By Bethany Royer

February 19, 2014

Ohio murder suspect tells 911 he attacked roommate

BATAVIA (AP) — A 911 call recording captures a man telling a dispatcher in detail about arguing with his roommate and choking her to death, saying, “I honestly lost my mind.”

Phillip Hamm, 21, is jailed on a murder charge in Clermont County, east of Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported details of the 911 call made Saturday morning about the death of 20-year-old Meagan Fambry.

A man identifying himself as Hamm says they argued Friday night at a party in Covington, Ky., and again when they got home.

“I honestly don’t know what happened to myself,” he said. “Like, I attacked her, I, like, choked her, I threw her down and was choking her.”

He said he waited a couple of hours to call because he didn’t know what was going on in his mind, saying, “It’s not who I am.”

He also told the dispatcher: “I honestly lost my mind.”

Union Township police Lt. Scott Gaviglia praised the dispatcher for giving first responders extra time to reach the apartment on snow-covered roads. She asked if he had any weapons; he said no.

The dispatcher asked the man if CPR would help and if he believed the woman had died.

“I know she is passed away,” he said. He said she was in bed covered up.

Hamm was being held Wednesday on $500,000 bond. No attorney was listed for him.

Police look to video after Marine death in Ohio

BELLEFONTAINE (AP) — Police investigating a hit-and-run crash that killed a U.S. Marine from Virginia say they’ve collected surveillance video from businesses and other evidence from the scene in western Ohio.

Police have been trying to identify the vehicle that struck 34-four-year-old Monica Plank after midnight Sunday after she left a restaurant in Bellefontaine northwest of Columbus. Plank was a Marine gunnery sergeant from Stafford, Va.

The Bellefontaine Examiner reports Plank had been walking in the roadway to avoid deep snow and ice on the sidewalks. She died hours after the crash at a Columbus hospital.

Her husband, Chris Plank, was an estimate 100 to 200 feet behind her at the time of the crash. He is also a U.S. Marine sergeant and is from the Bellefontaine area.

Ohio man gets 10 years in Texas solicitation case

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors say an Ohio man who traveled to South Texas to meet a girl he chatted with online and sought for sex must serve 10 years in prison.

A federal judge in Corpus Christi on Tuesday sentenced 23-year-old Harley Michael Peterson of Toledo, Ohio. Peterson in September pleaded guilty to online solicitation of a child.

Prosecutors say Peterson communicated with the 15-year-old for several months online and by phone before traveling to Corpus Christi in August 2012 to meet her. Investigators say Peterson’s friends in Ohio warned him against making the trip — but he traveled to Texas anyway.

At about the same time the girl’s family reported she ran away.

Police tracked the teen’s postings online and eventually found her and Peterson.

Ohio man charged with assault over infant’s burns

MOUNT VERNON (AP) — A central Ohio prosecutor says a man charged in a three-count indictment is accused of burning his girlfriend’s 5-month-old son so badly that part of the child’s left leg had to be amputated and he needed skin grafts on one arm.

Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher says 19-year-old Zachariah Keen of Mount Vernon is charged with felony assault and two counts of child endangerment.

Keen is in jail. Court records listed no attorney for him.

Thatcher says Keen told police he tripped and spilled a baby bottle of hot water while babysitting Jan. 17. Thatcher says authorities don’t believe the child’s second- and third-degree burns were accidental.

The charges allege Keen knowingly hurt the child and failed to seek appropriate medical help for him.

Keen’s arraignment is scheduled Feb. 28.

Driver rescues kitten found frozen to road

ELYRIA (AP) — A driver who found a gray kitten frozen to the road in northeast Ohio and rescued it says she initially thought it was a chunk of ice and was shocked when it tried to move.

Dara Taylor of Elyria tells The Chronicle-Telegram she found the cat Monday covered in ice, as though it had been in water, and it couldn’t open its eyes. She says she freed the cat from the road and took it to the Friendship Animal Protective League.

The group’s chief financial officer, Shelley MacDonald, says the male cat has warmed up and is being treated for a respiratory infection. Officials are hopeful he will fully recover.

The organization says it is already getting adoption requests for the kitten, which has been named Frosty.

CSX rebuilds NW Ohio track where train derailed

TONTOGANY (AP) — Railroad workers have rebuilt track at the site of a northwest Ohio train derailment.

A spokeswoman for CSX Transportation Corp. tells The Blade in Toledo that it could take weeks to determine why 19 train cars jumped the tracks late Monday in the Wood County village of Tontogany, about 25 miles southwest of Toledo. No one was hurt.

CSX says one of the cars was hauling scrap metal. The rest were empty.

The track was expected to reopen Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office says debris from the derailment caused minor damage to several nearby buildings, including a firehouse.

The derailment happened at a switch for a track that allows trains to pass one another on the mostly single-line route.

Opening statements set in Ohio slave labor trial

YOUNGSTOWN (AP) — Prosecutors and defense attorneys are set to outline their arguments at the Ohio trial of two people charged with enslaving a mentally disabled woman for two years with her child.

Opening statements were scheduled Wednesday in federal court in Youngstown at the trial of 27-year-old Jordie Callahan and 32-year-old Jessica Hunt. They pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say the victim was forced to do housework in Ashland while she and her child were threatened with a python or pit bulls. The defendants are accused of looting her bank account and public assistance.

Police got involved when the woman was arrested for shoplifting a candy bar and asked to be jailed because people had been mean to her.

The judge says the trial could last three weeks, and 60 witnesses may testify.