Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dayton corruption, incompetence, and lies.

Here are some additional thoughts on the failure of the Montgomery County Prosecutor to bring meaningful charges against Andrew Nason and Julie Custer, owners of the dogs that mauled Klonda Richey to death last February.  Some thoughts on the Dayton pit bull mauling death of seven month old Jonathan Quarles Jr in July as well.  For additional information on the function of the prosecutor in grand jury proceedings please click here.

This is a quote from ABC22 on the reason for failing to indict  "On Thursday, a grand jury declined to indict Nason or Custer on involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide charges. Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said there wasn't enough evidence or any witness testimony to support indictments."

This statement is a stunner.  Not enough evidence or witness testimony....  I'm going out  on a limb here because I don't have actual statistics but I strongly suspect that in most cases there are no witnesses to testify in homicide cases.  It just seems to make sense to avoid having witnesses. Having said that, there has been absolutely zero confusion on how Ms. Ritchey died.  Every news source, and the Prosecutor's report (link below) clearly state that she was killed by Nason and Custer's dogs.

I think most homicides are solved by police work, work that was fairly easy in this case.  Police were called by neighbors who stated that there was a naked body on the ground and the dogs were near the body.  When police arrived the dogs were so aggressive toward them that the dogs had to be shot . Police have a technical term for this, it is called a ** clue **.  There was never any question about who owned the dogs shot by police.  Another ** clue **.  News reports quickly found a great number of complaints by the victim about these very dogs, in fact Richey made 13 complaints to Montgomery County Animal Control, headed by dog warden Mark Kumpf and she made 46 calls to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center between December 2011 and the time of her death.  More  ** clues **.  To view Montgomery County Animal Resource Center's records of Richey's actual complaints click here. Another ** clue **.  Ms. Richey also took her concerns to the Montgomery county courts asking for a civil protection order against her neighbor Andrew Nason.  You can watch 43 minutes of videotaped testimony by clicking here.   A ** clue **.  Ms. Richey was so concerned about the threats from her neighbors that she had video surveillance cameras installed and showed the court video of Nason menacing her with his dogs.  You can view some of the surveillance video by clicking here.  Another ** clue **.  Ms. Richey's request for a protection order was denied, Magistrate Kristy Wuebben was "unavailable" for comment. Figures.

Quick review, Ms. Richey took her concerns to Animal Control, the Montgomery County courts, and to the Dayton police.  She provided actual video to back up her complaints and was ignored.  In addition to the surveillance cameras Richey had a fence put up for protection from Nason, Custer, and their dogs.  Here is a photo of the fence, one does not put up this kind of double walled enclosure for no reason.  Hint, this may be another ** clue **.  The dogs that she was afraid would kill her did, in fact, kill her.
 A cat lover, fences were built to protect the pets at Klonda Richey’s home, 31 E. Bruce Avenue in Dayton where she was mauled to death by a neighbor’s pit bull dogs after nine previous complaints filed about the two dogs who fatally attacked her. JIM WITMER / STAFF 

Montgomery County Prosecutor Heck could not make a case with all of this?  What?????
The actual report generated by Prosecutor Heck can be seen on his Facebook page. Click here.

Prosecutor Heck stated that the death of Klonda Richey was a "tragic accident."  These are the same words used by Dog Warden Mark Kumpf to describe Richey's death.  Per WHIO News, Heck makes reference to changes in the law which will be discussed below "It  is my hope that further review for possible charges under the city of Dayton ordinances along with possibly amending some laws, and enhanced training will make a difference and help to avoid another such tragic accident."    Here is Kumpf's statement.
Per WDTN News "Montgomery County Animal Control Director Mark Kumpf said the mauling death of Klonda Richey could not have been prevented.
“This is a tragic accident and there is nothing foreseeable or doable to prevent a situation like this from happening,” said Kumpf.  Numerous warnings were left for the dog owners at 35 East Bruce Avenue, but no action was taken. Kumpf says a warning is simply a notice that an officer responded to a complaint. There’s really no follow-up after that unless the owner calls the Animal Resource Center to find out more.  “Whether we respond to one complaint or 13 complaints or any other number of complaints, unless we find a violation when we arrive that has enforceable component to it, it’s simply a call.”

For a link to suggestions for actions that might have been used by Mark Kumpf to protect Klonda Rickey Please click here.  

Montgomery County officials have a strong interest in protecting the county from any lawsuit that might propose county legal and financial responsibility for Mrs. Richey's death.  If her death is prosecuted as a crime then the likelihood of Montgomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf being called to testify becomes very real.  The failure of Kumpf to protect Richey after thirteen complaints to the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center and 46 calls to Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center about the dogs is damning to Kumpf and to the county as well.  It is notable that there were also complaints against the Dayton pit bull that killed seven month old Jonathan Quarles Jr.in July.  Prior to killing Jonathan the pit bull also charged a mailman in April and attacked a Beagle in June. This quote from WLWT News " WLWT tried getting answers from the Animal Resource Center in Montgomery County as to why this dog was never taken away, but calls were not returned."  

