At a glance

Suspect wanted in connection with thefts

WEATHERSFIELD – Township police are asking for the public’s help in locating a man suspected in two thefts.

Warrants have been issued for the arrest of James J. Depizzo, 44, of Girard. Police reported that the thefts took place at the Pilot Truck Stop and Sheetz on Salt Springs Road. In one theft $300 worth of candy was stolen, police reported.

Anyone with information about Depizzo’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Weathersfield Township Police Department at 330-652-6486 or the dispatch line at 330-675-2730.

Man reports assault by woman’s ex-boyfriend

WARREN – A city man told police he was assaulted at his home by his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend on Monday.

The 25-year-old man stated that the other male came to his Beal Street home just before 8:30 a.m., pulled out a small black revolver and fired it at the ground before putting it to his throat, according to a Warren police report.

The man told police “this had been a continuous problem” since he’d been dating the female.

Three to state cases for health board seat

WARREN – Three people have applied for a five-year appointment on the Trumbull County Board of Health.

Marisha Agana, a pediatrician from Howland who sought a seat on the board in August; Darryl Black, a former trustee in Mecca; and William A. Hagood, who is seeking to stay on the board of health when his term expires in March, will argue their case to members of the District Advisory Council, which fills openings on the board, when it meets on March 12.

The meeting will be held on the fifth floor of the county administration building, 160 High St. N.W. The council is made up of representatives from each township, village and city in the county general health district and county commissioners. Girard, Niles and Warren are not part of the county health district.

Bumper in back seat linked to hit-skip

NILES – Despite a 25-year-old city man’s claims that he wasn’t involved in a hit-skip crash early Saturday morning, police said they they connected him to the scene by spotting a damaged bumper and other car parts in the back seat of the Trailblazer he was driving.

William Holbrook Jr. of 158 N. Arlington Ave., is facing various misdemeanor charges, including operating a vehicle while impaired, leaving the scene of an accident and having an open container of alcohol. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday in Niles Municipal Court, and is due back for a pretrial at 8:30 a.m. March 21.

Police said they received a call about a hit-skip crash at U.S. Route 422 and state Route 46 around 12:47 Saturday. Police were told that a gray Trailblazer hit another vehicle at the traffic light, then drove away.

Police said they spotted on Main Street an SUV matching the description and missing its front bumper. The vehicle was stopped, and the driver, Holbrook, questioned and arrested.

County prepares $1.8M from Senior Levy

WARREN – About $1.8 million will be distributed for elder care services provided by the Senior Levy in the next round of contract funding.

Of the available dollars, $910,000 will be used for services such as personal care, adult daycare and in-home meals; $600,000 for community centers; $280,000 for adult protective services; and $25,000 a piece for transportation and mini-grants.

Trumbull County commissioners today are expected to authorize seeking bids from companies to provide the services. The year-long contracts will begin July 1.

Not included is funding for the Niles-Trumbull Transit System, which is due to receive $435,000, said Diane Drawl, senior levy administrator. The levy money is used as leverage for federal money to run the transit system.

Tribune Chronicle

At a glance

Southington water district hosts forum

SOUTHINGTON – The Southington Water District, which includes Southington and parts of Champion and Warren townships, will hold a public informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Southington Local Schools building, 2482 State Route 534.

The water board members said the public meeting will be about construction of the first phase of a waterline project.

Water board members and Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer’s Office representatives will attend to answer questions from the public. Residents will also be able to sign a ”Petition for Water” to verify the interest in getting water service.

Association to discuss road, sidewalk work

WARREN – The Southwest Neighborhood Association will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at New Freedom Missionary Baptist Church, 1590 Tod Ave., where guest speaker city engineer Paul Makosky will discuss road and sidewalk repairs on the west side.

Mayburn Corners Barclay Road closed

KINSMAN – Mayburn Corners-Barclay Road between Farmdale North Road and state Route 5 (Warren Meadville Road) will be closed starting today through May 26 for bridge replacement.

The recommended detour is via Burnett East Road.

Search continues for missing man

NILES – The family of a city man who was last seen exiting Trumbull Memorial Hospital’s emergency room are asking for help in identifying his whereabouts.

Timothy D. Six Jr. of Niles has been missing for several days. Six suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and has not taken his medication, a Warren police press release said.

