Donald Gazaway, the suspect from a 30-hour standoff in Liberty Twp., appeared for a hearing with his new attorney Lawrence Hawkins III in court on Tuesday, June 26. Gazaway asked for and was granted a new trial date in October. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

New trial date set for man in 30-hour Liberty Twp. standoff

MORE: Liberty Twp.’s 30-hour standoff: How it unfolded

Donald T. Gazaway, 31, is charged with kidnapping, felonious assault and inducing panic after the incident that started Jan. 12 at a Liberty Twp. apartment in the Springs at Liberty Township complex off Hamilton Mason Road.

A Butler County grand jury handed down an indictment with additional charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and two counts of having weapons under disability.

Gazaway, who is being held in jail on $1,001,000 bond, was scheduled to stand trial beginning July 7 in Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater’s courtroom.

MORE: Standoff suspect served 4 years for firing a gun into a crowd of 30

But last week, defense attorney Lawrence Hawkins III filed a motion for a trial continuance stating that he had been retained to represent Gazaway “and there is need for time to review the evidence.”

Gazaway was in court Tuesday morning when Pater continued the trial until Oct. 15.

Pater said he understands the prosecution is not happy with the continuation and has prepared for the July date, noting witnesses will also be inconvenienced.

But the judge said it his understanding that it is not a last minute decision by the defendant and his family to hire Hawkins, but they were just recently successful in retaining the new attorney.

Detectives say Gazaway was let into the apartment and there was an altercation. The adults, including the boy’s mother, fled. But Gazaway took the child hostage before surrendering hours later, according to deputies.

Detective Joe Nerlinger said during a previous court hearing that about 25 bullet casings were removed from the scene and that Gazaway fired the majority of the shots from the apartment before moving to the garage with the child.

When taken into custody, three guns were found with Gazaway, Nerlinger testified. Live rounds were also found.

The child was not physically injured, according to the sheriff’s office, though officers said they saw Gazaway use the boy as a shield. That, they said, prevented them from making any movement toward the residence.

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