Woman pleads not guilty in death of son

CLEVELAND (AP) — The mother of a developmentally disabled 5-year-old boy found buried in the backyard of a Cleveland home has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges.

Larissa Rodriguez didn’t speak during her arraignment Tuesday. She remains in jail on a $1 million bond.

Authorities on Dec. 19 found the body of Jordan Rodriguez buried in bags in the yard of his Cleveland home.

Police say Larissa Rodriguez showed authorities where the boy was buried. Court documents say she told police she and her boyfriend buried the boy after finding him unresponsive.

Court documents also say the boy’s remains showed multiple signs of abuse.

Police have said Jordan died in September.

A message seeking comment left with a public defender for Rodriguez wasn’t immediately returned.

Police: Girl seriously hurt when dad crashes in street race

CINCINNATI (AP) — Police say a 4-year-old girl riding in a vehicle driven by her father suffered life-threatening injuries when he crashed while racing another car on a Cincinnati street.

WCPO-TV reports the vehicles made contact while racing Monday afternoon, and the car carrying the girl veered and hit an oncoming vehicle before going over a guardrail. The second racing car hit a separate oncoming vehicle.

Cincinnati police Sgt. Mike Machenheimer says the child was hospitalized. He says some of the four drivers involved suffered injuries, but none of those was considered life-threatening.

The crash is under investigation. Police say the motorists suspected of racing could face charges including reckless driving.

Police: Baby delivered after pregnant woman fatally shot

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio police investigating the fatal shooting of a pregnant woman and a man say doctors successfully delivered the woman’s baby boy, who was then hospitalized in critical condition.

Columbus police say the Monday night shooting at a home a few miles west of downtown also critically wounded another person.

Sgt. Jeff Strayer tells WSYX-TV that the slain woman was about 35 weeks pregnant.

Police say it appears the shooting occurred during a robbery at the home shortly before midnight. Investigators haven’t shared names or further details about the people who were shot.

Police say they’re searching for a sport utility vehicle that was damaged by gunfire.

Elderly couple found dead at home

WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (AP) — Police say a couple in their 80s were found dead in a southwest Ohio home on New Year’s Eve.

Investigators haven’t released details about what happened to the pair. The Dayton Daily News reports that a relative who found the unresponsive couple and called for help told dispatchers there was a handgun at the scene in West Carrollton, several miles southwest of Dayton.

Deputy Chief David Wessling didn’t confirm any details about a weapon Monday but told the newspaper that there was no immediate cause for concern for area residents. Wessling said he hoped to release more information Tuesday after discussing the case with police detectives.

Authorities say autopsies were planned Tuesday for the couple, identified as John and Alma Smelko, of West Carrollton. Both were 83.

Police: Robbery suspect killed self as officers entered home

LORAIN, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio say a suspect in an armed robbery killed himself as officers prepared to search the home where he was hiding.

Investigators believe 26-year-old Raymond Fowler III robbed a store in Lorain at gunpoint late Friday night. Police tracked him to a nearby home, surrounded it and obtained a search warrant.

Officers say they heard a single gunshot as they entered the home.

Fowler was found in the basement dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Investigators say there was evidence near the body tying him to the robbery.

Fowler had been released from prison in February after serving a seven-year term for robbery and assault.

Ex-reporter for Cleveland TV station dies

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former Cleveland television reporter has died at age 38.

She had worked at WJW-TV, known in the area as Fox 8. The television station reports that Kathleen Cochrane DePiero died Saturday after a brief illness.

DePiero worked at the station beginning in 2005 before stepping away from her career to spend time with her children, 7-year-old Blake and 5-year-old Hadley.

She most recently worked for the station on special assignment during the 2016 Republican National Convention, held in Cleveland.

WJW news director Andy Fishman said the station is “heartbroken” at the loss of a reporter described as “hard-working, determined and thorough.”

DePiero’s husband, Dean DePiero, is a former Democratic state lawmaker and a former mayor of Parma.


Associated Press