Trenton standoff suspect indicted on two counts of murder


A Middletown man has been indicted on multiple charges, including aggravated murder and murder for allegedly killing two women before turning the gun on himself during a standoff last month.

Bond was set at $4 million for James Edward Geran in Middletown Municipal Court and he was scheduled to be back in court today for a preliminary hearing. Because of the direct indictment from a Butler County grand jury, that hearing will not happen.

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Geran, 45, killed his “business associate in criminal activity” and dumped her body on the side of the road before killing his girlfriend’s mother during a standoff with deputies on June 13 in Trenton, according to the sheriff’s office.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

James Geran is charged with two counts of murder for allegedly shooting and killing two women.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Geran was hospitalized under guard at a Dayton hospital for his gunshot wound until last week when he was released and booked into the Butler County Jail on two charges of murder.

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In addition to the murder charges, Geran was also indicted for felonious assault, improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, and two counts of having weapons under disability.

Specifically, the aggravated murder charge is for the death of Sharon McCleary during the standoff, and the murder charge is for the death of Megan Motter the day before, according to the indictment.

Bulter County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said all options were presented to the grand jury, including the death penalty, but they declined to indict on a death specification.

The case is assigned to Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth, and Geran is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning.

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

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

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

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.

“Said he was going to smoke a cigarette first,” Jones said.

However, when he let the second sister out, he immediately closed the door, the sheriff said.

“We tried to make entry at that time, then we heard gunfire,” Jones said.

Geran then crawled out, having shot himself in the chin with a .380 caliber gun, Jones said. Geran was talking to emergency personnel when he was taken from the scene.

Inside the apartment, deputies found McCleary dead from an apparent gunshot wound.