Man charged in 30-hour Liberty Twp. hostage standoff appears in court

A Cincinnati man was arraigned on Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court on multiple felony charges in connection with last month’s 30-hour standoff in which he allegedly held a 10-year-old hostage.

Donald T. Gazaway, 31, is charged with kidnapping, felonious assault, inducing panic, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and two counts of having weapons under disability after the incident that started Jan. 12 at a Liberty Twp. apartment in the 700 block of East Hamilton Pike.

A Butler County grand jury indicted Gazaway earlier this month.

MORE: Why did standoff suspect surrender? Police ‘were driving him crazy’

Gazaway is being held in the Butler County Jail on $1,001,000 bond that was set in Butler County Area II Court during a preliminary hearing. His bond remained the same after Tuesday’s arraignment. Gazaway is scheduled to be back in Judge Charles Pater’s courtroom on March 12 for a pre-trial hearing.

Detectives say Gazaway was let into the apartment, and there was an altercation. The adults, including the boy’s mother, fled. But Gazaway took the boy hostage before surrendering hours later.

Detective Joe Nerlinger said during the hearing last month that about 25 bullet casings were removed from the scene and Gazaway fired the majority of the shots from the apartment before moving to the garage with the boy.

MORE: Standoff suspect served 4 years for firing gun into crowd of 30 people

One bullet hit the armored SWAT vehicle that was occupied at the time, the detective said.

When taken into custody, three guns including a rifle were found with Gazaway, Nerlinger testified. Live rounds were also found.

The boy was not physically injured, Nerlinger said.

MORE: How weekend standoff unfolded

Detectives said Gazaway is not a family member but was let into the apartment as a friend of the family.

Gazaway was released from prison in July after serving four years for felonious assault in Hamilton County. He shot a gun into a crowd of 30 people at a party, according to court documents.

About the Author