WEST PORTSMOUTH MAN CONVICTED IN DEATH OF HIS MOTHER
March 8, 2018
Mark Kuhn, Scioto County Prosecutor announced today that Scioto County Court of Common Pleas Judge Howard H. Harcha, III sentenced a West Portsmouth man Wednesday to Life in prison with no possibility of parole for at least 30 years, for the November 21, 2016 Aggravated Murder of Lori Halcomb of West Portsmouth, Ohio. A Common Pleas Court jury convicted Chad J. Phillips, age 38, of Haig Avenue, West Portsmouth, Ohio, for one count of Aggravated Murder and lesser charges.
The case stemmed from actions of a Washington-Nile school bus driver who noticed a man, later identified as Phillips, laying in the front yard while the student she had dropped off was sitting on the porch of the residence. The bus driver became concerned when she did not see the child’s grandmother and custodian Lori Halcomb. The bus driver told the child to enter the house and find his grandmother. Shortly after the child came running around the side of the house screaming that he had found his grandmother, covered in blood. The school bus driver took the child to safety, while school authorities called 911.
Scioto County Sherriff Detectives Dan Malone and Matt Spencer were called out to investigate the incident during the afternoon of November 21, 2016. Deputies took Phillips into custody while he was transported to Southern Ohio Medical Center for examination, and then transported him to the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office where he was interviewed as to his involvement in his mother’s death.
Investigators were able to collect a considerable amount of physical, blood and DNA evidence from the crime scene. Detectives were also able to collect as evidence a letter written by Phillips that indicated he would ‘see you both’ in heaven in two (2) days. Detectives Malone and Spencer were assisted in the investigation by other Detectives and Deputies of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and Special Agent Shane Hanshaw of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. Following his interview Chad Phillips was charges with the death of this mother on November 21, 2016.
The Jury heard three days of testimony and deliberated two (2) hours before rendering a guilty verdict. The Prosecution’s case was presented by Assistant Prosecutor Shane A. Tieman and Prosecutor Mark E. Kuhn. Judge Harcha immediately sentenced Phillips and ordered him transported to the custody of the Ohio Department of Rehabiitations and Corrections.
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.
June 29, 2017
FORMER BAND DIRECTOR SENTENCED
Scioto County Prosecutor, Mark Kuhn announced today that on June 29, 2017, Judge Howard H. Harcha, III accepted guilty pleas on one charge of Sexual Battery, a felony of the third degree, and two charges of Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity-Oriented Material, felonies of the fifth degree, from Matthew Swintek, age 28. Swintek was the band director for Portsmouth High School, Junior High and Elementary Schools.
The investigation of Swintek began when a former student, now an adult, came forward to law enforcement with concerns regarding the long-standing sexual relationship she had with the band director during her high school career. During the investigation, law enforcement discovered evidence that Swintek had also been involved in a prior relationship with a band student in another county during his student teaching in college. The former band director had possessed naked photos of both students.
On June 29, 2016, Swintek appeared before Judge Howard H. Harcha, III and pled guilty. On that date, Judge Harcha sentenced Swintek to twenty-three (23) months in the custody of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections and ordered the former Portsmouth Band Director to register as a Tier 3 Sex-Offender. Mr. Swintek also voluntarily surrendered his teaching license.
DAYTON AREA MAN SENTENCED TO FIFTEEN YEARS
April 4, 2017
Scioto County Court of Common Pleas Judge Leonard Holzapfel, sitting by assignment, today sentenced a Dayton area man to fifteen years imprisonment on multiple charges. Toby Lynn Lamb, II, 29, of West Carrolton, Ohio, was convicted by a Scioto County jury of for Aggravated Robbery, F1, with a Firearm Specification, and Failure to Comply with an Order or Signal of a Police Officer, F3. The jury deliberated for approximately two hours after hearing one and a half days of testimony.
Lamb was indicted for the October 16, 2015 Armed Robbery of the Super Eight Hotel in Rosemount and a subsequent car chase. At approximately 5:00AM, Lamb donned a covering for his face, plastic gloves and a loaded semi-automatic firearm and entered the hotel, demanding that the clerk give him money from the safe. The clerk was able to get away from Lamb and Lamb then exited the hotel. Scioto County Sheriff’s Officers were quickly dispatched to the crime scene and a “BOLO” was put out describing the suspect.
The Sheriff’s office, with mutual assistance from New Boston Police Department and the Ohio Highway Patrol, was able to locate the getaway vehicle. A high speed chase ensued in which one suspect bailed from the car and was apprehended. Lamb remained in the car and proceeded to lead police on a high speed chase through Rubyville, which ultimately ended with the Defendant wrecking the vehicle and escaping into the woods.