Six is 6-feet, 285 pounds and was last seen wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers hat, blue shorts, a t-shirt, white socks and white tennis shoes. Police are cautioning the public that Six may be a danger to himself as well as others.

If someone has information about Six, contact detective Patrick J. Marsico at 330-841-2722.

Woman dies after driving car into creek

OREGON – Authorities say a 20-year-old woman who lost control of her car and plunged into the Otter Creek in northwest Ohio has died.

The Blade reports that Bianca Bepler crashed through a guardrail and flew 50 feet in the air before flipping over and plunging into the water in Oregon, just outside of Toledo.

Bepler was a student at Eastern Michigan University and Lucas County Coroner’s Office Investigator Steve Kahle said she was likely lost.

Man indicted in pizza driver’s killing

CAMBRIDGE – A man accused of raping and killing a pizza delivery driver has been indicted by a grand jury on charges that could carry a death sentence.

The Zanesville Times Recorder reported that Adam Charles Burris was indicted Friday on two counts of aggravated murder and one count each of rape, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery, among others.

Staff, wire reports

Authorities say 26-year-old Kayla Thompson of Cambridge didn’t return from a delivery to Burris’ home the day after Christmas.

The sheriff says the 32-year-old Burris was later taken into custody and led authorities to Thompson’s body near a boat ramp at Dillon State Park in neighboring Muskingum County.

At a glance

Malfunctioning switch causes power outage

WARREN – About 1,600 customers on the city’s north westside lost power early Friday morning.

A FirstEnergy representative said the outage was caused by a malfunctioning switch. The switch caused a small fire that damaged a utility pole at the corner of Comstock Street and West Avenue. The pole will have to be replaced.

Power was restored within a few hours.

Police probe attempted break-in at fire station

WARREN – Police are investigating an attempted break-in at one of the city’s fire stations.

Police reports state that someone tried to break into the rear door of the Warren Fire Station at 1700 Atlantic St. N.E. sometime between 11 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. Thursday.

Warren fire Chief Ken Nussle said on Friday that the person was not able to get inside the building, and there was minimal damage to the door, likely from someone trying to pry it open.

No other information was available.

Mineral Ridge man charged in burglary

NILES – A Mineral Ridge man is facing several felony charges in connection with a burglary on West County Line Road in Weathersfield.

Gregory Dominic Jr., 28, of 3910 Edwards St., is charged with receiving stolen property, felony theft and felony burglary.

He was arraigned in Niles Municipal Court on Friday. He is due back in municipal court March 3 for a preliminary hearing.

Police reported that the charges came after a monthlong investigation.

Police: Man shoots dog attacking Cincy woman

CINCINNATI – Police say a man shot and killed a dog that had broken free from its chain and was attacking a Cincinnati woman.

Police say the man who shot the dog and saved the woman kept walking after the incident.

WLWT-TV in Cincinnati reports that the attack happened in the East Price Hill neighborhood about noon on Friday.

Police told the station a mail carrier was trying to get the dog off the woman when the man walking down the street pulled out a gun and shot the animal.

Neighbors said they didn’t recognize the man. Police say he didn’t do anything wrong and wouldn’t be charged. The Hamilton County Health Department will test the dog’s body.

Court rejects claim by ex-death row inmate

COLUMBUS- An appeals court has rejected an attempt by an ex-Ohio death row inmate to clear his name for a pair of slayings he didn’t commit.

Dale Johnston of suburban Columbus was sentenced to die in 1984 for the shooting deaths of his teenage stepdaughter and her fiance two years earlier.

The case against him fell apart on appeal and he was freed in 1990. Another man confessed in 2008 to killing the couple.

Staff, wire reports

At a glance

Health board approves 2 percent worker raises

BAZETTA – The Trumbull County Board of Health on Wednesday approved a three-year contract with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 11 AFL-CIO, which represents 25 employees of the health department.

Health Commissioner Dr. James Enyeart said employees will receive a 2 percent pay increase each year. The agreement which is retroactive to Jan. 1.

Employees represented by the collective bargaining agreement include home visitors with the Help Me Grow program, clerical staff, sanitarial staff and nursing staff.

