Darnell Bitting, 32, of Akron will spend the rest of his life in prison for the shooting death of 4-year-old Janaya Swain back in February outside his Akron home.
Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Christine Croce handed down the sentence Wednesday, adding that Bitting will not be eligible for parole for 56 and a half years. Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a statement that the "hope is that (the) sentence brings Janaya's family some peace."
See the full press release from Summit County Prosecutor Bevan Walsh's office below:
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Christine Croce sentenced Darnell Bitting, 32 of Georgia Street in Akron, to life in prison for the shooting death of 4-year-old Janaya Swain. Bitting will be eligible for parole after serving 56 ½ years.
On Friday, October 5, 2018 a Summit County jury found Bitting guilty of the following charges:
“This tragedy will leave its mark for years to come. Four-year-old Janaya was full of life and always there to help a friend. She will be sorely missed,” said Prosecutor Walsh. “We are pleased to know the man responsible for her death will never again have the chance to hurt an innocent life. Our hope is that today’s sentence brings Janaya’s family some peace.”
At around 10:30pm on February 16, 2018, De’Azha Swain pulled up to a home on Mercer Avenue in Akron to retrieve some personal items. Four young girls, ages two, four, six, and seven, and their grandmother were also inside the vehicle. De’Azha got into an argument with Darnell Bitting, who was inside the home at the time. Bitting came out of the home with an AK-47 and fired the weapon. A shot struck and killed four-year-old Janaya Swain.
Still a lot of lottery cash to be claimed as there was no winner in Tuesday night's Mega Millions jackpot drawing, pushing Friday night's jackpot to a whopping $548 Million!
That's the third largest prize in Mega Millions history; the largest being the $656 Million that three winners shared back on March 30, 2012.
Not the largest Lottery jackpot, though, as the $1.6 Billion Powerball jackpot, more recently claimed in January of 2016. Three winners also shared that prize.
Before Friday's Mega Millions drawing, the Wednesday night Powerball is sitting at $282 Million.
Tuesday night's winning Mega Millions numbers were 20-22-39-54-60, with the Mega Ball of 18 and a 3x Megaplier.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a man was shot multiple times along I-77 near Wilbeth Road in Coventry Township Saturday night, just before 10 p.m.
According to the release, Deputies responded to a one-car accident in that same area, where they found a silver BMW that has crashed into the guardrail along the southbound lanes near Wilbeth. The driver was slumped over in the car, revived on the scene, and taken to Akron City Hospital where he was treated and is expected to survive.
Investigators are not releasing the name of the victim, and are asking anyone with information to call the Summit County Sheriff's Office.
See the full press release below:
(SCSO) On October 6, 2018, at approximately 9:54 p.m., the Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to a one vehicle accident on Interstate 77 North at the 122 Mile Post. A silver BMW was reported to have crashed into a guard rail and eventually coming to rest in the northbound lanes of traffic.
The driver of the vehicle appeared to be unconscious in the vehicle slumped over the center console. The responding deputies forced open the vehicle and removed the driver. The driver was evaluated and found to have multiple gunshot wounds and was showing no signs of life. The deputies performed first aid until the arrival of the Coventry Fire Department. The male was revived on scene and transported to Akron City Hospital and is expected to survive.
The shooting was determined to have occurred on Interstate 77 South near Wilbeth Road in the city of Akron. The victim was identified as a 22 year old male from the city of Akron. The identity of the male victim is not being released at this time. Anyone with information can call the Summit County Sheriff’s Office or Crimestoppers.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland revelaed the list of nominees for the 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Class Tuesday morning, including six first-time nominees:
Fans are encouraged to cast votes at RockHall.com, up to once a day for their top five nominees. Then those fan votes are tallied which then comprise of two of the ballots. Those ballots are then combined with those of the Rock Hall panels and critics and more.
Akron Police busy over this past weekend, responding to shots fired outside a home in the 900 block of East Archwood Avenue, a felonious assault early Saturday morning at the Parklane Manor apartments on Wren Walk that left one man shot with serious injuries, two breaking and enterings, and murder.
Around 2 p.m. Sunday, Police were called to a home in the 1000 block of Silvercrest Avenue on a report of a shooting and found a man dead in the driveway.
The victim's name hasn't been released pending the results of an autopsy, but police confirm that it was his father, Leon Portis Senior, 75, who was taken into custody, was charged with murder.
According to the APD report, Portis told detectives that he and his son got into a fight and that he shot him.
The Department of Justice is recognizing the efforts of local law enforcement in the fight against opioid addiciton, honoring Canton Police Detective Mike Rastetter and the work of the department's Stark Outreach Support team.
The S.O.S. team consists of Detective Rastetter, who works VICE, a social worker and a nurse who connect with recent overdose victims and help get them into treatment.
