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Defense lawyers get $10,000 to pay experts in Middletown man’s double murder trial

A trial date has been set for James Geran, a Middletown man facing two murder charges for allegedly killing two women before turning the gun on himself during a standoff in June. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
A trial date has been set for James Geran, a Middletown man facing two murder charges for allegedly killing two women before turning the gun on himself during a standoff in June. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A trial date has been set for a Middletown man facing two murder charges for allegedly killing two women before turning the gun on himself during a standoff last month

James 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 Butler County Sheriff’s office.

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Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth set Dec. 10 as Geran’s trial date during a hearing Thursday morning.

Spaeth has also approved the defense’s motion for as much as $10,000 in fees to pay experts.

Geran is being held on a $4 million bond. During arraignment earlier this month, he was wearing leather gloves and shackles when brought to court. Today the gloves were absent, but Geran was still wearing shackles and a bright green jail jumpsuit, which signifies inmates on suicide watch.

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.

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During the June standoff with police, Geran held three people hostage, according to the sheriff’s office: his girlfriend Gina McCleary, 26; her 27-year-old sister, Tammy Davis; and their mother, Sharon McCleary.

Geran, a convicted felon, is also accused of killing Megan Motter by shooting her in the head and then dumping her body off Woodsdale Road in Madison Twp.

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 Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.

Over the course of about two hours, Geran continued to fire between five and eight times at the deputies outside. Negotiators were able to talk him into releasing the sisters.

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

Geran then crawled out, having shot himself in the chin with a .380 caliber gun, Jones said.

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