September 8, 2017
HUNT GETS LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE
A Common Pleas Court jury took just over an hour to find Douglas Lee Hunt, 33, of Portsmouth, guilty of the August 2016 murder of an autistic 6 year old child who was living with him and his friend, Margarita White, the mother of the child. The decomposed body of Tyler J. Caudill was found wrapped in garbage bags outside a residence on Mabert Road, in Portsmouth. Hunt and White were indicted in November 2016 by the Scioto County grand jury for aggravated murder, murder, three counts of child endangering, (including one count of torturing and cruelly abusing the child), one count of tampering with evidence and one count of gross abuse of a corpse. After a four day trial, the jury convicted Hunt on all counts. Hunt was sentenced to life without parole with eleven years consecutively.
Hunt and White had lived in various locations since mid-2014 and had two children together. Tyler Caudill was the son of White and Michael Caudill of South Shore. In June 2016, no one had seen Tyler Caudill for some time. Family members filed missing persons reports with the Russell, KY police department, Kentucky Children’s Protective Services and Ohio Children’s Services.
The proof presented by the Prosecutor’s Office showed that Hunt had abused the child, broken his leg when he made him stand on a bar stool until he could stand no longer and fell, and fractured his arm when he jerked him by the arm repeated after the child had fallen from exhaustion when he was made to stand in a corner and pace around the room back and forth for hours at a time. The child was locked in a bathroom for a week or longer at a time and not allowed to eat or drink for extended periods until he starved to death.
Testimony showed that the child was placed in a beverage cooler after he died and covered with ice. The cooler was moved, along with the two younger siblings, 8 months and 18 months of age, to various locations until the cooler and the body were discovered by residents behind a house on Mabert Road.
Margarita White, the mother of the child, entered a plea of guilty to murder and child endangering and was sentenced to 18 years to life.