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McClure man competent to stand trial for murder

A McClure man charged with killing his brother in June has been found competent to stand trial.

Henry County Common Pleas Court Judge John Collier announced Tuesday that an evaluation found Randall Ottinger competent to stand trial. The report also concluded there is no basis for a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Collier set a pre-trial hearing for Oct. 28 at 1 p.m.

The defense had the option to request its own report but did not do so and accepted the current evaluation. Henry County Prosecuting Attorney Gwen Howe-Gebers said the evaluation was thorough, with the interview lasting a couple of hours, and the report was about 10 pages.

Ottinger is charged with aggravated murder with a gun specification. Howe-Gebers said he faces the possibility of life without parole. Possible plea agreement negotiations are believed to be underway.

Authorities allege, on June 5, Ottinger, with prior calculation and design, caused the death of James Ottinger, and used a firearm to do so. The firearm specification also carries an automatic three-year penalty if he is found guilty.

Henry County Sheriff Michael Bodenbender previously reported the sheriff’s office received a 9-1-1 call at approximately 2 p.m. June 5 at M-520 County Road 6 in Damascus Township in regard to shots fired from a firearm and a deceased individual.

Second long-term care facility has virus outbreak

A second long-term care facility in the county is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak.

Julie Lauf, director of nursing for the Henry County Health Department, updated the Henry County Board of Health Tuesday on a small outbreak at Vancrest of Holgate. According to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), there were five cases in the facility within the week, as of Sept. 10.

Lauf said the health department is also continuing to work with the outbreak at Northcrest Rehab and Nursing Center.

Overall, Lauf reported the county has 274 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 37 hospitalizations, as of Tuesday afternoon. As of last Wednesday, there were 10 deaths in the county in connection with the virus.

During Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s press conference Tuesday, Henry County was listed as the fifth highest county in the state as ranked by highest occurrence of COVID-19 cases. The county’s number of cases, adjusted per 100,000 population, was 192.5 from Aug. 31-Sept. 13. During that time period, the county had 52 new cases, according to ODH.

In late August, Henry County was at the top of the rankings but dropped down to 10th earlier this month.

Lauf added the local health department is continuing to work with schools regarding the virus, including contact tracing after positive cases are confirmed and quarantining individuals determined to be close contacts, which is defined as if they were within 6 feet of the individual for more than 15 minutes.

Holgate, Napoleon and Liberty Center have each reported one positive student case since starting the school year, and Liberty Center announced Tuesday that a preschool staff member had tested positive for the virus. Lauf said the same quarantine protocol will be followed in regards to the staff case and only those who were determined to be in close contact with the individual will be quarantined, not the entire class.

Sheriff: Fleeing suspect abandons winning lottery ticket

CANTON, Ga. (AP) — A suspect in Georgia left his good luck behind when he abandoned a winning lottery ticket while fleeing sheriff’s deputies.

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office says the man had a Georgia Lottery scratch game card worth $100 when he ran away during a traffic stop on Interstate 75 on Monday.

In a Facebook post, it offered its congratulations and invited him to claim the ticket at its office in Canton about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Atlanta.

The man, who was not identified, was later taken into custody, sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Jay Baker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Baker said the man was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over for a tag violation, and he ran into the woods.

The lottery ticket was in a backpack that also had methamphetamine, according to Baker. The man can have the lottery ticket back, but the sheriff’s office said it will keep the drugs.