Trial Rescheduled: Minor Witness Dies in Fire

This is such an incredibly sad story.  An 11-year old girl and her deaf grandparents died in a house fire in  Youngstown, Ohio.  It is being reported that the young girl was also deaf.  Around 3:30 this morning the neighbors heard a loud explosion followed by a second explosion.  One neighbor said the entire house was engulfed in flames from the bottom up after she heard the explosions.  The little girl was to appear as a witness in the trial against the man charged with raping her. Robert Seman, Jr. age 46, had been charged with four felony counts each of rape and gross sexual imposition, according to  local news.  The victim’s mother contacted police in March, 2014 to report that her daughter told her Seman had been engaging in sexual conduct with her for several years.  The rape charges … Continue reading →

She Had 7 Children: Three of them are DEAD

Seven years ago I had written about a child murder case in Steubenville, Ohio.  The father of the baby, Fred Roman, bashed his son’s head against a wall because he was crying.  Today, the mother of that child is in jail on a charge of child endangerment, and her son is dead.  COVERED in bruises from head to toe according to Sheriff Fred Abdalla and had burns on his feet. Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said the child suffered severe injuries including bruises head to toe,  front and back, as well as burns on top of his feet. He said Fleischer walked a mile to the fire department to ask what to do about her dead child rather than ask a neighbor for a phone, which she claims she did not have. Abdalla went on to say the injuries to … Continue reading →

Steubenville: Time to Take Out the Trash

I was able to find a copy of the Bill of Particulars online – thanks to @4rcH_4ng3I_ who posted the copy on Twitter.  I know I sound like a broken record when I say that this case continues to get stranger and stranger with each court hearing, but it’s true.  This case is like a rotten onion.  The more you peel back layers the more funk that lies underneath.  This past court hearing didn’t disappoint in the deliverance of the “funk”.  Superintendent McVey’s attorney had asked that the State provide a Bill of Particulars regarding allegations against their client.  I have included the 4 pages that were posted, and transcribed from page 4 which reads as follows: Count 5 Nature of Offense:  Obstructing Official Business, specifically the defendant violated Section 2921.31(A)M-2, Ohio Revised Code. Conduct of Defendant, Date and Time:  Michael McVey, … Continue reading →

Cultural Apathy

Last week members of the Steubenville Police Department along with agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation executed the search warrants on 8 locations throughout Jefferson County in what was reported to be raids resulting from an illegal gambling investigation initiated by Steubenville Police and Ohio BCI.  An estimated $1.5 million was seized as a result of the coordinated raids.   What is odd is the lack of response by Jefferson County Prosecutor’s office and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department with regard to the raids.   Why hasn’t the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office and Sheriff’s office congratulated Steubenville PD and BCI on a job well done?  There have been so many other congratulatory butt slaps over the past 2 years when it comes to joint effort investigations and arrests.  Why no congratulatory ticker tape this time?    … Continue reading →

Burch Middle School: Mandatory Reporting Failure

After all of the publicity surrounding the Steubenville case, it is hard to comprehend that ANYONE in their right mind would attempt to protect their own when it comes to sexual abuse allegations within a school system.  That is exactly what is happening in Delbarton, WV by school administration at Burch Middle School. On Thursday West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey filed an injunction against several employees at Burch Middle School and the Mingo County Board of Education seeking injunctive relief based on allegations of sexual abuse by two juvenile boys who are alleged to be related to school administrators, as well as  civil rights violations against the victims.  The complaint seeks to prevent the school administration and teachers from preventing or interfering with the criminal investigation and Human Rights Commission investigation into the sexual assault allegations. On Friday a … Continue reading →

Coach Craig Wood Charged with Murder

Yesterday an Amber Alert was issued for Hailey Owens, a 10-year old from Springfield, MO after she was taken around 5 p.m. by a man driving a gold Ford Ranger.  Witnesses report that the truck had circled the area several times before pulling over and dragging Hailey into the vehicle. The Amber Alert was canceled just before 7 a.m. Wednesday and Coach Craig Wood was arrested and charged with murder.  Springfield police say they received a tip that led them to Coach Wood at a residence in town.  It was initially believed he and the child were heading to Oklahoma. Pam Bodine, Sr. Communications Specialist, at Pleasant View Middle School confirmed for me this morning that Wood is a paraprofessional (“teacher’s aide”) and coach at the school and has been employed at the school since August 1998.  He is currently suspended … Continue reading →

MISSING: Newborn Kayden Powell

Wisconsin police and the FBI are trying to locate a 5 day-old baby boy who went missing from a home in the town of Beloit, Wisconsin early Thursday morning. Town of Beloit Police Chief Steve Kopp says the mother of Kayden Powell, Brianna Marshall,  contacted police immediately after she woke up around 4:30 Thursday morning when she discovered her son was gone. The home belongs to the great-grandmother of the infant where she lives with the baby’s father, Bruce.  A relative living in the home told police that the last time he saw Kayden was when his mother was trying to calm him down before putting him down for bed.  An aunt of Brianna Marshall’s from Colorado left in the night and was later pulled over in Iowa by law enforcement to determine if she knew where the baby was. … Continue reading →

Debra Copeland School of Bright Promise

Debra Copeland, a physical therapist at the School of Bright Promise in Jefferson County, Ohio was put on paid administrative leave and is facing three charges of child endangerment for abuse that was secretly recorded by an intern.  The intern who worked at the School of Bright Promise secretly recorded the  sessions with Copeland and two special needs children.  The woman who is being identified as BJ told News 9: “Her demeanor, the way she would speak about the children, sometimes I would hear her talk down to kids. It seemed odd to me.” BJ recorded one video (posted below) that shows a child during a 30-minute physical therapy session where she can be seen sitting.   Copeland then comes over and shoves the little girl back to the ground and says, “Get down now. I said down. No.” Copeland … Continue reading →

One Billion Rising Steubenville Flash Mob

Today  in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville at 12:15 p.m. flash mob participants will perform a nearly five-minute dance by Broadway choreographer Debbie Allen to the song “Break the Chain,” written by Teva Clark.  One Billion Rising events will be held worldwide, including gatherings in Kent, Chardon, Cleveland, Fairview Park, Akron, John Carroll University and Notre Dame College. Deb Lemire is the organizer of V-Day Akron and   coordinated the flash mob to coincide with One Billion Rising, a global activist movement that brings attention to violence against women and girls.  I have seen a lot of not so nice comments by some  individuals in Steubenville who are claiming that outsiders have ruined the reputation of their town.  I think it is awesome that outsiders continue to come to their town to bring attention to violence against … Continue reading →