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Racist business owner sentenced for viral road rage exchange

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Remember the racist business owner who was caught on video calling a black man the ‘n-word’ last summer? We’ve got an update on him.

Jeffrey Whitman, owner of Uriah’s Heating and Cooling, pleaded guilty to ethnic intimidation, a reduction from the original disorderly conduct charge, reports NBC4i. He was given a six-month suspended jail sentence and a $500 fine for the road rage episode.

The victim, Charles Lovett, is disappointed with the sentencing and wishes Whitman would’ve been given more jail time.

The July incident stemmed from Whitman believing Lovett had cut him off in Morse Road traffic near I-71 and Sinclair Road.

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“I just want to let you know what a n****r you are,” Whitman said to Lovett from his company van.

Lovett captured the encounter on video and posted it to Facebook where it quickly went viral.

So this is happened to me this morning. A man followed me from the interstate exit to my house, and then proceeded to berate me with the most disrespectful word to any African American. I wasn’t going to post it, because I felt that I should’ve known and did better in handling the situation, by just walking away and going into my house. But I’m human. Nobody, African American Mexican Puerto Rican deserves what’s been happening to us across the United States here lately. This incident is just one of many sadly. 😔 #IamBetterThanThis #UriahsHeatingAndCooling (if you’re in Columbus, OH; you can watch it and my interview tonight on NBC4 & ABC6 & FOX28 tonight)

Posted by Charles Lovett on Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Soon after the altercation, NBC4i caught up with Whitman who told reporters he did not regret calling Lovett the ‘n-word.’ He’s since changed his mind.

“I would like to apologize to Mr. Lovett and his family. What I’ve done, and, ugh, I deeply regret it, and it is genuine,” said Whitman in court.

Also in court, Whitman admitted to losing his $400,000 a year business and is looking into filing bankruptcy.

Whitman’s lawyer Mark Collins said he had received professional help, counseling, and participated in outreach with the African American community.

Lovett has since gotten his Concealed Carry Permit because he says he lives in fear, reports NBC4i.

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Crime

Unsolved Ohio: Who killed Peggy Andrews near OSU in 1962?

Regina Fox

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How does a well-liked, 19-year-old, small town girl wind up dead in a Columbus garage? Unfortunately, even after nearly 60 years, no one knows.

The lifeless body of Mary Margaret “Peggy” Andrews was found in a garage near the Ohio State campus on September 20, 1962. She was shot three times in the face and—judging by the condition of her clothing when investigators arrived—sexually assaulted.

Peggy moved out of her parents’ home almost immediately after graduating from her Catholic high school near Steubenville, Ohio in 1961. Along with two other young women, Peggy lived in a boarding house on 18th Avenue near Buckeye Donuts. She enrolled in night classes at the Columbus Business University (now Bradford School) and worked full time as an accountant’s secretary.

She was smart, well-liked, and deeply religious. People close to her described her as “carefree” and “lighthearted,” reports Columbus Monthly.

It was a Thursday at 5:00 PM when Peggy left her downtown workplace before heading to class. She met up with her two roommates, Carol Maxwell and Carol Eick, and two male classmates outside her office. Typically, Peggy would’ve taken the bus with her roommates, but she wasn’t feeling well that day. Instead, she caught a ride with her friend and classmate Ron Negutt to avoid the uncomfortable bus commute.

He pulled up to Peggy’s boarding house and watch her walk to her door under the streetlamp light. Negutt took off before she had gotten inside, eager to meet his buddies at the 7-11 Club. He arrived at the bar around 9:30 PM, reports Columbus Monthly.

This was also the time Maxwell and Eick say they arrived back at the boarding house. Both women, along with the housemothers, waited for Peggy’s signature high-heeled entrance through the back door, but she never came.

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Meanwhile, Columbus Business University student Gary Ontko was moving into his new apartment on Woodruff Avenue. Around 11:30 PM, Ontko volunteered to help out his roommate who had forgotten to roll up his car windows.

He approached the garage cautiously as he was new to his surroundings. As he grew closer, that’s when he saw them: a pair of human legs illuminating in the moonlight.

Peggy’s purse contents were strewn about, her long red coat was covered in dirt, but the small black bow remained pinned to her curly brown hair. Her school books were discovered neatly stacked on the ground behind her boarding house.

Everybody in Peggy’s life, including Negutt who was the last known person to see her alive, were cleared as suspects. Police expanded their search to registered sex offenders in the area, which garnered a possible link. A .22-caliber pistol found in a university district drain spout in 1963 supported the link, but did not cement it.

Another break in the case occurred decades later in 2000. Forensic scientists extracted DNA from a stain on the back of Peggy’s shirt and tested it against DNA samples obtained at local, state, and federal crime scenes. The tests garnered no results.

This stain just may be the key that unlocks the entire mystery. Now, if they could only find a match.

Anyone with additional information or questions regarding this case should submit a tip.

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Crime

The alleged link between Les Wexner and millionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

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Jeffrey Epstein, a 66-year-old millionaire financier and registered sex offender, was arrested on Saturday and charged with sex trafficking dozens of minors between 2002 and 2005. According to The Daily Beast, one of Epstein’s accusers is claiming to have been assaulted in the home of local billionaire Leslie Wexner.

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In April, a woman came forward accusing Epstein of sexually assaulting her in a New York mansion in the 1990s. Wexner purchased the property at 9 East 71st Street for $13 million in 1989. The Cut reports Wexner “turned over” the mansion to Epstein in 1995, but he didn’t claim public ownership of it until 1996. Property records show that the deed wasn’t officially transferred to Epstein until December 2011, though, reports Vox.com.

Wexner, whose net worth of $4.7 billion makes him the richest man in the state of Ohio, is Epstein’s only known client, according to The Daily Beast. Wexner hired Epstein to manage his multi-billion-dollar fortune in 1987, reports The Observer.

The Wexner family has yet to make a statement publicly, but L Brand shares tumbled by more than four percent on Tuesday, just days after Epstein’s arrest.

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Crime

Park Street Punk: Robber makes off with bar money

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The search continues for a thief who made off with an undisclosed amount of cash from Park Street Tavern Sunday morning.

According to Columbus police, a man forced his way into the 501 North Park Street bar around 10:50 AM Sunday. Unable to get inside the registers, the suspect waited inside the building until an employee arrived.

The employee complied with the suspect’s demands for money, according to NBC4i. The man left Park Street Tavern on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.

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The suspect is described as a black man, 25-40 years old, approximately 6-feet tall with a heavy build and should-length dreadlocks pulled back into a loose ponytail. He was wearing a black jersey.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Columbus Police Robbery Unit at 614-645-4665.

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