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Published: Friday, 1/16/2009

Mom battled killer, prosecutor says

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DAYTON - A man looking to rob a young mother's home tied her up in the basement, had sexual contact with her 4-year-old son, and fatally shot the woman after she broke free and stabbed him with a kitchen knife, a prosecutor said yesterday.

Charlie Myers, 22, kicked in the door to the woman's home Jan. 2 as she was making dinner, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias Heck, Jr., said in his first public comments about the case.

The 29-year-old mother stabbed Mr. Myers once in the side, and he shot her twice with a shotgun, said Mr. Heck, who also announced that the would seek the death penalty against Mr. Myers.

Mr. Myers, of Columbus, left the boy at a highway rest stop with no coat or shoes, where travelers found the boy wandering around and called police, Mr. Heck said.

A grand jury indicted Mr. Myers on numerous charges, including aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, and gross sexual imposition involving a child under 13.

Mr. Myers, who is being held in jail in lieu of $5 million bail, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

If convicted, a death sentence is far from guaranteed for Mr. Myers.

Only one in every three defendants charged with a capital crime in Montgomery County has ended up with a death sentence, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

Mr. Myers made an impromptu statement to reporters last week as he was being led into jail, offering an apology and saying he had made a mistake.

He didn't confess to the slaying, but he acknowledged taking the woman's son and dropping him off at an I-70 rest area in central Ohio.

The boy turned 5 Saturday.

Mr. Heck called the boy "a very brave young man."

The Associated Press is not naming the family so as not to identify the victim of an alleged sexual offense.

Mr. Heck said the case began a week before Christmas, when Mr. Myers stole the victim's car - at random - from a parking garage at Ohio State University in Columbus, where the boy's mother and father had attended a rock concert to celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary.

Items left in the car identified the family and where they lived. FBI agents found that the woman's cell phone was used twice in Columbus after her death, including a call made to Mr. Myers' phone, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in Franklin County Municipal Court.



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