New Cortland park continues to develop

CORTLAND – Pearl Park has continued to develop since the city bought the four-acre property in February 2010.

“It’s been a great addition to the park system, especially with the soceer programs that go on there,” Mayor Curt Moll said.

He said the soccer program was partially responsible for the addition of a 55-vehicle parking lot which was completed last year. The playground area was excavated with new drainage, and was brought up to ADA standards with a 12-inch layer of Fibar, engineered wood fibers.

Construction has begun on new dugouts for the softball field; the cost of which will be split between the city and the Lakeview Athletic Club.

The Lakeview Board of Education sold the property to the city for $15,000 after the adjacent Cortland Elementary School was bought at auction for $10,000 by a Missouri man in November 2009.

Moll said the city is continuing to explore alternative uses for the parks’s paved area and is hoping to put a trail around it one day.

Campbell man gets prison on drug charges

WARREN – A 24-year-old Campbell man was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to 11 drug-related charges.

George Guiterres, of Columbus Avenue, was indicted after undercover buys were made by agents with ATF and Trumbull-Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force.

The investigation centered on drug sales between September and December of 2012, when informants bought from Guiterres in the Warren area.

Assistant county prosecutor Gina Buccino-Arnaut said three of the counts pertained to heroin and the remaining eight involved the sales of Ecstasy.

Cases are still pending against two other co-defendants.

Area Agency on Aging sets town meetings

WARREN – The Area Agency on Aging 11 Inc. will hold town meetings to conduct a needs assessment for services funded by the Older American’s Act. The federal dollars are for senior citizens older than 60 living in Trumbull, Ashtabula, Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

The meeting in Trumbull County will be 10 a.m. March 4 at the Girard Multi-Generational Center, 443 Trumbull Ave., Girard.

In Mahoning County, the meeting will be at 10 a.m. Feb. 24 at the Mahoning County Senior Center, 1110 Fifth Ave., Youngstown, and in Ashtabula at 10 a.m. March 6 at the Chamber of Commerce, 4536 Main Ave., Ashtabula.

Questions about the meetings can be directed to Sarah Ridel at 330-505-2300, Ext. 108.

Contacts sought for area women’s clubs

WARREN – All women’s clubs in Trumbull County are asked to send their updated contact information in for the 2014 Women’s History Celebration Committee’s Luncheon program. This year, the club president, and the club member responsible for all correspondence, along with phone numbers and email addresses, will be included.

Deadline to be included in this year’s program is March 1. Send all updated information to Tribune Chronicle special projects coordinator Beky Davis at bdavis@tribtoday .com.

Tribune Chronicle

At a glance

County auditor lauded for continued training

WARREN – Trumbull County Auditor Adrian Biviano has been given the Distinguished County Auditor award from the County Auditor’s Association of Ohio for completing more than 100 hours of continuing education during his term in office.

Biviano received training in valuing real property, financial audits, public records and mandatory classes in ethics and substance abuse. Ohio law requires auditors complete at least 24 hours of training per term.

The award was given to Biviano during the association’s winter conference in November in Columbus.

Auditor’s office receives excellence award

WARREN – The Trumbull County Auditor’s Office has been given a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the office’s comprehensive annual financial report.

The award is the ”highest form of recognition” in governmental accounting and represent a ”significant accomplishment” by the office, according to a GFOA news release.

GFOA is a nonprofit professional association that serves about 17,500 government finance officials.

Jury seated in slave labor case

YOUNGSTOWN – Jurors have been selected for the trial of two people from Ashland charged with enslaving a mentally disabled woman for two years with her child.

Opening statements in the trial of 27-year-old Jordie Callahan and 32-year-old Jessica Hunt are scheduled for today in Youngstown federal court.

Judge Benita Pearson says the trial could last three weeks, and 60 witnesses may testify.

Seven women and five men were picked from a jury pool of 42.

Authorities say the victim was treated with cruelty and forced to do housework under the threat to her and her child from a python or pit bulls. The defendants allegedly looted her bank account and public assistance.

The case was broken when the woman apparently shoplifted a candy bar to draw attention to herself and appeal for help.

Man convicted of sex trafficking, drug crimes

AKRON – An Elyria man accused of forcing four women, including a teenager, into prostitution has been convicted of human trafficking, drug crimes and obstruction of justice.

