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State Briefing

Suspect wants evidence tossed

YOUNGSTOWN — A man who authorities say held a gun while recording a threatening video about an Ohio Jewish center is asking for certain evidence that portrays him in a negative light to be thrown out. James Reardon, of New Middletown, was indicted on Sept. 27 on one count of transmitting an interstate communication threat and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Reardon’s defense argued in a motion filed Monday that firearms seized in a search of his residence, except for the one he is allegedly holding in the video, shouldn’t be introduced into evidence because he wasn’t charged with a firearm violation, The Warren Tribune Chronicle reported. New Middletown police contacted the FBI in August about the Instagram video, which included sirens, screams, gunshot sounds and the caption: “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.” A submachine gun, AR-15 rifle and Nazi memorabilia were found during a search of Reardon’s home. Defense attorney Ross Smith said in September that the case is “completely fictional.” Reardon’s trial is scheduled for Jan. 27.

Birders sue to stop wind farm

TOLEDO — Two birding groups filed a federal lawsuit trying to block a planned wind farm in Lake Erie, saying the project poses a danger to birds that fly through the area. The groups said the proposed six-turbine wind farm for just off the shore of Cleveland “would pose substantial collision risks to the enormous numbers of birds that use the area throughout the year, including large concentrations of migrating songbirds.” The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have failed to evaluate the environmental impacts of the project and alternatives as required by the National Environmental Policy Act and the federal Clean Water Act, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday. Plans call for the turbines to be 8 to 10 miles (13 to 16 kilometers) northwest of Cleveland. The energy department and the Army Corps declined to comment. If approved, the wind farm would be the first offshore wind farm in the Great Lakes, The Blade reported.

Believes son died of milk allergy

NELSONVILLE — The mother of an Ohio college student who was found unresponsive in his dorm and later died said a severe milk allergy was to blame. Hocking College police found Logan Lewis, 20, of Heath, unresponsive in a dormitory on Thursday before he was pronounced dead soon thereafter at a nearby hospital due to anaphylaxis from a severe allergy, according to his obituary. Lewis’ mother, Jamie Baker, wrote in a Facebook post the day after he died that she believes her son died of a severe allergy to milk. Tim Brunicardi, a spokesman for Hocking College, said Lewis’ death is under investigation and no foul play is suspected. “As many of you know Logan has had a life threatening milk allergy his entire life,” Baker wrote. “While at school last night he accidentally drank something with milk in it and did not get his EpiPen in time to stop the reaction and the EMTs were unable to save him.”

Sent nearly 16K child porn files

COLUMBUS — A former Ohio television weatherman accused of downloading child porn emailed himself nearly 16,000 such images to view on other devices, investigators said in recently unsealed search warrants. Mike Davis used one email account to regularly send himself “batches” of files depicting sexually explicit images of young girls over a period of seven years, according to the records unsealed Wednesday. Davis, 60, pleaded not guilty to four child pornography-related charges in October. Davis worked at WBNS-TV in Columbus for more than three decades and was fired after his arrest in September. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received 25 tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an account associated with Davis’ email address had uploaded thousands of images.

Mom’s trial won’t be moved yet

CHARDON — The trial of a woman who authorities say put her newborn baby boy in a garbage bag and left him in a wooded area in 1993 won’t be immediately moved over concerns of extensive pre-trial publicity, a judge ruled. Gail Eastwood-Ritchey, 49, has pleaded not guilty in Geauga County Court to aggravated murder and murder charges. Investigators say Eastwood-Ritchey stated she hid the pregnancy from everyone. They say the woman, of the Cleveland suburb of Euclid, married the baby’s father and has three grown children. Authorities say familial DNA ancestry from an online database was used to track down Eastwood-Ritchey, who was charged earlier this year. Judge David Ondrey ruled against moving the January trial before an attempt to seat a jury is made, the News-Herald reported Tuesday. Community members paid for a funeral, burial and a headstone marked “Geauga’s Child,” where gifts and flowers continue to be placed.

Court won’t halt lawsuits

COLUMBUS — An Ohio hospital doctor who pleaded not guilty to murder in 25 patients’ deaths was unsuccessful in his latest bid to pause more than a dozen related lawsuits while the criminal case is pending. A state appeals court dismissed the appeals from William Husel and his former employer, the Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System, for procedural reasons in the past two weeks. A review by Mount Carmel found the intensive care doctor ordered excessive painkillers for about three dozen patients who died over several years. He was fired in December 2018. Husel’s lawyer in the civil cases argued that allowing those to proceed during the criminal case would hurt the doctor’s ability to defend himself because he would invoke his constitutional rights against self-incrimination. That, in turn, would hinder Mount Carmel’s ability to defend itself, the hospital system contended. A Franklin County judge declined to pause the lawsuits, and the state court didn’t get into each side’s arguments in considering the subsequent appeals. It merely concluded the judge’s decision wasn’t a final one that could be appealed. Now the lawyers involved are beginning the monthslong process of collecting documentation — such as hospital policies and emails — and arranging to take sworn statements from scores of people, such as nurses and pharmacists who administered and approved medications, attorney David Shroyer, who represents some of the families, said Thursday.

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