Dayton-area teen indicted for murder, conspiracy in Warren County

An 18-year-old Montgomery County man has been indicted for murder and other charges in connection with the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old Centerville man last month outside Lebanon.

Dakota Cox of Washington Twp., Montgomery County, was indicted on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, conspiracy, tampering with evidence and possession of criminal tools, according to a list of indictments issued Monday in Warren County Commpon Pleas Court.

He could face 15 years to life in prison if convicted on the murder charge, with an additional prison term if convicted of the other charges.

Cox is charged along with Logan Dean and Jacob Hicks, both 16, of Washington Twp.; and Kayla Carmack, 17, of Turtlecreek Twp. All are charged in the fatal shooting of Mason Trudics, 18, of Centerville on Dec. 13 outside Carmack’s home on Oregonia Road, east of Lebanon.

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The juveniles are charged with murder and robbery in Warren County Juvenile Court, while awaiting hearings that could result in their cases being transferred to the adult court.

Trudics and the four charged allegedly planned to rob the unidentified shooter. Instead the shooter pulled a gun in self defense and shot Trudics and Dean, according to authorities.

Investigation by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office initially focused on the shooter, but ultimately found the five teens planned to use a firearm and baseball bat to rob and kidnap the person who shot and killed Trudics and wounded Dean.

Cox, Hicks and Dean live in the Centerville school district and in Washington Twp., an unincorporated area of Montgomery County outside Centerville.

Cox and Hicks were attending Centerville High School before their arrests, according to school officials. Dean also was in the Centerville district but attended an outside program, officials said.

The conspiracy charge is based on allegations Cox helped plan the robbery “which ultimately resulted in the victim’s death,” Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Monday in a text message.

Cox’s lawyers have claimed he was not at the shooting and suggested this “abandonment” could be used in his defense. Hicks’ lawyer made the same claim in arguing for his release from detention.

Fornshell declined to comment on “specific roles,” but indicated absence from the crime scene wasn’t enough of a defense.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re ‘at’ the scene of the crime if you actively worked with your co-conspirators to commit the crime,” Fornshell added.

Cox remained in the Warren County Jail on $1 million bond, while awaiting arraignment in Warren County Common Pleas Court. The other three remain in juvenile detention.

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He is scheduled for arraignment at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

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