Federal authorities say 38-year-old Jeremy Mack was found guilty Tuesday of nine counts in U.S. District Court in Akron. His sentencing is scheduled for May 29.

Mack was arrested last April along with 24-year-old Ashley Onysko of Avon Lake. She previously pleaded guilty to charges related to her role in the case.

U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach alleges the pair used narcotics to gain control over the four victims.

The indictment says after the victims incurred drug debts, Mack used force, threats, fraud and coercion to compel them to engage in commercial sex acts.

3 indicted after girl’s email plea for help

PORTSMOUTH – Two parents and a grandmother accused of tying three children to their beds for weeks, beating their naked bodies with belts and paddles and depriving them of food until one of them emailed her online school teacher for help were indicted Tuesday on child endangerment charges.

The indictments came a week after the three adults were arrested in their home in Wheelersburg, in southern Ohio’s Appalachian country.

The adults are charged in Scioto County Common Pleas Court with three counts each of child endangerment. One of them, a 44-year-old stepfather, also is charged with raping two of the children, girls ages 9 and 11.

Since at least May, the three adults are accused of tying and chaining the girls and their 8-year-old brother to their beds so they were “unable to move or get out of the bed” for weeks at a time.

Staff, wire reports

At a glance

OSP investigates assault at Trumbull Correctional

LEAVITTSBURG – The Warren post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating an assault at the Trumbull Correctional Institution that troopers said sent a corrections officer to an area hospital earlier this week.

Troopers have not released the name of the corrections officer. They said that as of Friday, they had not filed any charges, but the matter remains under investigation. No other information was available. The Tribune Chronicle was not able to reach a facility spokesperson for comment.

Dispute sends mother, daughter to hospital

HUBBARD – A family dispute involving a mother and daughter late Friday evening led to both women being transported to the hospital.

The argument ensued along Beechwood Drive, where according to reports the daughter tried to flee in her mother’s car after the dispute escalated.

The mother, whose name has not been released, was standing behind the car and was injured when she was pinned against a wall when her daughter accelerated. The mother was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center, reports said. Her condition was not known. The woman’s daughter, whose name was also not available, was also taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation.

Bridge closed in Girard’s Liberty Park

GIRARD – Until further notice, a bridge leading into Liberty Park has been closed by the city.

City of Girard Safety Service Director Jerry Lambert said that the bridge’s closing was part of the city’s routine maintenance checks.

“Every so often, we do routine bridge inspections, and the bridge was passable a few years ago when it was inspected,” Lambert said. “This time, (the inspectors) felt it should be shut down for repairs.”

City Council brought in legislation at last Monday’s meeting allowing Lambert to advertise for bids to repair the bridge, which is shut down for traffic until its repairs are addressed.

Chaney STEM earns grant for engineering program

YOUNGSTOWN – A grant for $10,000 has been awarded to the Chaney STEM / VPA campus from Project Lead The Way, the nation’s leading science, technology, engineering and math program.

The grant was made available from donations from the Bemis Company and will help to enhance the PLTW engineering curriculum with the purchase of materials and equipment.

“We are thrilled to receive this $10,000 grant from the Bemis Company. This money will allow us to purchase the supplies and equipment necessary to continue the great work that our engineering teachers, Carrie Sinkele, Cory Rudibaugh and Sharon Ragan do every day,” said Pam Lubich, Chaney STEM coordinator.

Catholic schools hire admissions director

SHARON, Pa. – The Shenango Valley Catholic School System named Jeff Linn the director of admissions. The SVCSS operates the Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools.

Linn previously served as associate director of admissions at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., and has served in the field for 12 years.

Updated contacts sought for area women’s clubs

WARREN – All women’s clubs in Trumbull County are asked to send in their updated contact information in for the 2014 Women’s History Celebration Committee’s Luncheon program. This year, the club president, and the club member responsible for all correspondence, along with phone numbers and email addresses, will be included.

Deadline to be included in this year’s program is March 1. Send all updated information to Tribune Chronicle special projects coordinator Beky Davis at

Bridge replacement closes road in Kinsman Township

KINSMAN – The county engineer’s office announced Friday the closure of a road in Kinsman Township.

