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Crime

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

614Now

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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.

 

BBQ got its deep hooks into me when I had a business in Austin, TX – you know, the home of dry rub, beef and sausage. I’ve indulged on pulled pork in NC topped with slaw and drenched in vinegar sauce and the savory of Memphis-style ribs to the sweetness of Kansas City. Columbus has its own mix of styles, like so many other cuisines that find a home in our midwest oasis.

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Crime

Upper Arlington woman charged in shocking Halloween murder

Regina Fox

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Halloween turned horrific in Upper Arlington after a woman killer her father and injured her mother in a shooting.

According to NBC4i, Kristin Roth, 31, has been charged with the aggravated murder of her father and felonious assault of her mother.

Police were called around 6:30pm on October 31 (during Upper Arlington's trick-or-treat) on the report of a shooting on Colchester Rd. Officers found James Roth, 61, and his wife Elizabeth Roth, 60, both shot multiple times.  

They were transported to an area hospital where James Roth was pronounced dead. Elizabeth Roth is reportedly in stable condition.

Witnesses on the scene provided key information, which led officers to Kristen Roth's home Merrifield Pl. She was arrested without incident and taken to the Franklin County Jail.

The City of Upper Arlington posted the following message on its website:

The Upper Arlington Police Division would like to thank residents in the area of Colchester Rd who cooperated with first responders and helped officers quickly clear the streets of children and families just as Beggar’s Night was beginning. This was instrumental in keeping everyone safe.

Additionally, we would like to thank all of our law enforcement partners who also responded to this tragedy, specifically Hilliard Police Division, Columbus Police, and the Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation (BCI).

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Community Relations Officer at 614-583-5197.

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Crime

Off-duty deputy shot in face during fit of road rage

Regina Fox

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In a fit of violent road rage, an unidentified person shot a Franklin County Sheriff's deputy in the face.

Deputy Jim Church was driving home around 11pm Friday night in the North Linden area after getting his dog groomed. According to ABC6 per Columbus Police, the suspect became angered with Deputy Church's driving and fired five rounds into his vehicle.

Deputy Church was hit once in the right cheek. He was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Deputy Church was released Saturday and is recovering at home.

https://twitter.com/ColumbusPolice/status/1188075902044954629
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Crime

Bizarre Crime: Woman breaks into Franklinton home to bathe toddler

Regina Fox

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You may think you've been part of a bizarre situation, but I guarantee it will pale in comparison to what one Franklinton mother experienced recently.

Areica Hill woke to find another woman inside her home, getting ready to give her 2-year-old son a bath.

Elizabeth Hixon, 22, was arrested and charged with burglary.

NBC4i reports Hixon claimed she entered the home to provide care to the young boy, who was outside the residence. During a phone call with NBC4i, Hixon's mother said she believes her daughter's heart was in the right place.

Hill, who had never met Hixon, hopes additional charges will be filed against her.

Hixon has posted bond.

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