Slain Beavercreek father, missing child: Defendants want more time to prep for trial

The ex-wife of a Beavercreek man who was shot to death in front of his children — one whom is still missing — has asked a federal judge to declare the case involving six total defendants to be a “complex case.”

Attorneys for Tawnney Caldwell (aka Tawnney Thomas) made a motion for U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rose to declare the case “complex litigation” and grant a continuance to increase the amount of time the defendants have to get ready for trial.

Hearings in Dayton’s U.S. District Court were for those accused of crimes related to the August 2017 death of Robert Caldwell, 35.

RELATED: No bond for ex-wife in Beavercreek man’s death; family seeks missing child

Hearings were scheduled Friday for several defendants in the case of the Beavercreek man who was killed and whose son is still missing.

Tawnney Caldwell is being held with no bond on death penalty-eligible charges. Six defendants face federal charges.

“The Government has indicated they may seek the death penalty for two (2) of the co-defendants, including Ms. Caldwell,” attorney Christian Cavalier wrote. “The case involves voluminous discovery, some of which has yet to be disclosed by the Government.

“Based upon the aforementioned factors, the Court has ample basis in which to make a factual finding that the ends of justice served by granting a continuance outweigh the best interest of the public and the Defendant in a speedy trial.”

RELATED: Ex-wife, 5 others indicted in 2017 killing of Beavercreek man

The FBI also continues to offer a $15,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of missing child Jacob Lee Caldwell, the 14-year-old son who saw his father shot. An older brother ran to a restaurant to tell others what happened.

Court dockets don’t indicate the exact nature of the motion hearing, but four defendants have made motions to sever their cases from the others.

Those include Tawney Caldwell and Chandra Harmon plus Chance Deakin (aka Roberts) and Christopher Roberts, who both face felony gun charges.

RELATED: Teen went missing days after seeing father killed in Riverside

Sterling H. Roberts, 34, was indicted for cyber stalking, interstate traveling to kill Robert Crawford and other charges. Roberts hasn’t been extradited from South Carolina, where he pleaded guilty to a weapons charge after allegedly firing at a deputy.

James T. Harmon, 55, of Burlington, Ky. was indicted for transfer of a firearm to a prohibited person and aiding and abetting.

The judge ruled that defense attorneys could see numerous search warrants, returns and affidavits restricted from public view.

Tipsters are asked to call (937) 310-3200 or visit online at with information.

RELATED: Riverside homicide suspect fires shots at S.C. deputy

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