Crimes against children among grand jury indictments

Three men accused of crimes against children including murder, gross sexual imposition and child pornography were among those indicted by a Washington County Grand Jury last week.

Michael A. Dawson, Jr., 31, of 1010 Longacre St., Marietta, was arrested on July 26 for the murder of his 2-month-old son Gannon and indicted last week for murder, an unclassified felony, and endangering children, a second-degree felony.

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Gannon Dawson was rushed to Marietta Memorial Hospital and later Nationwide Children’s Hospital for treatment after the infant was found not breathing.

According to the indictment, Dawson is accused of committing or attempting to commit an offense of violence between June 1 and July 25.

“We don’t have all of the reports back yet, nor the autopsy report back,” said Washington County Prosecutor Nicole Coil on Monday. “When the child was at Marietta Memorial the physician there noted the bruising on his neck then at Nationwide they did further testing and also interviewed the mother.”

Detectives were advised of bruising on the boy’s chin and further tests in Columbus revealed that Gannon had a skull fracture, a healing broken collar bone, seven or eight broken or fractured ribs that were in various stages of healing and both new and old hemorrhages consistent with being shaken.

The Columbus hospital also reported liver damage and bruising to the child’s bowels.

Coil said the case remains under investigation but no charges have been levied against the child’s mother at this time.

In a separate case, Bovoe D. Dunn, 27, of 646 Phillips St., Marietta, was indicted on one count of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony, and is accused of having sexual contact with a 6-year-old female child, Coil said.

“That was a child who was left in the care of the uncle,” said Coil. “We’re uncertain whether or not the aunt was present.”

Coil said the sexual contact is alleged to have occurred during a bath on Nov. 30.

In the third child-offense case, Jordan Ross Dieffenbach, 23, of 1366 Elizabeth Court, Kent, who is in the custody of the sheriff’s office on the underlying rape charges stemming from a separate case. was arraigned Friday.

Coil said Dieffenbach may face additional charges through the warrant to search his phone. The grand jury last week added the three counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, all fourth-degree felonies, to the list of charges Dieffenbach faces.

Washington County Common Pleas Judge John Halliday added $25,000 to Dieffenbach’s bond on top of the $200,000 bond for the underlying rape charge from the beginning of July.

“In the child pornography case, those are unknown children, but again they’re still children and still victims,” said Coil.

Other indictments announced last week included:

– Joshua G. Stewart, 40, of 205 Elm St., Belpre, accused of trespassing into 101 George St. Ext., Belpre, owned by Abigail Campbell and taking jewelry, household items, tools, handbags, accessories, camera equipment and a Smith & Wesson 38 special, Model 36 handgun, on June 10. He faces two counts of burglary, a second-degree felony, and grand theft when the property is a firearm or dangerous ordnance, a third-degree felony.

– Co-defendants Layton White, 20, of 150 Camelot Road, Belpre, and Jerrod Anderson, 22, of 150 Camelot Road, Lot 13, Belpre, each face aggravated trafficking in drugs, a third-degree felony, and permitting drug abuse, a fifth-degree felony.

According to the indictment, the pair prepared for shipment amphetamine in the vicinity of a juvenile on Jan. 27.

– Earl D. Griffin, II, 43, of 2470 Pleasant Ridge Road, Marietta, was indicted in two separate cases and faces charges of receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony, and aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony.

The stolen property charge alleged in the indictment stems from the possession of a 1996 Jeep Cherokee previously owned by Richard Gaskins, which was in Griffin’s possession on Jan. 6.

Griffin faces the second charge for the alleged possession of methamphetamine on Aug. 29.

– Jason D. Lanning, 37, of 105 Melody Lane, Marietta, was charged with the November grand theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, and counterfeiting, a fourth-degree felony.

Lanning is accused of purchasing a 2008 gold Saturn Aura with counterfeit currency on Nov. 19 at 6891 State Route 821 in Marietta.

– Justin M. Fox, 35, of 2067 Burnfield Road, Vincent, faces three counts of domestic violence, all fourth-degree felonies, for alleged physical harm caused upon two family or household members on April 21 and April 26. Fox was in custody for a probation violation last week and was arraigned by Halliday. A condition of his bond is no contact with the alleged victims in the case.

– Lindsey M. Tornes, 30, of 1160 Hadley Hallow Road, Marietta, faces one charge of failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony.

Tornes is alleged to flee a police officer on Jan. 12 after receiving a visible or audible signal to bring her vehicle to a stop. According to the sheriff’s office, Tornes was arrested in March with aligning charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and breach of recognizance, both misdemeanors.

– Co-defendants Austin M. Barnhart, 22, of 2610 Braun Road, Belpre, and Corey J. Woolum, 31, of 7 Slater Lane, The Plains, are accused of trespassing upon the premises of Reynolds Landscaping at 323 Dragstrip Road, Belpre, and allegedly stole plants and tools on May 18.

Barnhart faces two counts of theft, a fifth-degree felony, and breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony. Woolum faces the same two fifth-degree felony counts.

– Nicholas J. Patterson, 37, of 1110 Hocking Road, Apt. C., Belpre, was charged with failure to appear, a fourth-degree felony, in connection with an underlying felony charge for which he was expected to appear in Washington County Common Pleas Court on July 15.

– Dashawn L. Young, 44, of 1090 Hilton Drive, Reynoldsburg, was charged with failure to appear, a fourth-degree felony, in connection with an underlying felony charge for which he was expected to appear in Washington County Common Pleas Court on July 1.

– Melanie Blake, 46, of 29 Benton Ave., Parkersburg, is accused of grand theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, and receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony. She is accused of taking a 2005 Ford F150 truck from Marietta Motors.

– Edward W. Houk Jr., 19, of 16920 State Route 550, Marietta, is accused of a “pattern of conduct” which “did recklessly violate the terms of a protection order issued” against Houk on behalf of a family or household member. Houck on July 26 allegedly committed the offenses of menacing by stalking, a fourth-degree felony, possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony, and violating a protection order, a first-degree misdemeanor.

– Nicholas D. Brooks, 37, homeless, faces one count of felonious assault, a second-degree felony, for the alleged stabbing of a Matthew T. Berga on July 27 at 217 S. Sixth St., Marietta.


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