Ohio News Notebook


Jefferson Co. judge continues to recover

STEUBENVILLE — A newspaper reports that a county judge shot and wounded while walking to an Ohio courthouse continues to recover.

Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. was shot Monday morning outside the Jefferson County courthouse in Steubenville, along the Ohio River in eastern Ohio.

The judge’s brother tells the Steubenville Herald-Star the judge is sitting up and asking when he can be released from the hospital. Frank Bruzzese says a bullet that struck his brother didn’t hit any vital organs.

The sheriff in Jefferson County says the judge returned fire after suspect Nate Richmond shot him.

A probation officer shot and killed Richmond.

The courthouse reopened Wednesday with extra security.

Owner torches trailer over drug use

CHILLICOTHE — Authorities say a Ross County property owner admitted setting his vacant trailer home on fire because he’s tired of renting it to people addicted to drugs.

The Chillicothe Gazette reports Ross County sheriff’s deputies arrived at property owned by 41-year-old Robert Violette last week and found him trying to extinguish a fire in one of his trailers with a garden hose.

An incident report says Violette told deputies he wanted to torch all the trailers on his property because of tenants who were misusing drugs.

A township fire department put out the blaze and issued Violette a warning.

Violette didn’t return the newspaper’s calls for comment.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit in Ross County in May against five drugmakers, accusing them of helping create the region’s opioid epidemic.

2 killed on I-71 in Ashland County

ASHLAND — Authorities say two men standing outside of a disabled semi-trailer along an Ohio interstate have been struck and killed by a motorist who told investigators he’d fallen asleep at the wheel.

The state Highway Patrol has identified the men killed Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 71 north in Ashland County as 44-year-old Steven Garceau, of Champlain, New York, and 28-year-old Dennis McKenzie Jr., of Polk, Ohio. The patrol says the men appeared to have been working on the semi when they were killed.

The patrol says the semi had been pulling an oversized load and was parked well off the interstate onto the berm. The car’s driver told investigators he’d fallen asleep and didn’t realize he’d hit the men.

No charges have yet been filed against the motorist.

Man crushed to death at factory

FRANKLIN — A 28-year-old man has been crushed to death after a piece of heavy equipment fell on him at a southwest Ohio factory.

Authorities say Douglas Mescher, of Lebanon, was killed Tuesday at Walther Engineering and Manufacturing, a vehicle parts maker in Franklin where Mescher worked as a subcontractor.

Franklin is about 35 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati.

A company spokesman declined to comment when contacted by the Dayton Daily News.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating Mescher’s death.

Illegal immigrant pleads guilty in deadly crash

OREGON — A man who was living in the U.S. illegally has pleaded guilty in an alcohol-related crash that killed three people in Ohio.

Prosecutors say Alejandro Ramirez-Jaramillo was drunk when he drove through a stop sign in March and killed a couple and their adult daughter near Toledo.

A Lucas County judge on Tuesday sentenced the 27-year-old Asheboro, North Carolina, man to 21 years in prison after he pleaded to guilty aggravated vehicular homicide.

A message seeking comment was left with his attorney.

The crash just east of Toledo killed Robin and Barbara Shellhammer, of Oregon, and their daughter, Whitney Meinke, of Curtice.

Court records show Ramirez-Jaramillo was being held on an immigration detainer after his arrest.

Police: Shooting at party related to drugs

CINCINNATI — Police say a deadly shooting at a gender reveal party in Ohio was targeted and possibly related to drugs.

Colerain Township police spokesman James Love says investigators have found multiple connections between people who attended the party and three drug rings. He also says detectives have been met with resistance from victims and witnesses.

Twenty-two-year-old Autum Garrett of Andrews, Indiana, was killed on July 8 during what was supposed to be a pregnant woman’s gender reveal party. Garrett’s husband and their two children were among eight people who were wounded.

Authorities have said a 21-year-old woman who claimed she lost her child after being shot wasn’t pregnant.

Police say the continuing investigation will be lengthy and thorough, and they expect to make multiple arrests.

Woman claims she won $500K lottery

CLEVELAND — An Ohio woman claims to have won $500,000 on an Ohio Lottery scratch-off ticket, while the lottery says she won only the $500 she received.

Penelope Demetriades filed a claim against the lottery Monday in Ohio’s Court of Claims. The Northfield woman says she bought a ticket in September at a convenience store in Macedonia. She says a store employee said she won $500 and gave her that prize.

Demetriades says she later determined she won $500,000, but employees wouldn’t honor her ticket, saying it was destroyed or thrown.

She alleges breach of contract, among other things, and is seeking compensatory damages and a judgment that she won $500,000.

The lottery says investigators reconstructed the ticket, and it was a $500 winner.

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Associated Press

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