Barclay Road between Farmdale North Road and state Route 5 will be shut down beginning Feb. 24. The roadway is being closed due to a bridge replacement project being conducted in the area. It may be reopened in late May.

Tribune Chronicle

At a glance

Records: Attorney owes $167,000 in back taxes

YOUNGSTOWN – Attorney David Engler, who filed several highly publicized lawsuits against Trumbull County government officials, owes the IRS $167,000, according to Mahoning County Recorder’s office records.

The Recorders’ Office has recorded several outstanding liens against Engler from the IRS, Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV reports. Engler is disputing the amount.

Engler represents three women who claim they were sexually abused as minors by a former youth leader with Trumbull County Children Services. A federal judge threw the case out almost a year ago, but Engler refiled in a different court.

Engler represents septic installer Berry Meadows, his wife Deanna and their company, Digging Dirt LLC, in a lawsuit filed against many county officials. Many of the defendants, including all three county commissioners and the sheriff, were removed from the suit.

And Engler represented a plaintiff in a case that targeted Champion Trustee Jeff Hovanic while the trustee was running for re-election.

Police: DUI driver lands in ditch near school

BAZETTA – A Warren woman was arrested for driving under the influence after her SUV went into a ditch in a school zone about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Officers responded to Bazetta Road at Johnson Plank Road near Lakeview Elementary, where they discovered Elizabeth Fournaris, of 125 Livingston Circle, with her SUV in a ditch and its rear wheels off the ground.

Fournaris told police she may have gone too fast around the curve and they noticed her speech was slurred. After initially denying that she had been drinking, Fournaris admitted to police she had been drinking orange juice with vodka earlier in the day.

Officers conducted a field sobriety test, which Fournaris failed. She was then handcuffed, which she did not recognize until later. A Breathalyzer test given at the police station showed she had a blood alcohol level of 0.181.

She was released with a court date for driving under the influence and operating a vehicle without control. Her vehicle was towed from the scene.

Bond set for former coach accused of attack

BOARDMAN – Bond for a former school wrestling coach accused of beating a woman outside a bank was set at $3,500 during his arraignment on Tuesday.

Matthew Kuti, 25, of Youngstown is charged with domestic violence, resisting arrest, OVI and obstructing official business stemming from an incident Saturday night.

According to police, Kuti, who pleaded not guilty, physically assaulted the woman during an altercation that began in a vehicle they were in and then continued in front of First Place Bank on Market Street after the woman jumped out of the car and attempted to run away.

Kuti is accused of punching the woman with an open fist and hitting her head against the concrete outside the bank.

Police arrested Kuti at his Helena Avenue home in Youngstown.

Kuti was a coach with the Austintown Fitch wrestling team working under a supplemental contract. The contract expired last week when the season ended.

Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV Channel 33 contributed to this report.

Tribune Chronicle

At a glance

Veteran ID cards get lots of takers

WARREN – Veterans lined up at the Trumbull County Recorder’s Office on Friday to receive free ID cards as part of a new initiative.

Within the first few hours of offering the program, Recorder Diana Marchese said the office issued more than 100 cards. The IDs can be used to verify military status at local businesses that offer discounts to vets.

To get their ID card, veterans must have their DD Form 214 discharge papers on record in Trumbull County, which can be done at the same time that they get their card made, by presenting the form to the recorder.

The ID card program began after passage of an Ohio Senate Bill that gave recorders the ability to issue the cards. Since then Stark County led the way locally with Mahoning County following close behind to offer the cards in November. The program will carry on as a daily function of the offices.

Red Cross needs heroes for annual recognition

WARREN – The American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley is looking to recognize residents of the Mahoning Valley who have acted courageously and selflessly in a time of emergency. Nominations for its annual Acts of Courage Awards are being accepted now until April 10.

Nominees must reside or be employed in Mahoning, Trumbull or Columbiana counties. The heroic event may have happened anywhere, but must have occurred between Jan. 1, 2013, and April 1, 2014. Award recipients will be honored during a dinner hosted by the Red Cross.

To nominate a local hero who has saved a life, call 330-392-2551.

‘Reading Great by 8’ program to be unveiled

WARREN – A United Way of Trumbull County initiative, ”Reading Great by 8,” will be announced at a 10 a.m. press conference Monday morning at the organization’s office in Warren.

