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They say it is Murder ! 


JERRY L. LARKIN, is Defendant in civil case in the death of Cheryl Burchett at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday,  October 13th in Scioto County Common Pleas Courtroom of Judge William T. Marshal..


(Once again, Jerry L. Larkin, did not show for court.)


  In the death of 49 - year old Cheryl Burchett,

high on a big hill in Morgan Township, about 3:00 p.m.on July  29, 2006, admittedly caused by Jerry Larkins, age 54, of Bear Creek, who claimed death was result of ATV accident.  Reports indicate Sheriff's Captain Robert Woodford refused to go up the hill to the death scene and did not make an examination of Jerry Larkins who was visibly and severely scratched with what appeared to be a woman's fingernails.  Witnesses report Sheriff's Captain Woodford didn't get out of his cruiser, did all his investigation sitting behind

the steering wheel.         County Coroner Dr. Terry Johnson was in the warfields of Afghanistan serving with the United States Army. Deputy Coroner 

George Pettit signed the Death Certificate.No Autopsy was performed.



(Posted by Austin Leedom at 12:35 a.m. Friday, June 18, 2004)

Defense Attorneys were recently ordered by Common Pleas Court Howard H. Harcha III to turn over the clothing that Dr. John Adams was wearing in July 2003 at the time City Economic Director Bobby Burns was murdered.

The latest report we received indicates that Attorney Eric Wrage did turn in the clothing to the Common Pleas Court along with a report that he had caused the clothing to be tested and gunfire residue was found on the clothing.

Dr. John Adams is scheduled for trial for murder next month in the Common Pleas Court of Judge Howard H. Harcha. Attorney Eric Wrage of Minford and Attorney James Banks of Dublin are lawyers for the defense.

The court and the prosecuting attorney’s office would have been unaware that Attorney Eric Wrage had possession of the clothing if Shawnee Sentinel Reporter John Welton (aka Doug Deepe) had not discovered that the defense attorney had the clothing and notified the prosecuting attorney. Mr. Welton testified as to his findings before the court last month. Good work, good investigation John Welton.

(Posted by Austin Leedom at 12:35 a.m. Friday, June 18, 2004)


Posted at 11:20 p.m. Thursday, February 19, 2004 by Austin Leedom.)
JURY RETURNS VERDICT OF VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER after three-day trial - in Carleton Cave, Jr. stabbing death.
Elvis Presley Kerns, 25, was tried by jury this week before Scioto County Common Pleas Court Judge Howard H. Harcha III. Mr. Kerns was indicted in the stabbing death of 27-year-old Carleton Cave, Jr. in Farley Square on July 7, 2003.  The trial began three days ago.  Attorney Shane Tieman represented Mr. Kerns. (Posted at 11:20 p.m. Thursday, February 19, 2004 by Austin Leedom.)

Steven D. Hayslip, 36, of Stoney Run Road near Friendship, entered a plea of guilty to manslaughter today in connection with the shooting death of Reginald Thorpe, 30, of Columbus. Scioto County Common Pleas Court Judge Howard H. Harcha III sentenced Mr. Hayslip to five years in prison, with an additional three years for using a firearm, for a total of eight years.
The shooting occurred early Sunday, December 7, 2003 at the Royal Inn Motel on Kendall Avenue. Mr. Hayslip was arrested at his home by Portsmouth Police officers on Wednesday, December 10, 2003.   Attorney Tracy Hoover represented Steven Hayslip.  (by Austin Leedom at 11:20 p.m. Thursday, February 19, 2004.)

EIGHTY-THREE-yr-old Clarice Nace, Railroad Hollow found shotgunned to death,,,,Bodies continue to be found across the county...... LONG LIST OF UNSOLVED MURDERS gets even longer as our baffled, bumbling Sheriff Marty Donini begins his eighth year of incompetence.  (See Page A3, Portsmouth Daily Times, today, Saturday, January 17, 2004,   (Watch for up-coming articles on UNSOLVED MURDERS IN SCIOTO COUNTY by Austin Leedom.)

(Posted 9:10 a.m., Wednesday, July 16, 2003)


Friends of Adams concerned he isn’t getting his medications properly

By Doug Deepe, Investigative Reporter

(Posted 9:00 a.m., July 16, 2003)

Dr. John Adams was indicted Friday July 11, 2003 for the alleged murder of Portsmouth City Official Bob Burns. Adams was out on bond for approximately eight hours Monday evening after posting a $100,000.00 bond.

After making Adams wait from 9:00 a.m. until 11:15 a.m., Adams case was finally called before acting Judge Stephen P. Donohue, at which time the City of Portsmouth dropped their aggravated murder charge in favor of the capital murder indictment that was sent over from the Scioto County Prosecutors Office.

The Portsmouth Municipal Court Building was a buzz yesterday morning when word began to spread that Dr. Adams was free on bond and had spent the night at the local Ramada Inn on Second Street in Portsmouth, Ohio.