S.O.S. has been operational for a little over a year, and in that time the city of Canton has seen a decrease from 55 overdoses in 2016 to 31 last year.
Detective Rastetter was recently in D.C. to receive the DOJ awad for innovation in community policing.
Akron gas prices jumped a little more than 9 cents over the past week, according to GasBuddy.com's weekly survey of local stations. The current average for a gallon of regular unleaded in the Akron area is sitting at $2.75.
See the full press release below:
(GasBuddy.com) Akron, OH, October 8- Gasoline prices in Akron have risen 9.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.75/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 372 stations in Akron. This compares with the national average that has increased 2.2 cents per gallon versus last week to $2.91/g, according to GasBuddy.
Average gasoline prices on October 8 in Akron have ranged widely over the last five years:
$2.17/g in 2017, $2.25/g in 2016, $2.46/g in 2015, $3.16/g in 2014 and $3.25/g in 2013.
Including the change locally during the past week, prices yesterday were 58.4 cents per gallon higher than a year ago and are 8.7 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 6.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 43.7 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.
Areas near Akron and their current gas price climate:
Cleveland- $2.83/g, up 7.8 cents per gallon from last week's $2.75/g.
Pittsburgh- $3.14/g, up 2.9 cents per gallon from last week's $3.11/g.
Ohio- $2.81/g, up 1.8 cents per gallon from last week's $2.79/g.
"The national average gas price has broken out of a well-established rut, climbing above $2.90 per gallon for the first time since mid-June on rising oil prices ahead of the reinstatement of sanctions against Iran and OPEC failing to pump enough oil to meet robust demand," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "We may see prices continue to lift ahead of the mid-terms, however completely unrelated to the elections, but due to constant threats from an improving economy: higher demand and lower supply is tipping the balance of the oil market and pushing prices higher. We may even soon see $3 per gallon nationally, which would be the first time since October 2014, if oil prices continue to rise. I, along with motorists, will be eagerly awaiting any relief at the pump, but don't hold your breath- it may get worse before it gets better."
For LIVE fuel price averages, visit http://FuelInsights.GasBuddy.c
GasBuddy is the technology company changing the way more than 75 million consumers find, purchase, and save money on gasoline. Founded in 2000, the original GasBuddy website was a pioneer in crowd-sourced information, leveraging technology, big data, and a passionate community that now connects more than 70 million users with real-time, accurate fuel pricing information as well as reliable reviews of gas station amenities and services. The app and website have the most accurate and real-time fuel prices at over 140,000 unique stations in the United States, Canada, and Australia and is the most comprehensive money-saving companion while on the road. GasBuddy is available on all mobile platforms. For more information, visit www.gasbuddy.com.
Thirteen current and former University of Akron students are suing the University because the marriage counseling and therapy program in which they were enrolled, lost dual accreditation.
According to the report from Cleveland.com, $25,000 in damages is being sought. The group of students claim they lost money by having to take on debt for things like student loans, and moving expenses, and that the University engaged in unfair consumer practices to encourage them to enroll in the program.
University officials say they're still reviewing the complaint, and note that program still has accreditation from one educational commision.
Huntington Bank is closing 70 branches across the nation, including 30 in Ohio, several around Akron.
No word yet on when or how many employees will be affected.
Below is the full list of Northeast Ohio branches that will be closing:
260 East Main St., Andover
888 Lake Ave., Ashtabula
6254 S. Main St., North Kingsville
10717 Lorain Ave., Cleveland
22595 Lake Shore Blvd., Euclid
1330 Som Center Road, Mayfield Heights
25775 Lorain Road, North Olmsted
2700 N. Ridge Road, Painesville
565 Abbe Road S., Elyria
5252 Detroit Road, Sheffield
1296 Ridge Road, Hinckley
1105 S. Court St., Medina
950 High St., Wadsworth
840 Brittain Road, Akron
4160 Cleveland-Massillon Road, Norton
210 South Wabash Ave., Brewster
2021 Mahoning Road, N.E., Canton
2112 Lincoln Way NW, Massillon
Darren Townsend, 38, of Akron, pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in persons, six counts of promoting prostitution, three counts of compelling prostitution, and one count of corrupting another with drugs. He was facing up to 38 years in prison if he were convicted on all of the charges he was facing, but after his guilty plea, was sentenced to 14 years by Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Amy Corrigall Jones.
According to the Beacon Journal, Noah Munyer, Townsend's attorney told the paper, "He decided the risk of a jury verdict was too much."
Pearl Coffey, 35, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of attempted trafficking in persons, compelling prostitution, and one count of corrupting another with drugs. She has not yet been sentenced.
One of the victims, who was 17-years-old at the time, told the court that Townsend would pick her up from high school and take to several different locations throughout Akron where she would have sex for money.