Butler County Coroner recorded most homicides in five years in 2020

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Two dead inside car in shooting on Euclid Street in Middletown

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Butler County Coroner’s office handled 18 homicides in 2020, including one shooting incident that claimed three victims and one that was an officer-involved shooting. It was the highest number of homicide recorded by the office in five years.

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Nine of the 2020 homicides have resulted in arrests. In the case of the Fairfield officer-involved fatal shooting of Tyler Jones, a grand jury returned no charges against the officers involved.

One of the cases is not a Butler County law enforcement investigation because the victim was fatally injured in Hamilton County but transported to Mercy Fairfield hospital, where he died.

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Two people were found dead today in a car on Euclid Street in Middletown on Thursday, April 2, 2020. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Two people were found dead today in a car on Euclid Street in Middletown on Thursday, April 2, 2020. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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Two people were found dead today in a car on Euclid Street in Middletown on Thursday, April 2, 2020. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Police agencies investigate homicides that occur in their jurisdiction. But coroner’s offices perform autopsies and rule on manner of death for people who died in their county. In Butler County, victims can be fatally injured here but later die in hospitals in the region, including Hamilton, Warren and Montgomery counties. So the number of homicide cases in a year may not be the same for coroner’s offices and police agencies.

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For example, the last homicide of 2020 occurred in Hamilton, but the victim died at a Montgomery County Hospital. So the fatal shooting of Daiquon Peterson on Dec. 27 in the 2300 block of Dixie Highway is not listed as a 2020 Butler County homicide by the coroner’s office.

But Peterson’s homicide is one of six that occurred in Hamilton in 2020. Two remain unsolved, including Peterson’s.

A double fatal shooting in a Middletown neighborhood on April 2 is actually a triple homicide, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office. The woman found shot to death was pregnant at the time of her death.

Dashauna Brown, 29, and Aaron Paige, 31, both of Cleveland, were found shot dead in a car in the 1700 block of Euclid Street. Brown was pregnant. The coroner’s office lists the third homicide victim as “Baby Brown.”

A resident called 911 about 6:20 a.m. reporting a “four-door sedan” was wedged between two parked cars in the 100 block of Euclid Street.

“We woke up this morning and there is another car facing the opposite direction on the wrong side of the road between (a neighbor’s) two cars with the headlights on. It has been there for about an hour and I am not sure if they hit a car or not … but it is really bizarre,” the caller told dispatchers.

Police arrived at the scene about 7:15 a.m. That’s when they found Brown an Paige who had suffered gunshot wounds.

Middletown Police Chief David Birk said the detectives continue to investigate the case and has travelled to the Cleveland are to follow up on leads. The FBI is also involved. But there is no update nine months later about suspects or an arrest.

The Butler County Coroner’s Office recorded nine homicides in 2019, 14 homicides in 2018, 11 homicides in 2017, 16 homicides in 2016 and eight homicides in 2015, according to records.

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Butler County Coroner’s Office 2020 homicides

Feb. 4 - Amy Risner

March 6 - Tyler Jones

March 13 - Domingo Francisco

March 27 - Jesse Buabeng

April 2 - Dashauna Brown

April 2 - Aaron Paige

April 2 - Baby Brown (Dashauna Brown was pregnant at the time of her death)

June 2 - Darrian Shamel

June 8 - Azariah Heard (Transported to Mercy Fairfield from Hamilton County)

June 9 - Riah Milton

June 10 - Antaun Hill

June 27 - James Williams

Aug. 14 - Jamaka Calhoun

Sept. 21 - Steve Strain

Oct. 11 - Brandon Moneyham

Nov. 7 - Phillip Gordon

Dec. 17 - Bennie Boggs

Dec. 19 - Benjamin Burrell

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