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“It was in the best interest of our team,” Meyer on firing alleged domestic abuser

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Update: During OSU football head coach’s address at the Big Ten’s media days in Chicago, he admitted to knowing about some of the domestic abuse allegations against his wide receivers coach but not all.

Meyer said he knew about the allegations against Zach Smith’s in 2009 when they were coaching at Florida but did not know about the claims in 2015.

According to Eleven Warriors, Smith was arrested in 2009 for battery on his three-month pregnant wife at the time, Courtney Smith.

However, Courtney decided not to file charges and Meyer stood by Zach, who was a graduate assistant for the Gators at the time.

“In 2009, Zach was an intern,” Meyer said. “As I do any time, and I imagine most coaches or people in leadership positions, when you receive a phone call, first thing you do is tell your boss. Let the experts do their jobs. We’re certainly not going to investigate. It came back to me that what was reported wasn’t what actually happened. So Shelley and I actually both got involved with the relationship with that family, and provided counseling, and wanted to help them moving forward.”

As far as the firing, Meyer said:

“It was in the best interest of our team,” Meyer said. “It wasn’t just my decision, it was a group effort with some of the people that I rely on.

“Core values are very strong,” Meyer added. “So that was a big part of it.”


An Ohio State football coach accused of hitting his wife is hitting the road.

Wide receivers coach Zach Smith, grandson of former head coach Earle Bruce, has been fired following multiple allegations of domestic abuse.

The university made a short announcement Monday night but did not specify why Smith was fired.

College football reporter Brett McMurphy uncovered Smith’s checkered past and made a Facebook post detailing his findings.

“Smith, 34, was arrested Oct. 26, 2015 by the Powell (Ohio) Police Department on felony counts of domestic violence and felonious assault against Courtney Smith,” he wrote.

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The couple divorced September 1, 2016.

But then just this Friday, Courtney Smith filed a domestic violence protection order against Zach Smith.

The ruling, per McMurphy, states: “the court finds that (Courtney Smith) is in immediate and present danger of domestic violence and for good cause the following temporary orders are necessary to protect the persons named (Courtney Smith and her two young children) in this order from domestic violence.”

Besides 2015, Zach Smith was also arrested in 2009.

He was on Urban Meyer’s coaching staff then, too, at the University of Florida.

According to a Gainesville, Florida Police Incident report, Courtney Smith, then 24, stated her husband Zach Smith, then 25, “picked her up by grabbing her T-shirt and threw her against the bedroom wall located upstairs in their apartment.”

Though he denied accusations, Zach Smith was arrested. Courtney chose not to press charges eight days later.

Meyer is scheduled to speak Tuesday at Big Ten’s media days in Chicago.

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Crime

TBT: The Short North Posse – Columbus’ most notorious gang

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To look at the Short North in 2019, it’s hard to imagine that it was once the stomping grounds of one of the most notorious and violent street gangs in Columbus history. Though the area is hardly free from crime today, nothing matches the scope and intensity of the offenses brought to bear on the neighborhood by the Short North Posse in the 1990s.

For those unaware of the Posse and its reputation, Columbus Monthly once called the nationally-known street gang “the biggest, baddest, gun-totingest, drug-slingingest, most murderous bunch in town.” The group’s activities were serious enough to draw the attention of local and federal authorities, resulting in over 60 arrests of posse members, many of which carried hefty sentences.

According to court records, the Short North Posse was formed by a group of cocaine dealers who wanted to carve out an area of Columbus as their own turf – the area just north of downtown Columbus. Like any gang, the Posse offered protection to its members while keeping rival gangs and drug dealers at bay.

Though its members were eventually proven guilty of everything from drug charges to racketeering and murder, some claim The Short North Posse were simply administering their own brand of street justice in a neighborhood that had long been neglected by polite society.

Utilizing undercover detectives and covert drug stings, Columbus Police began targeting gang activity in the Short North area in 1993. By May of 1994, the scope of the investigation expanded to include federal authorities.

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In March of 1995, a sweeping federal investigation resulted in more than 200 charges from drug dealing to money laundering being leveled against alleged Posse members. More than 40 members of the gang were arrested and tried, with many receiving maximum sentences.

In spite of these wide-ranging convictions, the Short North Posse was far from finished, as a new generation of members stepped up to replace those who were incarcerated. Two more major waves of arrests followed, with ten more Posse members facing charges in 2006.

19 additional arrests in 2010 effectively marked the end of the Posse’s presence as a criminal force in the city. Of the 19 charged, 13 pleaded guilty and six others were convicted by juries and sentenced to life without parole. In all, the final wave of arrests yielded 31 murder-related convictions.

Short North Posse leader Robert Ledbetter

The final conviction associated with the Short North Posse came in 2017. Robert Ledbetter, a Posse leader, was sentenced to several consecutive life sentences for the revenge killing of 23-year-old Alan Johnson in 2006, who had allegedly murdered Ledbetter’s brother. He was also convicted for his role in the death of drug dealer Marschell Brumfield Junior, and for ordering the murder of his then girlfriend while he was in custody in 2011.

While the violent nature of the crimes committed by Posse members is a matter of record, some say there are two sides to the long-standing gang’s saga.

Was the Short North Posse really as bad as their rap sheet would suggest, or were they unjustly targeted by powerful interests? Whatever the case may be, the Short North of today bears little resemblance to the streets run by Posse members two decades ago.

 

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Crime

Bloody Sunday: two stabbed at Short North bar

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Capping off a weekend of violence in the Short North that included a massive brawl, two people were taken to the hospital with stab wounds suffered from an incident at a High Street bar Sunday night.

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Records show that Columbus police responded to a call at Standard Hall around 9:00PM. They say a man stabbed two bouncers when they attempted to remove him from the bar.

When police arrived on the scene, they located the two victims who were “bleeding and had visible injuries” according to an unofficial report. The two were transported to OSU medical center, both in stable condition.

The suspect is still on the loose, and is wanted for felonious assault. Police have not released a description of the perpetrator at this time.

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Crime

Video: weekend brawl stops traffic in Short North Streets

Mike Thomas

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For most people, St. Paddy’s day is a joyful celebration of all things Irish. For others, the holiday is used as a pretense to unleash more base tendencies of human nature through binge drinking, violence, and general foolishness.

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A video showcasing a dustup involving a dozen or more St. Paddy’s revelers in the the Short North this weekend has been making the rounds on social media. The fracas broke out in front of the Columbus convention center, interrupting traffic for several minutes.

Video of the brawl was posted to imgur, and is embedded below. The video contains acts of violence that some may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

No cause for the fight has been established and police records indicate no arrests were made in relation to the incident.

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