashioned from a sawed-off baseball bat. Another jogger heard the woman's screams, went to help her and wrestled Potter to the ground.

The rescuer and his girlfriend held Potter until police arrived.

Police still searching for New Mexico teen

Cincinnati police continued to look Monday for a 14-year-old Santa Fe, N.M., girl who ran away Saturday from a downtown hotel. Catherine Garcia was last seen at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 15 W. Sixth St., at 3:45 p.m. She was traveling with her mother and stopped in Cincinnati to see her father, who was expected to arrive from North Carolina, police reports said.

Meg Shepard said her daughter left a note saying she wanted to live "out on my own." Shepard said she thinks Catherine may have run away because she refused to let her speak with a 19-year-old Mississippi man she met in an Internet chat room.

Garcia, is 5 feet, 4 inches tall, and was last seen wearing a black ball cap, black T-shirt with a happy face on the front, green pants with suspenders and Converse gym shoes.

Officials: Warehouse fire intentionally set

QUEENSGATE - An abandoned warehouse fire that snarled Monday morning traffic at the corner of Third and Gest streets was intentionally set, authorities said.

Investigators questioned a few people about the arson, but no one had been arrested Monday afternoon, said Cincinnati Fire Chief Robert Wright.

Sections of the streets were closed as firefighters fought the blaze, which had crept up to the second story by the time fire crews arrived about 8 a.m.

About 50 firefighters were on the scene and the fire was out by 10 a.m. The building, slated for demolition, was destroyed.

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