Through a strong investigation from the Sheriff’s Office, evidence was collected from witnesses and the crash scene that ultimately led to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of Lamb. “I want to thank the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and assisting agencies for their excellent efforts in investigating and ultimately bringing Mr. Lamb to justice,” said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shane Tieman who represented the State of Ohio. Mr. Lamb was represented at trial by attorney Gene Meadows.
DAYTON COUPLE SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS
FOR HEROIN TRAFFICKING
April 3, 2017
With a jury seated in the courthouse hallway ready for selection, a Dayton couple changed their pleas to guilty rather than face the evidence marshalled against them. Marlin K. Robinson, 23, and Carlisha Hill, 23, both of the Dayton area, were sentenced on four counts of heroin trafficking to ten years in prison.
The Southern Ohio Drug Task Force opened an investigation of heroin transportation from Dayton to Portsmouth and distribution in Mound Park. In January 2017, Task Force Officers arranged for hand- to-hand purchases on the streets in the Mound Park area as well as in the park itself. Seizure of the Defendants’ cell phones revealed text messages of heroin sales in the Portsmouth and Wheelersburg area as far back as June 2016. The Scioto County Grand Jury returned indictments against the pair on February12, 2017, after a search warrant was executed at a residence on Franklin Avenue in Portsmouth.
According to information submitted to the Court by Assistant Prosecutors Pat Apel and Julie Hutchinson, the heroin being transported from Dayton contained fentanyl.
“Fentanyl and heroin are a deadly combination,” said Assistant Prosecutor Apel. “One of the Defendants boasted that this batch was so strong that a purchaser in Dayton earlier took one sniff and fell over completely unconscious.”
A third Defendant, Timothy Smith, of Portsmouth will stand trial at a later date. Robinson has a prior trafficking conviction for selling heroin to a Dayton undercover officer. He is on probation on that offense. Hill is pending trial for heroin trafficking.
Judge William T. Marshall sentenced a Scioto County man yesterday to two life sentences consecutively for aggravated murder in the beating and shooting deaths of Bob DeHart, 83, of Lucasville, and Nancy Culp, 65, also of Lucasville. Anthony C. Colvin, 33, of Riddlebarger Road, Portsmouth, entered pleas of guilty to two separate counts of aggravated murder rather than face a jury trial in the April 13, 2016 homicides on Greenbrier Road.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a call that a neighbor had gone to a house on Greenbrier Road in Lucasville and found two people unresponsive on the floor. Officers and medical personnel arrived to find DeHart and Culp fatally wounded from gunshots and from blunt force trauma. Following tips from people in the community, Detectives learned that Colvin visited the home the day before the murders and had come back that day. After a manhunt of several days it was learned that Colvin had fled the scene and was trying to leave the county. Sheriff’s detectives and Southern Ohio Drug Task Force Officers tracked Colvin by use of electronic equipment and finally captured him hiding in Adams County.
“This was a case in which the defendant was blasted on drugs and intended to rob the victims,” said Assistant Prosecutor Pat Apel, who along with Assistant Prosecutor Julie Hutchinson prosecuted the case for the State. “Mr. DeHart, who was an acquaintance of the defendant, had helped him out by buying him gas and giving him money. The defendant used some of the money to buy drugs and returned to steal more money.”
Colvin had served a prison term for burglary and theft and had spent time unsuccessfully in rehab treatment. Colvin will not meet the parole board for the first time until he has served 40 years of his sentence.
November 28, 2016
WHEELERSBURG MAN GETS 25 TO LIFE FOR RAPE OF A MINOR
Scioto County Common Pleas Judge Howard H. Harcha III sentenced a Wheelersburg man to 25 years to life in prison for the rape of a minor. A Common Pleas Court jury deliberated nearly eleven hours over a two day period to find Shannon L. Horsley Jr., 45, who lived with this mother on Taylor Dutiel Road, guilty of Rape of a child under the age of 13.
Horsley, a lifelong resident of Scioto County, was charged in a five count indictment, with forcible rape covering a period of August 2012 until June 20, 2014. After a trial which lasted nearly six days, Horsley was found guilty of one count charging him with forcible rape of a minor resulting in serious physical harm.
According to testimony presented by Assistant Prosecutors Pat Apel and Julie Hutchinson, Sheriff’s detectives received a complaint that a minor had been assaulted and taken to the emergency room at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The minor was transferred to Adena Hospital in Chillicothe for examination by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. The rape kit collected by the nurse examiner was submitted to the BCI crime lab along with other evidence for examination. BCI analysts determined that Horsley’s DNA was on the minor’s dress and bed sheet. In addition, a physical examination conducted at the Children’s Protection Center in Chillicothe revealed injuries on the child suffered during the sexual assault.