This statement from the owner of the Beagle “I think they should’ve taken the dog a lot sooner,” Crickmore says. “I think it’s a real tragedy that it took the death of an innocent baby to take the dog away.”
Just days before the attack, Crickmore  said the case of the first attack was to be settled. It was a settlement she said would include forcing the owner to get rid of the dog. But instead a motion was filed to push the case’s second pretrial back to August."
It is in Montgomery County's best interests to call these predictable deaths "accidents" and the Prosecutor is on board with this.  I can find no specific information on how the Montgomery County Prosecutor is chosen.  Elected or appointed by County Commissioners?  Here is a link to information on Prosecutor Heck.  Here is his mission statement.  "Our mission is to protect the rights, property, and well being of citizens of Montgomery County Ohio through effective and efficient prosecution of criminal offenders and accurate and timely legal advice and counsel to county and township officials. Whether you are a victim, a witness, a taxpayer, a voter, or an interested citizen, I would like to assure you that my staff and I are at your service."  Below that statement is a link to an ironically titled program called "Help Victims Become Survivors."  Klonda Richey and Jonathan Quarles Jr. did not get the chance to participate.

The Montgomery County County Commissioners stand behind Kumpf.  To do otherwise would open the door to lawsuits from the Richey and Quarles families.  In the case of the Quarles family the financial liability to the county would be tremendous.  Kumpf failed in his responsibilities in the death of Klonda Richey but did not improve the processes in his department allowing a known dangerous dog to remain in the home of a known irresponsible owner, sadly, also a family member of the seven month old victim.   Kumpf continues to be employed as County Dog Warden although his public appearances and statements have become few and far between.  Sources inside the community tell me that is a strong sentiment that Kumpf should be fired but Montgomery County Commissioners bumble along blindly, unaware that the death of Klonda Richey has the attention of the world.

Prosecutor Heck makes reference to efforts already underway to modify the mess created by the passage of HB 14 without acknowledging that the changes he and Commissioner Foley "propose" are from a bill introduced into the Ohio House by Representatives Winburn and Blair, HB 541 in the legislative session already ended.  The bill is expected to be reintroduced in the new session with a new bill number.

In a quote apparently from the joint statement from Prosecutor Heck and County Commissioner Dan Foley ""There was no evidence that the dogs had ever bitten or attacked another animal or human. The dogs were never designated as nuisance, dangerous or vicious dogs prior to the incident. After consideration of all the testimony and evidence, the grand jury did not issue a homicide or felony indictment in this case,"

It should be noted that Dog Warden Kumpf would have the responsibility to declare the dogs dangerous but did not do so.

As a final insult to Klonda Richey, the lawyer for Andrew Nason has stated that he intends to fight the trivial failure to control charges against his client.  Given the excuse made by the Prosecutor that there were no witnesses to Richey's death lawyer Jay Adams is claiming that, and this is victim blaming to the highest level, that Klonda Richey trespassed onto her neighbor's property and let the dogs out herself.  PLEASE watch the video of this lawyer.

Klonda Richey was failed by the courts, by the Montgomery County Animal Control department, by the Dayton police, by the Montgomery County Prosecutor.  She died exactly as she feared that she would.  Her testimony from the grave via videotape is eerie.  Failure to revise processes after her death allowed another fatality, a seven month old baby.  The stench of cover up in Dayton reeks.

Klonda Richey killed by two dogs on E. Bruce Avenue in Dayton.  (Photo/provided)
Klonda Richey

A short post script to this opinion laden piece.
David Glass Sr. of Benton County Ms. was mauled by pit bulls on Saturday.  On Monday the owner of those dogs was charged with culpable negligent manslaughter.

The Riverside Fl. owner of the dog that killed five year old John Harvard  has been charged with criminally negligent homicide.

The Metamora Township Michigan owners of the dogs that killed Craig Sytsma have been charged with second degree murder.

The owners of the dog that killed Javon Dade in Miami-Dade Florida have been charged with manslaughter. Notable here is that the owner of the dog is the father of Javon Dade and the death of little Javon was unwitnessed.

The owner of the dogs that killed Pamela Devitt in Antelope Valley California last year was convicted of second degree murder.

Klonda Richey was forgotten by the system in Dayton as soon as the melting snow erased the blood.
Deadly dog attack: Klonda Richey's body was found torn to shreds on the snow-covered sidewalk outside her Ohio home on Friday