A busy week in Butler County court including appearances by 4 charged with murder

It will be a busy week in Butler County Common Pleas Court with numerous high-profile cases on the dockets, including court appearances by four people charged with murder.

Today, Kirby Cheong, who is charged with murder, felonious assault and tampering with evidence for the death of a Fairfield woman, will be in court for a pre-trial hearing.

Cheong, 30, of Summit Point Drive in Miamisburg, was arrested in March 2020 in Montgomery County by U.S. Marshals for allegedly killing 23-year-old Katherine Lobono at her Fairfield residence on Oct.1, 2019.

His trial has been continued several times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cheong has remained housed in the Butler County Jail. His trial is scheduled to begin July 19.

James Johnson

Johnson, 56, is facing a murder charge for allegedly starting a fatal arson fire in September. He is scheduled to be in common pleas court Tuesday for a competency evaluation hearing.

He was booked into the Middletown City Jail on an aggravated arson charge a few days after the Sept. 21 fire at the Germantown Road residence.

A Butler County grand jury returned indictments of murder and two counts of aggravated arson against Johnson. Steven C. Strain, 59, was killed in the fire. Johnson has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Tyree Cross

Cross, 25, who is charged in a Liberty Twp. shooting, is scheduled to be in court Tuesday for a pre-trial hearing.

Cross is one of three charged in the June 9, 2020 shooting death of Riah Milton, a 25-year-old Cincinnati woman who detectives say was “lured” to a Liberty Twp. park so the suspects could steal her Camaro. A fight ensued, and Milton was shot to death in the 6000 block of Spruce Creek Drive. The suspects drove away in Milton’s car, which was eventually ditched in West Chester Twp.

Cross has been evaluated for competency to stand trial three times and declared competent. A trial date is expected to be set Tuesday.

Cameron Wilson

Wilson, 21, of Harrison, who is charged with murder and felonious assault for the slaying of Darrian K. Shamel on June 2 in Hamilton, is scheduled to be in court Thursday for a pre-trial hearing.

Officers were called to the 700 block of Charlton about 12:15 a.m. on June 2 and found Shamel had been shot. Shamel, 22, was transported to Fort Hamilton Hospital, where he died.

Wilson says he has an alibi for the time of the fatal shooting, according to court records. His trial is scheduled to begin July 6, but the defense attorney has filed a motion to continue the trial.

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