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Man charged with murder in Ohio beating


CHESAPEAKE, Ohio — A Chesapeake, Ohio, man is behind bars and a homicide investigation was underway Wednesday after police found a man deceased when responding to a domestic violence call at the pair's home.

Kenneth J. Radimaker, of Chesapeake, has been charged with murder in the beating death of his roommate, James A. Baker Jr., 52.

According to Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless, officers were asked to respond at 1:08 a.m. Wednesday to a home along Private Drive 129, Township Road 287 in Chesapeake involving a call alleging domestic violence. Deputies arrived to find Baker unconscious in a bedroom.

Lawrence County EMS also had arrived, but was unsuccessful in reviving Baker.

Baker was declared deceased at the scene by Lawrence County Coroner Dr. Ben Mack's investigators. He will be sent to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office for an autopsy.

Lawless said a witness said Baker and Radimaker had lived together at the home for the past several months. At one point overnight, the two were having a verbal argument and the fight allegedly turned violent when Radimaker began to assault Baker with his hands. Radimaker then allegedly fled the scene prior to deputies arriving.

Deputies started an extensive search of the area and eventually

found Radimaker about two hours after the initial call in a wooded area behind the home, Lawless said.

The defendant was housed at the Lawrence County Jail. He is expected to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Friday, May 31, at the Lawrence County Municipal Court.

The case is under investigation by Lawrence County Sheriff's detectives. Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation crime scene technicians also processed the scene for evidence.

The LCEMS, Ohio State Highway Patrol, South Point Police Department, Huntington Police Department and Cabell County Sheriff's Office assisted in the initial case.

Fellow student honored during bittersweet Wayne graduation

WAYNE — Wayne High School's Class of 2019 received their diplomas Wednesday evening during the school's graduation ceremony in the school gymnasium.

The graduates included 120 CTE (career technical education) completers and 17 PROMISE Scholarship recipients. Together, the senior Pioneer class was awarded more than $1 million in scholarship money.

The class also paid tribute to Colt Adams, a 16-year-old sophomore at Wayne High School and tight end on the football team who died in a car crash Tuesday. Adams' teammates carried his jersey during the ceremony and the graduates displayed his jersey No. 8 on their regalia.

Graduations taking place Thursday, May 30, include Cabell Midland High School at 6 p.m. at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington and Tolsia High School at 7 p.m. at Tolsia High School.

Inmate death reported at Western Regional Jail

BARBOURSVILLE — Authorities are investigating the death of a woman in custody at the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville.

Brittney Horner, 28, was in the jail's medical unit when she suffered a "medical emergency" overnight May 19, according to Lawrence Messina, director of communications for the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. Staff responded and requested outside medical assistance, but all efforts by staff and responding emergency medical technicians were unsuccessful.

Messina said while a cause of death has not been determined, an overdose is not suspected at this time. Authorities are awaiting a report from the office of the chief medical examiner to make a determination of what caused the death.

The death is the first reported at the jail this year. Two were reported in 2018 and four were reported in 2017.

The last death at the facility occurred in November 2018 when Chad Totten was transported to an area hospital after he was found unresponsive in his jail cell.

Western Regional Jail has undergone several changes since 2018, starting with the dismissal of former superintendent Kim Wolfe.

Defense attorneys had argued last year in lawsuit filings and in court proceedings that overcrowding and understaffing caused allegedly unsafe conditions in the jail. A 5% salary raise that went into effect in 2018 has helped fill positions at the facility in hopes to alleviate some of those issues.

Plea deal turned down in murder case

HUNTINGTON — A young Huntington murder suspect has turned down a plea offer that would spare her a lifetime behind bars, and her trial is expected to move forward sometime this summer.

Andrea Glenda Moore, 18, is charged with murder in the June 13, 2018, shooting death of Joann Dawn Saunders Childers, 32, a mother of five from Huntington, at Marcum Terrace. Moore is also charged with malicious wounding in the alleged shooting of Stephen Christopher Smith, an employee of the Huntington Housing Authority who was mowing grass at the time he was shot.

Her co-defendants, David Moore and Kenard Moore, are both charged with being accessories.

Vickie Lester, executive director of the Huntington Housing Authority, previously said an altercation began June 12, 2018, at an off-site convenience store on Olive Street among a group of people. The altercation continued into the next day and resulted in the afternoon shooting.

Moore is accused of fleeing the scene and was not arrested until June 14, two days after the shootings. David Moore is accused of helping her flee, while Kenard Moore is accused of hiding the alleged murder weapon.

Assistant prosecutor Joe Fined a plea deal to Andrea Moorecham said while he had extend for second-degree murder with a sentence of 20 years, the defendant had rejected the deal. Her defense attorney Glen Conway agreed, stating the case would move forward.

Jason Goad, defense attorney for David Moore, said there was a "decent chance" his client would accept a plea deal in the case, although he did not disclose what the deal involved.

The Moores were scheduled to go to trial July 9, but the trial is set for the same day as another murder trial, this one against Jennifer Via. Because the Via case is older than the Moores' case, it would be given preference.

A deadline of June 19 has been set to determine which case will go.

Follow reporter Courtney Hessler at and via Twitter @HesslerHD.