Indictment adds more charges for man accused in 30-hour Liberty Twp. hostage standoff

Indictment adds more charges for man accused in 30-hour Liberty Twp. hostage standoff

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Donald Gazaway, Jr. appeared in Butler County Area II Court for a preliminary hearing on charges of kidnapping, felonious assault and inducing panic Wednesday, Jan. 17 in at the Historic Butler County Courthouse in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A Cincinnati man has been indicted on multiple charges in connection with last month’s 30-hour standoff in which he allegedly held a 10-year-old hostage.

Donald T. Gazaway, 31, was charged with kidnapping, felonious assault and inducing panic after the incident that started Jan. 12 at a Liberty Twp. apartment in the 700 block of East Hamilton Pike.

Today, a Butler County grand jury handed down an indictment including the original charges as well as aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and two counts of having weapons under disability.

Gazaway is being held in the Butler County Jail on $1,001,000 bond that was set in Butler County Area II Court during a preliminary hearing. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the new indictment on Feb. 27 by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater.

Detectives say Gazaway was let into the apartment, and there was an altercation. The adults, including the boy’s mother, fled. But Gazaway took the boy hostage before surrendering hours later.

Detective Joe Nerlinger said during the hearing last month that about 25 bullet casings were removed from the scene and Gazaway fired the majority of the shots from the apartment before moving to the garage with the boy.

One bullet hit the armored SWAT vehicle that was occupied at the time, the detective said.

When taken into custody, three guns including a rifle were found with Gazaway, Nerlinger testified. Live rounds were also found.

The boy was not physically injured, Nerlinger said. He added that the boy cried during the standoff, “Let me go, let me go.”

He said while Gazaway and the boy were in the garage, officers “had eyes on him … (they) had snipers set up.”

But Gazaway kept the boy close, and officers saw him use the boy a shield. That prevented officers from making any movement toward the residence.

Nerlinger testified that the boy’s mother suffered a minor injury to the head.

“I believe it was from being pistol-whipped,” he said.

Detectives said Gazaway is not a family member but was let into the apartment as a friend of the family.

Gazaway was released from prison in July after serving four years for felonious assault in Hamilton County. He shot a gun into a crowd of 30 people at a party, according to court documents.

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