Ohio News Notebook


Officials identify inmate killed in assault

COLUMBUS — Authorities have identified an Ohio inmate who was assaulted by another inmate in a prison recreation area and died the next day.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said Wednesday that 33-year-old Michael Dodgens, of Columbus, died Aug. 25.

The State Highway Patrol says he was attacked by another inmate armed with a “personal weapon” at Mansfield Correctional Institute the day before.

No one has been charged, and no suspects have been publicly identified.

Dodgens was serving a 15-year sentence for a 2007 rape conviction in Licking County.

Homicide victim identified after 27 years

NEWARK — Authorities say they’ve identified a woman whose body was found outside an Ohio gas station 27 years ago and have reopened the investigation into her homicide.

Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp says the woman now identified as Patrice Corley was 29 when she died. Her body was found April 19, 1990, outside a gas station in the central Ohio county. The autopsy found she died from blunt force trauma after being struck in the head.

Thorp says the woman’s DNA was later placed into a national database. He say Corley’s family filed a missing person report with police in Louisville, Kentucky, in October 2016 and later submitted DNA that eventually led to the identification.

Sheriff’s detectives are now working with Louisville police on the investigation.

Body found after house explodes

SWANTON — Authorities say a body has been found after a standoff and house explosion outside Toledo.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office says the body was found Thursday in the rubble of a home that caught fire and blew up Wednesday night.

Investigators say the standoff began as a domestic dispute when a man entered a Swan Creek Township home about 25 miles southwest of Toledo. The sheriff’s office says a woman and two children were able to leave the home, but the man refused.

Sheriff Roy Miller says the suspect set the house on fire. A deputy tried to get inside the home but backed away after smelling gas.

The house then exploded, rattling neighboring homes.

The name of the man involved in the standoff hasn’t been made public.

Jury finds man guilty of murdering boy

WARREN — An Ohio man has been convicted of murder and other charges for the 2015 death of a 3-year-old boy he was babysitting.

The Warren Tribune-Chronicle reports a jury in Trumbull County deliberated about an hour before finding 44-year-old Arthur Harper guilty after a three-day trial. Sentencing is Sept. 25.

Prosecutors say Harper killed Russell Cottrill in November 2015 when he was living with the boy and his mother in Warren. Harper called 911 to say the boy was unresponsive after falling out of bed.

Harper told police he injured Russell when he used a professional wrestling move called a “piledriver” on him.

A medical examiner said the boy received a severe blow to the top of his skull that caused bleeding and nerve damage.

Harper’s attorney wasn’t immediately available Thursday.

Chief Wahoo protester charged with theft

CLEVELAND — A man who has held protests saying the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo mascot is racist faces federal charges over allegations he stole money from federal grants aimed at helping Native Americans.

Seventy-year-old Robert Roche, of Cleveland, was indicted Wednesday on one count of conspiracy to steal federal funds and two counts of theft from programs receiving federal funds.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland says a lengthy investigation showed that Roche conspired to divert money from the American Indian Education Center in suburban Cleveland where he served as executive director.

Prosecutors say Roche and a consultant embezzled at least $180,000 from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grants and that Roche diverted $77,000 for his personal use.

Roche couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday. It wasn’t clear who his lawyer is.

Man convicted of using false name to avoid prison

ZANESVILLE — Authorities say Robert Mason was a trusted and model prisoner the six times he was booked into Ohio’s Zanesville City Jail starting in 2014.

But it wasn’t Robert Mason who served those 150-plus days for various misdemeanors. It was Troy Mason, a homeless man who used his brother’s name to avoid returning to prison for a parole violation on a felony burglary conviction.

A Muskingum County jury on Wednesday found the 50-year-old Mason guilty of forgery and tampering with records, felony convictions that could result in more prison time.

Prosecutors say the Zanesville jail’s fingerprint machine was broken the first time he was booked as Robert Mason, and he became a familiar figure afterward. He continued the charade until his parole officer unmasked him last year.

Mason’s attorney declined to comment Thursday.

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Associated Press