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Published: Friday, 11/16/2007

Toledo grand jury issues pair of indictments in area cold cases

BY LAREN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Cox Cox
HANDOUT NOT BLADE PHOTO Enlarge

Police found Theodore Goodacre dead eight years ago his body severely beaten lying in a wooded area in East Toledo along the railroad tracks near Front and Main streets.

A homeless man identified as Reginald Darnell Jones was found beaten to death two years later, in May, 2001, lying near where police found Mr. Goodacre s body.

David Dusseau was found beaten in his East Toledo home in July, 2002, and suffered severe injuries that left him paralyzed, his mother said.

For years, the three cases have remained unsolved.

But a Lucas County grand jury yesterday indicted Raymond Cox, 22, on two counts of murder in the deaths of Mr. Goodacre and Mr. Jones and one count of felonious assault in the beating of Mr. Dusseau.

If convicted, Cox could serve up to life in prison.

Cox is serving nine years in prison at the Allen Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio, for a 2002 involuntary manslaughter conviction in the death of Craig Coulter, 41, of 623 Platt St.

Sgt. Steve Forrester, who helped reopen the three cases, said Cox is a dangerous man considering that he has been convicted of beating a man to death and is accused of killing two men and beating another all before his 17th birthday.

He is scheduled to be released from prison in 2011.

It s better for everyone that he stay locked up, said Sergeant Forrester, who works with the Toledo-Lucas County cold-case squad.

The cold cases were reopened this year as part of a grant from Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann.

The $109,000 grant allows detectives to reopen unsolved cases where DNA evidence is present, Sergeant Forrester said.

Debra Cullum Debra Cullum
HANDOUT NOT BLADE PHOTO Enlarge

The grand jury yesterday also indicted Debra Cullum of Cleveland on charges of the 1988 slaying of Robert Cherry, 59.

Detectives found forensic evidence that linked Cox to the deaths of Mr. Goodacre and Mr. Jones, Sergeant Forrester said, declining to release specific details.

Witnesses provided authorities with information that led them to believe Cox also was involved in the beating of Mr. Dusseau, he said.

It would be unlikely we would open an old case without forensic evidence, Sergeant Forrester said.

Cox is accused of beating and strangling Mr. Goodacre, 53, described as a drifter from Tecumseh, Mich., behind the McDonald s restaurant parking lot on Main Street in 1999, authorities said.

Cox was 14 years old at the time.

Mr. Goodacre s body was found partially clothed, but authorities were unable to determine if he had been sexually assaulted because of the condition of his body, Sergeant Forrester said.

In May, 2001, a bicyclist told police that he had seen a deceased person in the woods near International Park, authorities said.

Police searched the area and found the body of Mr. Jones a homeless man originally from Cincinnati near the park along the Maumee River the next day.

He also was found partially clothed and was about 1,800 feet from where police discovered Mr. Goodacre s body, Sergeant Forrester said.

The Lucas County Coroner s Office ruled the 37-year-old died from multiple blunt-force injuries and strangulation.

Sergeant Forrester said authorities are unsure of any motive in the deaths.

Cox also is charged with severely beating Mr. Dusseau in his home at 440 Raymer Blvd. on July 8, 2002, Sergeant Forrester said.

A witness who lived at the Raymer address told police he came from an upstairs bedroom and saw Mr. Dusseau on the couch with blood on him, authorities said.

Authorities believe he was hit in the head several times with a pipe.

Sergeant Forrester said Mr. Dusseau s injuries are so extensive that he ll never leave the nursing home as a result of that beating.

Mr. Dusseau s mother, Marjorie Wagner, said knowing someone has been charged for beating her son has brought her a little peace.

It s been a long five years, she said.

Ms. Wagner visits Mr. Dusseau, now 51, every week at the Concord Care Center of Toledo on Glanzman Road, and said he has no memory of the attack.

The left side of Mr. Dusseau s body is paralyzed and he lost his right eye as a result of injuries from the beating, his mother said.

David was 46 when this happened, she said. He had another 40 years to live.

Three days after the beating of Mr. Dusseau, Mr. Coulter was killed.

The 41-year-old man was assaulted July 11 in the backyard of his East Toledo residence after he failed to pay a drug debt he owed to a female friend of Cox, authorities said.

Cox s friend gave Mr. Coulter $20 to buy drugs, but he used the drugs himself and didn t have money to repay the woman, authorities said.

After the beating, Cox took Mr. Coulter to his upstairs apartment, put him in bed, and told him not to call police. Mr. Coulter was found dead the next day from a blunt-force injury to the head, authorities said.

Cullum, formerly of Toledo, is accused of killing Mr. Cherry, of 618 Eleanor Ave., who was found dead in the bedroom of his West Toledo home after authorities were notified that he hadn t shown up for work at Doehler-Jarvis, where he was an electrician, Sergeant Forrester said.

He was stabbed 18 times.

Police believe Cullum was addicted to drugs and her motive in the attack was robbery.

Detective Bart Beavers, a member of the cold-case squad, said Cullum was questioned at the time of the investigation, but there wasn t enough evidence to prosecute.

He said Toledo police didn t start using DNA as evidence until the mid-1990s.

Cullum was arrested yesterday in Cleveland. If convicted, she could be sentenced to up to life in prison.

Detective Beavers said although it has been almost two decades since Mr. Cherry was killed, the indictment brings closure to the family.

Contact Laren Weber at:lweber@theblade.comor 419-724-6050.



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