At approximately 8:55 a.m., Dr. Adams and his attorney, former Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor Eric Wrage, strolled into Portsmouth Municipal Courtroom A.

Adams was calm and sat with Attorney Wrage until approximately 9:45 when Judge Stephen P. Donohue took to the bench.

Normally, Portsmouth City Solicitor’s call individuals before the bench in alphabetical order but this didn’t happen yesterday. Assistant Portsmouth City Solicitor Mark Kuhn refused to call Adams case until he had in his possession the "secret indictment" of Adams from the Scioto County Prosecutor Rebecca Bennett.

That move proved that the "secret indictment" wasn’t a "secret" after all. How would Assistant Solicitor Mark Kuhn know what the Scioto County Grand Jury had done unless he was "tipped off" by Scioto County Prosecutor Rebecca Bennett, before the indictment was even filed in the Scioto County Common Pleas Court? The indictment is time stamped at the Common Pleas Courts Clerks Office at approximately 9:35 a.m., Tuesday, July 15, 2003.

This calls into question the ethics of the Scioto County Prosecutors Office releasing information about a "secret indictment" before the indictment was filed. Portsmouth Assistant Solicitor Kuhn is responsible for prosecuting city charges. Adams was sitting in the Portsmouth Municipal Courtroom after posting the required bond set forth by law, yet Assistant Solicitor Kuhn refused to call Adams case before the judge.

This case, no matter how one views the initial facts of the case, proves the dirty deals that go on behind the scenes between the Portsmouth City Solicitors Office and the Scioto County Prosecutors Office. If there was no indictment filed with the Common Pleas Court Clerks Office at 9:00 a.m. how did Kuhn know that one would be filed in approximately 35 minutes later unless the secrecy of the Scioto County Grand Jury proceedings was violated by someone in the Scioto County Prosecutors Office? That needs to be investigated.

Now the big question is how Scioto County Common Pleas Court Judges will treat Adams. Adams proved that he is not going to run from the charges at hand. Adams had an opportunity and resources available to him on Monday night to flee and try to avoid prosecution. Instead he spent the night at the local Ramada Inn and walked right into Portsmouth Municipal Court on Tuesday morning. This will be interesting to see how the judges handle this bond issue now that only the fourth capital murder indictment has been handed down in the last 18 years.

Friends of Adams are worried that the Scioto County Jail may not be providing Adam’s medication to him as required by his doctors. Adams is in the final stages of Parkinson Disease and requires approximately 30-40 different medications each day to avoid rigidity in his body. "If he doesn’t get that medication on time his body could become rigid and he could freeze up", said a friend of Adams.

Adams was seen in Portsmouth Municipal Court yesterday trying to keep his legs and arms moving to prevent the rigidity from setting in. During court proceedings, Adams was allowed by the Court to stand by a wall and stretch his legs.

An indictment only means that there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. It’s not until a trial where a defendant gets to give his side of the story and all the evidence is put out for consideration by a jury of your peers. Until we get all the facts the Scioto County Jail should ensure that Adams is provided the necessary medical care his condition requires.

The strange twists and turns in this case have only begun.


(POSTED 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 15, 2003)


Burns released on $100,000 bond last night. If he appears in court today how could the courts claim he is a flight risk now?

By Doug Deepe, Investigative Reporter

(Posted 9:15 a.m., Tuesday, July 15, 2003)

Unbelievably, the Scioto County Prosecutors Office failed to get their indictment paperwork filed against the Burns murder suspect Psychiatrist John Adams yesterday. Last night Adams was allowed to post $100,000 bond and walk out of the Scioto County Jail a free man until his appearance at Portsmouth Municipal Court around 9:00 a.m. today.

This brings up an interesting question. If Dr. Adams shows up in court for his hearing at 9:00 a.m., how will the Scioto County Prosecutors justify Adams a flight risk? The Scioto County Prosecutors Office just gave Adams a chance to prove if he is going to run or not. It’s also funny that no notice was given to the public that this "dangerous man" was let out of jail last night, since it was apparent by articles in the local press last week that the Prosecutors were contemplating the death penalty against Adams.

The Scioto County Grand Jury met to discuss the case against Adams on Friday, July 11, 2003. The Prosecutors Office knew that Adams could be extradited back to Ohio around 1:00 p.m. on Monday, July 14, 2003. Then why, if they have an indictment against Adams, was the indictment not filed?

If Adams is such a threat that he warrants the death penalty specification in the Burns murder, then how can our Prosecutors Office not ensure that he was kept in jail?

Is this another case of incompetence in our local prosecutors or were they hyping up the case against Dr. Adams.

The Sentinel has information about this case that we will report that we believe proves the someone messed this case up from the beginning.

Former Scioto County Prosecutor Eric Wrage is handling Adams defense. Wrage stated last night on WSAZ News 3 at 11:00 p.m. that Mrs. Burns has multiple personalities and that she was eliminated as a suspect immediately, when evidence could be available that should have been looked at prior to excluding her as a suspect in her husbands shooting.

