The actions of four Fairfield Twp. police officers helped save the life of a township resident in early September after he was attacked inside his Beaty Lane home.
And the actions of the officers, who received commendations on Jan. 23, led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of Arthur Morris for the crime, officials said.
Officer Nic Spradling responded to the home at 4:20 a.m. on Sept. 2 for a possible burglary-in-progress after the caller, who was the victim’s daughter and also recognized last week, told the Butler County dispatch someone was in the home and hurting her father. The caller, Morgan Mills, fled the house and met Spradling when he arrived.
Sgt. John VandeRyt arrived shortly after, while the 37-year-old Morris was still inside the residence. Together, they approached the house. Morris fled the back of the house, and Spradling caught him.
VandeRyt found the victim tied up, and he had been beaten with a tire iron and sledgehammer, according to investigators. He called for medical assistance and additional units.
Sgt. Jamie Mays and Detective Dan Tinch worked the crime scene, collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Within a week, Morris — whom Capt. Doug Lanier called a “career criminal” — was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on three counts of aggravated burglary, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of felonious assault.
Morris, who was on parole at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 30 years of prison.
Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Brandon McCroskey’s investigation into the death of 20-year-old Tori Carpenter — who was left on the side of Tylersville Road after she overdosed on meth, heroin and fentanyl and died at an area hospital — led to the arrest and subsequent convictions of David Schooley and Stephanie Sanjuan.
Carpenter’s death happened in October 2017, and nearly two years later, McCroskey’s investigation with the Butler County BURN unit, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Attorney’s Office resulted in a federal grand jury indictment.
“Your investigative abilities resulted in you being able to present a solid case at the federal level,” Lanier said. “Most important, your efforts and desire to hold the wrongdoers accountable brought some justice for Tori and her family.”
Schooley was sentenced to a 10-year federal prison term in July 2019 and will be on mandatory life supervision when he’s released. Sanjuan received a suspended sentence and was placed on probation but faces five years in federal prison for any violation.
Officers Kayleigh Marshall and Steven Laugle responded to a shoplifting complaint in February 2019, and the investigation led to two being charged with multiple drug trafficking counts.
While in custody at Walmart on Princeton Road, Jason David Fields hid additional stolen merchandise along with a bag with more than 150 grams of crystal methamphetamine. Fields left additional methamphetamine in a police cruiser and more was found in his possession when searched at the county jail, officials said.
More methamphetamine was found with the help of the Butler County BURN Unit, and Marshall, Laugle and BURN officers collected $10,000 in drug money.
“Truly, this was an extraordinary arrest and discovery,” wrote McCroskey, the supervisor who issued the commendation to the township officers.
Fields pleaded guilty to a count of aggravated trafficking of methamphetamine and sentenced to five years in prison. The charges and case remain pending for Crystall Danielle Baker, who was also implicated in the incident, according to court records.
‘Fill a Cruiser’
Fairfield Twp. police officers Emma Edens, Laugle, Marshall and Tinch all received commendations for their efforts in collecting nearly 600 pounds of food, personal care products and $120 to support the Fairfield Food Pantry.
The officers collected the items as part of the third annual “Fill a Cruiser” event held right before Thanksgiving last year.
Fairfield Twp. Police Chief Robert Chabali said these types of community efforts are “paramount in a successful relationship with the citizens who we serve — especially some of the most vulnerable.”
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