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.
A Summit County jury has found Darshawn T. McCormick, 25, guilty in a shooting death of another man back on December of 2016.
According to Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh's office, MCCormick was convicted on Wednesday on two counts of murder with a gun specification, one count of felonious assault with a gun specification, and having a weapon under disability.
Court records indicate that back on December 26th, 2016, Javanta Virden was working on a car that was parked in a lot along Ericsson Avenue in Akron when he was approached by three people, one of whom was McCormick. The information doesn't point to a motive, but Virden was shot and killed. A subsequent investigation led investigators back to McCormick and he was arrested and charged.
McCormick will be sentenced by Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Jason Wells on Tuesday June 26, at 1 p.m.
Former Akron Fire Department Union Treasurer Joseph Ruhlin, 41, has pled guilty to embezzling nearly half-a-million dollars from the Union while he was in charge of the funds, according to a release from Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh's office.
Ruhlin, who was treasurer of the department's Union Local 330 from January of 2011 through March of 2017, admitted to stealing about $500,000 during his time in office.
When he was charged with Theft in Office, Ruhlin fled Akron to North Carolina. Authorities eventually caught up with him and he was extradited back to Summit County.
Ruhlin, who is charged with Theft in Office and Tampering with Records, both 3rd degree felonies, is due in Summit County Common Pleas Court on March 13, 2018 at 1 p.m. for a restitution hearing and is scheduled to me sentenced by Common Pleas Court Judge Alison Breaux immediately following.
A Summit County sheriff's deputy is facing charges he raped a 26-year old Akron woman.
Prosecutors say 46-year old Antonio Williamson was indicted on rape, kidnapping, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition charges, all felonies. He turned himself in to authorities this morning and will be arraigned tomorrow.
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(Summit County Prosecutor) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that a Summit County Grand Jury handed up an indictment against 46-year-old Antonio Williamson on charges he sexually assaulted a 26-year-old woman. Williamson is a deputy with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
The Grand Jury indicted Williamson on the following charges:
- Rape – a felony of the 1st degree
- Kidnapping – a felony 1st degree
- Two Counts of Sexual Battery – felonies of the 3rd degree
- Gross Sexual Imposition – a felony 4th degree
An investigation was conducted by the Akron Police Department with cooperation of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office into the allegations.Williamson turned himself in to authorities this morning and is scheduled to be arraigned in Summit County Common Pleas Court on Friday, July 21, 2017 at 8am.
An Akron man behind his own "scared straight" program is facing dozens more charges now, according to Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.
In addition to impersonating an officer, Christopher Hendon, 26, is now facing 47 more charges, including kidnapping, abduction, assault, and endangering children.
The charges are all related to a a series of events that happened between March 29 and April 6 of this year. Hendon is said to have brought children into the Summit County Court several times within that timeframe while he posed as a resource officer as part of a "Scared Straight" program. He was seen in full tactical gear, and entered the court with kids handcuffs.
Hendon is not an officer of the law.
The 63 year old Streesboro man alleged to have shot and killed 24 year old Keith Johnson of Akron in a dispute over a dirt bike recently, has been indicted on multiple felony charges by the Summit County Grand Jury.
William Knight is charged with two counts of murder, and two counts of felonious assault, for the shooting which ocurred on March 20th. Knight is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges next Wednesday, April 19th, in Summit County Common Pleas Court.
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh was sworn into office Thursday; making history as the first Summit County Prosecutor in the past 60 years to be elected to five consecutive terms.
2017 marks Prosecutor Walsh's 17th year as Summit County Prosecutor, passing former County Prosecutor Lynn Slaby, who served from 1980 through 1995. Former Summit County Prosecutor Alva Russell still holds the title of longest-serving prosecutor in Summit County history, holding the office from 1936 to 1956.
In a statement released Friday, Walsh said, "I want to thank Summit County voters for having the faith in me as their county prosecutor. It has been an honor to serve them."
A young father who burned his baby daughter while giving her a bath will be sentenced next month on felonious assault and child endangering charges.
Prosecutors say 18-year old Demetrius Ford of Akron guilty of the charges. His daughter was severely burned with second and third degree burns on her body and face after being held in scalding hot water; she also suffered a skull fracture and broken ribs. Ford was 17 at the time. The child's mother, 21-year old Chavelle Fries, is currently on probation after pleading guilty to two counts of child endangering.
Ford is scheduled to be sentenced December 27th.
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(Summit County Prosecutor) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that a Summit County jury found Demetrius Ford, 18, of Cumberland Drive in Akron, guilty of burning his four-month old daughter.
Ford was found guilty of the following charges:
Felonious Assault – a felony of the 2nd degree
Two Counts of Child Endangering – felonies of the 2nd degree
In February of 2016, Ford, who was 17-years-old at the time, was giving his four-month old daughter a bath. The infant suffered severe second and third degree burns to her face, shoulders, and chest. At trial, a child abuse expert testified the baby was purposefully submerged in the scalding hot water. Investigators also discovered the baby suffered a skull fracture and broken ribs.
The child's mother, 21-year-old Chavelle Grier, was also charged in the case. On May 10, 2016, Grier pled guilty to two counts of Child Endangering and is currently on probation.
On July 27, 2016, Juvenile Court Judge Linda Teodosio ruled Ford was not amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile court and the case was bound over to Summit County Common Pleas Court.
Ford is scheduled to be sentenced on December 27, 2016 at 9am.
A New Franklin man has entered a guilty plea in the death of a man he attacked in the parking lot of a Norton strip club. Prosecutors say 37 year-old Robert Lantz got into a fight with 63 year-old Daniel Carraway at Desiree's in Norton last November. The men were kicked out of the bar, and Lantz attacked Carraway in the parking lot of the strip club...police got there and found Carraway unresponsive.
He was later pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital. Lantz faces sentencing on October 4th.
(Summit County Prosecutor's Office) Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced today that Robert Lantz Jr., 37, of Lullaby Lane in New Franklin, pled guilty in connection with the death of a man at a Norton strip-club.Lantz pled guilty to the following charge:Involuntary Manslaughter – a felony of the 1st degreeOn November 19, 2015, Lantz got into a physical altercation with 63-year-old Daniel Carraway at Desiree’s in Norton. After they were kicked out of the bar, Lantz attacked Carraway in the parking lot. Police arrived and found Carraway unresponsive. Carraway was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Scot Stevenson is scheduled to sentence Lantz on October 4 at 1pm.
WAKR's Ray Horner talks to Summit County Prosecutor, Sherri Bevan Walsh, about her decision to run for re-election. Walsh also tells Ray about a program very close to her heart, Take Me Home.
An Akron man will spend 13 years behind bars for kidnapping and beating a woman.
Prosecutors say 45 year-old John Lewis of Springdale St. had been in an on-again, off-again relationship with the woman for eight years. In August of 2014, Lewis drove the victim to his house where he beat her and dragged her into his house.
The woman tried to escape by jumping from the porch, but she broke her leg in the process. Lewis then carried her to the basement, where he left her for seven hours before calling for help.
A jury found Lewis guilty of multiple charges, including kidnapping, abduction, and domestic violence