Duo admits guilt in Hamilton teen’s 2019 gang-related fatal shooting

A trial scheduled this week for co-defendants indicted last summer in the 2019 shooting death of a Hamilton teen will not happen. Both pleaded guilty to reduced charges and have been sentenced to prison.

Damone Davis and Tai’je Goolsby were indicted by a Butler County grand jury murder, felonious assault, murder, having weapons under disability and discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises more than four years after the Jan. 29, 2019, shooting death of Londale Harvey.

Harvey, 18, was gunned down in Hamilton’s Lindenwald neighborhood at the corner of Fairview and Pleasant avenues when his car was shot after he exited a barber shop.

Davis and Goolsbey, men who have been held in lieu of $1 million bond, were scheduled to stand trial beginning Friday, but they entered guilty pleas on Dec. 19 and were sentenced on the spot by Judge Michael Oster Jr.

Goolsbey, 30, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter with a gun specification — the specification the crime was committed as part of gang activity — and having weapons under disability. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Davis pleaded guilty to the same charges with specifications and was sentenced to 16 years in prison by Oster. The sentence is to run concurrent to the federal prison term Davis is now serving, according to court records.

Davis, 25, was sentenced to 60 months in April 2023 after pleading guilty to federal charges of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in US. District Court in Cincinnati.

According to federal court documents, Davis was a leader in one of two rival gangs operating in Butler County, and the gang was the subject of a task force investigation beginning in 2016.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“Since late 2016 to present, FBI Cincinnati, the Butler County BURN Task Force, Hamilton Police Dept. and the Middletown Police Dept. initiated a multi-agency joint investigation into the RU GANG. The RU GANG is alleged to be a drug trafficking organization that supplies a significant portion of the drugs being sold within Butler County and is also responsible for numerous gang-related homicides and acts of violence,” according to the court documents.

Hamilton Police identified 40 known profiled members of the RU GANG that was engaged in an ongoing turf war with the rival “THIRTY” GANG in the city of Hamilton since 2016.

“This turf war has resulted in approximately 10 homicides between THIRTY GANG and RU GANG as well as another 48 documented shootings between the two gangs that did not result in any deaths,” according to the court documents.

As part of the investigation, Davis was one of three people in a stolen car on in October 2021 that was followed by a Hamilton County narcotics officer after the vehicle did not stop, and eventually wrecked, on Interstate 75 in Cincinnati.

Davis has previous convictions on state crimes in Butler County for having weapons under disability and participating in a criminal gang.

Goolsby also has previous conviction in Butler County for burglary and drug possession and trafficking.

Residents on Fairview Avenue behind the crime scene flanked by a church and barber shop described the shooting as a drive-by with the suspects circling the block before firing shots. The suspects stopped to pick up shell casings after the shooting, witnesses said.

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