The goal of the initiative is that by the time a child is 8 years old, he or she should be able to read great, according to the news release from the organization.

The program, aimed at meeting Ohio’s third-grade reading requirements, will be backed by several others at the conference including representatives of Warren City Schools, Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority, Warren-Trumbull County Public Library, GFWC Ohio Warren Junior Women’s League, and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

Casino revenue drops again for January

COLUMBUS – Regulators say total revenue from Ohio’s four voter-approved casinos dropped again in January, when two temporarily closed because of brutally cold winter weather.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission reported Friday that revenue totaled just under $59.7 million, down from $63.2 million in a lackluster December.

Cincinnati’s casino, which is the newest, was the only one of the four to post a monthly revenue increase. Its revenue rose from $14.2 million in December to about $16.2 million last month.

Revenue at the remaining casinos in Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo was down compared with the previous month and the same time last year.

The steepest month-to-month drop was at the Toledo casino, which closed twice for a total of nearly 52 hours. Cleveland’s casino closed for 37 hours because of the weather.

Woman dies after apparent dog attack

DAYTON – Police in southwestern Ohio say a woman who was apparently attacked by two large dogs has died.

Assistant Chief Bob Chabali of the Dayton police says officers responded to a call Friday morning about a person on a sidewalk. He says officers were forced to shoot the dogs when they advanced toward police.

Chabali says police were told that the dogs belonged to residents of a neighboring home. He says a man and a woman from that home were taken to the police station for questioning.

Staff, wire reports

At a glance

Report: Man hurt when car goes into swamp

SOUTHINGTON – A single-vehicle crash on Tuesday sent one man to a local hospital after the car he was driving went off the road into a swamp along Painesville Warren Road.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported that the man, whose name was not released, was traveling between state Route 305 and Leiby Osborne Road just after noon when he lost control of the vehicle, hit a ditch and flipped over into the swamp.

He was transported by ambulance to Trumbull Memorial Hospital. Troopers said he suffered minor injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.

Hiram College elects first woman president

HIRAM – In August, Hiram College will welcome its first woman president.

On Tuesday, the college announced its Board of Trustees elected Lori Varlotta as the 22nd head of the institution. Varlotta, 50, a Pittsburgh native, succeeds Tom Chema, who will retire after 11 years in the position.

Varlotta currently serves as the senior vice president for planning, enrollment management and student affairs at California State University in Sacramento.

Varlotta holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, an interdisciplinary master’s degree in cultural foundations of education from Syracuse University and an interdisciplinary doctorate in educational leadership from Ohio’s Miami University.

Canfield teen to hold dress drive for DIVA

CANFIELD – Canfield High School senior Megan Factor is holding a dress drive today and Thursday to donate to DIVA Donations.

DIVA Donations is a dress-lending organization and formal clothing closet that serves Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana and surrounding counties.

The dress drive, part of Factor’s senior project, will help girls who are unable to purchase formal dresses of their own. It is being held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Canfield United Methodist Church, 27 S. Broad St., Canfield.

For more information, contact Factor at 330-727-3369.

$1M bail set for teens accused in slaying

LEBANON – Bail has been set at $1 million each for two teens accused in the slaying of an 18-year-old southwest Ohio man whose body was dumped several counties away.

Warren County court officials say a judge found probable cause on the aggravated murder charges against 19-year-old Timothy Mosley, of Dayton, and 19-year-old Austin Myers, who is homeless, and bound the case over to a grand jury.

Court officials say the teens arrested in last month’s slaying of Justin Back appeared at a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Lebanon. The officials say court records don’t list attorneys for them.

Authorities say they believe Back was choked, stabbed and shot. Authorities also allege the two teens took a safe and a gun from the Wayne Township home where Back lived with his parents.

More than 5,500 Ohio rape kits to be tested

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Attorney General’s Office says it has received 5,523 previously untested rape kits as it searches for DNA matches that could help solve sexual assaults.

The office said Tuesday it has completed testing of nearly half of them, leading to 886 hits in the state’s DNA database. The new kits came from 121 law enforcement agencies in the state.

Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the testing initiative in December 2011. The office offered DNA testing to any law enforcement agency with untested rape kits in which a crime was believed to have been committed.

Staff, wire reports