Horsley is known to local law enforcement officers for his prior felony record which includes a 1996 burglary conviction and an 8 to 15 year prison sentence as well as two drug trafficking convictions occurring in 2010.
Horsley was represented by Portsmouth Attorney Richard Wolfson.
Scioto County Prosecutor Support Staff Paint it Pink!
Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office Paints it Pink!
Support Staff supported SOMC’s Breast Cancer Awareness program on October 17th, 2014 and Painted it Pink!
LOCAL MAN SENTENCED TO 22 YEARS IN METH CASE
August 24, 2016
Common Pleas Court Judge William T. Marshall sentenced Ronald L. Scoggins, 33, of McDermott, to 22 years in prison for manufacturing methamphetamine. After a two-day trial, a Common Pleas jury took only one hour to convict Scoggins of a five count indictment charging him with aggravated possession of meth, aggravated trafficking in meth, illegal manufacture of meth, illegal possession of chemicals for the manufacture of meth, and endangering children.
According to the testimony presented by the Prosecutor’s Office, on March 4, 2015, Scioto County Adult Probation Officers received information of meth use by a probationer on Wright’s Run Road. Probation officers and Southern Ohio Drug Task Force officers went to the residence and discovered a Nissan vehicle belonging to Scoggins girlfriend parked in a driveway with the motor running and the doors locked. When officers looked into the car, they saw in plain view an active one-pot meth lab in the center console of the vehicle. The lab was found less than 100 feet from a home where a seven-month-old child and his mother were napping.
According to testimony by witnesses, Scoggins fled shortly before the officers’ arrival. A search of the vehicle revealed three active one pot meth labs and two depleted meth labs as well as a large quantity of chemicals used in the manufacture of meth.
More damaging for Scoggins, he left his wallet and driver’s license behind in his girlfriend’s car. Scoggins remained on the run for several months until he was arrested earlier this year by the Scioto County Sheriff’s deputies.
Scoggins has served prison sentences for illegal possessions of meth chemicals in Fayette County in 2005 and illegal possession of meth chemicals in Clermont County in 2011. Scoggins is also pending a Scioto County trial in a separate case for auto theft and two counts of felonious assault on Sheriff’s deputies. Scoggins’ sentence includes 19 years of mandatory service before he can be considered for any type of release.
DRUGS, STOLEN ATV’S AND GUNS LEAD MAN TO 2O YEAR SENTENCE
August 18, 2016
Scioto County Prosecutor, Mark Kuhn announced today that on August 16, 2016, a Scioto County Petit Jury returned a verdict of guilty on sixteen (16) charges filed against Elsworth Chafin, III, age 30, of West Portsmouth, Ohio. The jury deliberated for just over two hours before retuning guilty verdicts against Chafin for six (6) drug charges involving heroin, nine (9) charges for Receiving Stolen Property, being ATV’s and one count of Possession Criminal Tools.
The investigation of Chafin began when Detective Jodi Conkel, of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, contacted Det. John Koch of the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force at 3:00 A.M. on April 1, 2016, to inquire about a West Portsmouth man who went by the name of ‘Booter’. Det. Conkel had learned though informants that a man using the name of ‘Booter’ was buying stolen four wheeled ATV’s with cash and heroin. Det. Koch was also working a narcotic’s investigation on an individual using the name “Booter”. The two worked that morning on identifying this person and learned that his name was Elsworth Chafin.
Following an undercover drug buy, the Scioto County Adult Probation Department conducted a home visit on Chafin’s residence. Chafin had been on probation for a misdemeanor theft offense. Upon arriving at the residence, probation officers asked for the assistance of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force. In total the Sheriff’s Office seized eight (8) stolen four wheelers from Chafin’s residence and one additional stolen four wheeler from a different location, which was linked to Chafin. The Detectives also seized a stolen firearm and over fifteen (15) grams of heroin, and items used in drug trafficking, from Chafin and his residence. In total, the Scioto County Sheriff’s office recovered twenty-two (22) stolen ATV’s, from different individuals, as part of their investigation of the thefts.
The State’s case was presented by Prosecuting Attorney, Mark Kuhn and Assistant Prosecutor Shane Tieman. The State presented the testimony of twenty-one (21) individuals and seventy (70) exhibits throughout the trial.
On August 17, 2016 the matter was set for sentencing before Judge William T. Marshall. Chafin had three prior felony convictions and previously been sentenced to prion on two prior occasions. On that date Judge Marshall sentenced Chafin to twenty (20) years in the custody of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections. Chafin remains lodged in the Scioto County Jail pending transport to the Ohio Penitentiary at Orient.