Middletown man charged with double murder faces more felonies

James Geran, charged with double murder and charges from the Trenton standoff was arraigned in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Monday, July 9 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF (Staff Writer)
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James Geran, charged with double murder and charges from the Trenton standoff was arraigned in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Monday, July 9 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF (Staff Writer)

A Middletown man charged in a Trenton standoff after allegedly killing two woman — who also turned the gun on himself — was back in court this week to answer for new charges handed down just days after that incident.

James Edward Geran, 45, is being held on a $4 million bond for allegedly killing his "business associate in criminal activity" and dumped her body on the side of the road before the Butler County Sheriff's Office says he killed his girlfriend's mother during a standoff with deputies June 13 in Trenton.

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Geran is scheduled to stand trial on Dec. 10 for aggravated murder and murder, as well as felonious assault, improperly discharging a firearm and two counts of having weapons under disability.

But on Wednesday, Geran was in a different common pleas courtroom for a hearing on two felony charges of failure to verify a current residence, school, institution of higher education or place of employment address, which is required after his 1994 conviction for gross sexual imposition.

The conviction that sent Geran to prison also classified him as a sex offender requiring him to register when released from prison. According to the Butler County grand jury indictment handed down six days after the standoff, Geran failed to do so. The charges are third-degree felonies.

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Geran pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to be back in Judge Greg Howard’s courtroom on Aug. 22.

According to the Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, Geran shot Megan Motter in the head, killing her, and dumped her body off Woodsdale Road in Madison Twp.

The investigation of Motter’s death led deputies to an apartment in Trenton.

When deputies knocked on the door of the Sal Boulevard apartment, Geran shot at them, according to Jones. The sheriff said deputies returned fire, shooting about three rounds of bullets as they took cover.

Inside, Geran had three hostages: his 26-year-old girlfriend, Gina McCleary; her 27-year-old sister, Tammy Davis; and their mother, 63-year-old Sharon McCleary, Jones said. Over the course of about two hours, Geran continued to fire between five and eight times at the deputies outside, but negotiators were able to talk him into releasing the sisters.

Sheriff’s Office negotiators were eventually able to talk Geran out of the home.

However, when he let the second sister out, he immediately closed the door, according to the sheriff’s office.

Geran then crawled out, having shot himself in the chin with a .380 caliber gun. Inside the apartment, deputies found Sharon McCleary dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

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