Warren County teen tragedy: Suspects to remain in custody through new year

Warren County prosecutors on Wednesday sought to try three juveniles as adults in a bizarre robbery and murder case in which none of the teens accused are suspected of firing the shots that killed one person and wounded another.

A fourth person, 18-year-old Dakota J. Cox is to be arraigned in Lebanon Municipal Court today on aggravated murder and aggravated robbery charges.

Cox and the juveniles — Kayla J. Carmack, 17; Logan M. Dean, 16; and Jacob W. Hicks, 16 — all could face life in prison if convicted of murder in adult court.

Deputies allege those four, plus 18-year-old Mason Trudics of Centerville, tried to lure another person to a Turtlecreek Twp. home, where they planned to rob and kidnap the person, whose name and age were not released.

“When the individual arrived at the address, he was met with a baseball bat and a firearm,” a statement from Chief Deputy Barry Riley said.

MORE: Warren County teen shooting: Who are the people arrested and what’s next?

Deputies said the target reportedly defended himself with a firearm, and gunfire erupted.

Trudics died from his wounds, and Dean was critically injured.

“The shooter, who was initially determined to be a suspect, has not been charged,” Riley said.

A wounded Dean went to the window of the house at 1869 Oregonia Road, pounding and pleading for help. The property owner, Kristy Carmack, called 9-1-1 but said she was scared to go outside to help Trudics or Dean.

“We have no reason to believe the homeowners were involved in any way, however, the 17-year-old daughter, Kayla Carmack, who lives at the residence, has been charged and arrested,” Riley’s statement said.

Held in custody

A juvenile court judge on Wednesday ordered Kayla Carmack and Hicks to remain in custody through the holidays.

“Get your camera off me,” Kayla Carmack said to a TV photographer as she entered Judge Joe Kirby’s courtroom.

EARLY REPORT: 4 teens arrested in shooting death of Centerville teenager in Warren County

She vomited into a trash can as Kirby explained what lies ahead in her case.

As Kirby discussed the next hearing date with Assistant County Prosecutor Julie Kraft, Kayla Carmack said, “I heard … I’m not deaf.”

Hicks’ lawyer, Rob Kaufman, urged Kirby to consider releasing him.

“Jacob is a child, barely 16 years old,” Kaufman said. “He wasn’t even at the house at the time of the shooting.”

Kaufman also said Hicks turned himself in after learning he was wanted in the case.

Kirby said he would keep Hicks into detention, noting he faced the “most serious charge on the books.”

Cox, Hicks and Dean are residents of Washington Twp., Montgomery County, and students in the Centerville school district, according to records.

Trudics and Kayla Carmack attended the Warren County Career Center.

Trudics was in the school’s criminal justice program. Rick Smith, superintendent at the Warren County Career Center, said Kayla Carmack also attended the school and was in the early childhood program.

“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all involved in this tragic event,” Smith said in an email.

“The safety and security of our students and staff is our first priority, and we will do everything that we can to support them through this challenging time. We have resources and counselors available for our students and staff the rest of this week.”

Daughter having a panic attack

In the 9-1-1 call obtained by the Dayton Daily News through a public records request, Kayla Carmack can be heard screaming and crying after the shooting.

“Kayla, breathe honey. We’re fine, OK?” her mother can be heard saying to her during the call.

“My daughter is having a panic attack,” Kristy Carmack tells the dispatcher.

Kayla is near her mother and can be heard crying on the phone call.

The daughter misidentifies one of the two shot, saying that he looks like a “freshman” she knows. The mother almost immediately says it’s not the person the daughter identified.

“Kayla, chill out babe,” her mother says.

“I can’t,” Kayla can be heard saying.

Before this week’s charges, Kayla Carmack was scheduled to return to the juvenile court in Lebanon in January on an unruliness charge, court records show.

On Nov. 27, Magistrate Carolyn Duvelius ordered an arrest warrant for her to be recalled and set the case for a Jan. 17 hearing.

The charge, filed on Jan 18, 2019, stems from allegations that she turned off her cellphone and GPS monitor the night before, crawled out of her bedroom window, then skipped school the next day, prompting her parents to report her missing, according to court records.

The 5-feet, 5-inch, 120-pound girl was located in Clearcreek Twp. and returned home.

“She made the statement she would just run away again,” according to the charging document.

In July 2018, Kayla Carmack was ordered to write an apology letter, complete 30 hours of community service, undergo anger management and counseling for attempted assault, according to juvenile court records.

The sentence stemmed from allegations that on March 26, 2018, she tried to hit a sheriff’s deputy with a laptop work station “by throwing it across the room towards my head,” the deputy said in the charging document.

There were no juvenile records in Warren County on the other three charged in Trudics’ death, according to court officials.

Injured teen claimed abduction

An incident report obtained Wednesday describes a deputy finding Dean outside the Carmack home early Friday morning.

According to the report, Dean, who had been shot in the chest, told a deputy he and Trudics had been abducted by an “unknown male” from his home, knocked out and their heads covered with black ski masks. The alleged abductor then shot them after driving them to Oregonia Road.

Cox was arrested at arrested at Soft Touch Car Wash at 11 West Whipp Road in Washington Twp. at 6:50 p.m. Tuesday and booked into the Warren County Jail at 8:40 p.m., according to jail records and Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies.

He remained in the jail Wednesday, pending his arraignment.

“Detectives have worked tirelessly since the murder to unravel this incredibly complex case. There is still a tremendous amount of evidence to process, witnesses to interview, and we will not rule out additional charges or arrests,” Riley said in the release.

On Wednesday, Riley declined to answer additional questions and a request to release the incident report.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell also declined to comment on the case.

Visitation for Trudics is scheduled for 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Friday at the Tobias Funeral Home Far Hills Chapel, 5741 Far Hills Dr. in Washington Twp.

Dean was reportedly in critical condition after the incident. On Wednesday, Dean was in a room at Miami Valley Hospital, according to a hospital operator. No update on his condition was available.

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