The Sentinel contacted the Kentucky State Highway Patrol and will post our discussion with them later this week. You won’t want to miss this. It proves we have incompetent police in this town.


(posted 2:00 p.m., Saturday, July 12, 2003)


Will Prosecutors seek death penalty in the Carlton Cave case?

By Doug Deepe, Investigative Reporter

(posted 2:00 p.m., Saturday, July 12, 2003)

Did the Scioto County Prosecutors seek the death penalty specification for alleged murderer John Adams in the death of Portsmouth City Official Bob Burns? That is the burning question on the minds of many people in the local area, including attorneys.

The first case that came to the minds of most people was the recent murder of Joyce Scott. Scott was murder in Wheelersburg by Anthony Routt and Routt was allowed to plead guilty to murder on a simple bill of information with little to no investigation by the Scioto County Prosecutors Office.

Sheriff Marty Donini stated that the shooting death of Scott was possibly a random killing but the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t given time to fully investigate any connections between Routt and Scott. (We have more information coming on this case at a later date.) The case was rushed to sentencing by the Scioto County Prosecutors Office.

The other case people are talking about is the recent murder of Carlton Cave, a young black man stabbed to death in Farley square by suspect Elvis Kearns. Cave was stabbed in the chest in broad day light, under the Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority camera. Cave was unarmed, according to sources on the scene, and attempted to retreat away from Kearns.

Will the Scioto County Prosecutors Office seek the death penalty in the Cave murder or is the life of a public official more important than that of a private citizen such as Mr. Cave.

There are numerous other murders that have occurred in Scioto County in which the death penalty should have been considered but was never imposed. We are compiling a list of the murders to post later in the upcoming week if Adams is charged with the death specification.

The Burns and Cave murders have this town on edge. Both men were bright, loving, caring men trying to support their families. One man was white while the other was black. Neither men were drug dealers or criminals, so shouldn’t both have their alleged attackers punished in similar manner?

But then one must ask, if the other families in the area with loved ones killed such as Joyce Scott’s family, didn’t deserve to have the killer fully investigated to see if the death penalty is warranted?

The Burns and Cave murders will be a telling sign about the legal system in this county.



By Austin Leedom, Shawnee Sentinel Writer (posted Tuesday 22 April 2003 at 5:29p.m.)

A 32-year-old ex-convict, Scott Andrew Routt of 1217 13th Street, was sentenced 18 years to life today for the murder of 49-year-old Joyce A. Scott of Hammerstein Road on April 10th, 2003.

Mr. Routt, arrested yesterday by sheriff's deputies, agreed to a bill of information, and was taken directly to Common Pleas Court where he entered a plea of guilty to murder. He was sentenced at 12:30 p.m. today by Judge William Marshall. Rick Brown, Assistant to Scioto County Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Grimshaw, handled the case for the State. The very able and experienced Michael H. Mearan was attorney for the defense. (posted Tuesday 22 April 2003 at 5:29p.m.)

(posted 10:44 p.m. Tuesday April 22, 2003) In a prepared news release, Sheriff Marty V. Donini commended, "the efforts of his detectives and deputies who worked diligently on this case along with those who provided assistance in this investigation"......

"Sheriff Donini would like to emphasize to the residents that the circumstances surrounding this particular murder case clearly indicates this crime was a "crime of opportunity" where the victim and the suspect were not acquaintances and the suspect simply knocked on the door and forced his way into the victims residence at gunpoint after the victim opened the door."

In an interview today with the Sheriff’s Captain of Detectives John Murphy, the captain modestly gave his detectives and other deputies credit for the outstanding work in the detection and arrest of the killer.

Captain Murphy and Common Pleas Court Bailiff Mike Crabtree told the Sentinel of the swift arraignment and the sentencing of Scott Andrew Routt. They said that Mr. Routt had elected to waive rights to a preliminary hearing and a grand jury inquiry and decided to have his case submitted directly to the Common Pleas Court via a bill of information.

Scott Andrew Routt is well acquainted with the criminal justice system according to records from the Municipal and Common Pleas Court.

Municipal Court records show that Scott Andrew Routt has made many appearances there, beginning in April 1991 when he was charged with No Operators License.

In 1993 he was charged with Uttering a Forged Check and Robbery.

In 1994 he was charged in Municipal Court with Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Passing Bad Checks (two separate dates and charges) and Unauthorized use of a Motor Vehicle.

There was no record found in Municipal Court from 1994 until 2001 when he was charged with DUI.

In January 2003 he was charged with Passing a Bad Check. In March 2003 he was again charged with Passing a Bad Check.

Scioto County Clerk of Courts records explain the absence of criminal charges in Municipal Court from 1994 to 2001.

These records show Common Pleas Judge William T. Marshall sentenced him, in 1994, to serve 4 to 15 years in prison on a robbery charge. In this case Scott Andrew Routt was defended in Common Pleas Court by Attorneys Gary F. Billiter and Jack D. Young. (POSTED by Austin Leedom, 10:44 p.m. Tuesday April 22, 2003)


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