Middletown man charged with double murder after standoff

A Middletown man who turned a gun on himself in a Trenton standoff after allegedly killing two women is now charged with two counts of murder, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

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James Edward Geran, 45, killed his “business associate in criminal activity” and dumped her body on the side of the road before killing his girlfriend’s mother during a standoff with deputies on June 13 in Trenton, according to the sheriff’s office.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said one day after the incident that Geran could be charged based on the probable cause from the initial investigation, but that would mean taxpayers would pay for his medical expenses.

“I gave instructions to put a deputy with him at the hospital and if he made any movement, like he was going to leave the hospital, he was to be arrested immediately,” Gmoser told the Journal-News.

Today, Geran was released from a Dayton hospital and booked into the Butler County Jail, said Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer.

The case is in the jurisdiction of Middletown Municipal Court, but an arraignment date has not yet been set for Geran.

Geran, a convicted felon, shot Megan Motter in the head, killing her, and dumped her body off Woodsdale Road in Madison Twp., according to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.

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The investigation of Motter’s death led deputies to an apartment in Trenton.

When deputies knocked on the door of the Sal Boulevard apartment, Geran shot at them, according to Jones. Deputies returned fire, shooting about three rounds of bullets as they took cover, according to the sheriff.

Inside, Geran had three hostages: his 26-year-old girlfriend, Gina McCleary; her 27-year-old sister, Tammy Davis; and their mother, 63-year-old Sharon McCleary, Jones said. Over the course of about two hours, Geran continued to fire between five and eight times at the deputies outside, but negotiators were able to talk him into releasing the sisters.

Sheriff’s Office negotiators were evientually able to talk Geran out of the home.

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“Said he was going to smoke a cigarette first,” Jones said.

However, when he let the second sister out, he immediately closed the door, the sheriff said.

“We tried to make entry at that time, then we heard guenfire,” Jones said.

Geran then crawled out, having shot himself in the chin with a .380 caliber gun, Jones said.

Geran was talking to emergency personal when he was taken from the scene, Jones said.

Inside the apartment, deputies found Sharon McCleary dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

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