Kathrine LobonoPHOTO PROVIDED
Lobono died of multiple gunshot wounds and suffered other injuries, including ligature marks on her neck, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office report.
She was discovered dead lying on the floor of her apartment at the Villages of Wildwood off Ross Road in Fairfield by friends who were dog-sitting, according to a 911 call.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said there were “too may people involved with the evidence in case, after the death occurred. Some evidence was contaminated,” which led to the plea bargain.
Gmoser said his office consulted with Lobono’s family before the plea deal was offered.
The prosecutor said Lobono was killed with her own gun during a heated confrontation with Cheong. Cheong’s fingerprint was found on one of the bullets, but so was anther person’s print.
“Proof beyond a reasonable doubt became more of an issue,” Gmoser said. “It was a close, close call.”
The victim and Cheong were involved in a relationship, an argument occurred and she was shot, according to prosecutors. Gmoser said Cheong was leading a double life, one in Montgomery County were he was employed and another in Butler County where he was allegedly involved in drugs.
“He had a strong, possessive, emotional attachment to her and we have every reason to believe she wanted to break that off and he didn’t,” Gmoser said, noting there was evidence Cheong tried to choke Lobono in front of witnesses a few months before her death.
Kirby Cheong, 30, of Summit Point Drive in Miamisburg, was arrested last week in Montgomery County by U.S. Marshals. He is charged with murder, felonious assault and tampering with evidence, according to the indictment that was handed down last week but only made public after Cheong was taken into custody. His bond was set today in common pleas court at $500,00