More jail space needed for violent crime cases
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A jump in federal cases involving violent crimes and drug cases being prosecuted in Ohio has officials looking for more jail space.
The U.S. marshal for the 48-counties that make up the Southern District of Ohio recently began sending defendants to the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, a regional jail near Bryan.
Many of those federal prisoners usually are held in the Franklin and Delaware County jails near Columbus.
But federal authorities are dealing with a record 483 defendants whose cases were pending as of early October.
Almost half of those are facing drug charges.
Benjamin Glassman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, tells The Columbus Dispatch that violent crime initiatives in Cincinnati and Columbus are bringing more violent crime prosecutions.
Man who killed cop identified
GIRARD, Ohio (AP) — A coroner has identified the Ohio man suspected of killing a policeman before he was fatally shot by another officer responding to a domestic disturbance at a home.
The Vindicator newspaper reports the slain suspect was identified as Jason Marble, who lived at the home in Girard, roughly 70 miles southeast of Cleveland. Investigators haven’t released other information about Marble.
Police say the slain Girard officer, 31-year-old Justin Leo, was shot on Saturday night as he and another officer approached the home and the suspect opened fire. Leo died at a hospital.
A radio call for an “officer down” included someone telling a dispatcher there was a man with several firearms who had been drinking all day.
The state Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the confrontation.
Drive-by shooting suspect pleads guilty
HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A 25-year-old man charged with two counts of aggravated murder in a drive-by shooting in southwestern Ohio has pleaded guilty.
Prosecutors say Zachary Harris entered his plea Monday shortly before jury selection was scheduled to start. Harris would’ve faced the death penalty if he was convicted at trial.
Harris’ attorney says the man has taken responsibility for the deaths of Todd Berus and Orlando Gilbert, both 25 years old.
Harris was one of three men charged in the August 2016 shooting in Hamilton. Prosecutors say the shooting was part of a murder-for-hire plot in retaliation for a deadly shooting at Doubles Bar the month before.
One man was killed and seven others were wounded in the bar shooting.
Court won’t hear exotic animal case
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Another court has dealt a blow to an Ohio man who is trying to get his six tigers and several other exotic animals back from the state.
The Ohio Supreme Court earlier this month said it would not hear an appeal in the case involving the owner of a roadside animal sanctuary near Toledo.
Ohio took custody of 11 animals from Kenny Hetrick in January 2015 after officials say he ignored warnings that he needed a permit.
Hetrick argues he was treated differently than other exotic animal owners and has asked the courts to force the state to give him a permit and return the animals.
The tigers, bear, leopard and cougar are now being kept in out-of-state sanctuaries during the state’s appeal.
Zoo’s Fiona watches as couple gets engaged
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo’s popular baby hippo, Fiona, has drawn a lot of love but perhaps none quite like this moment: From her exhibit, she got a front-row seat to a wedding proposal between two of her fans.
A snapshot shared on Instagram shows the hippo underwater with her face near the glass, watching as Nick Kelble got down on one knee in front of her with a ring box for his smiling girlfriend, Hayley Roll.
Roll accepted the proposal and shared the photos earlier this month, noting that she and her fiance are glad the hippo was part of their special day.
Fiona was born premature in January, weighing only about 29 pounds. She overcame early health scares and now weighs more than 500 pounds.