Jury selected for trial of man charged in 30-hour Liberty Twp. standoff

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Judge addresses potential jurors before trial for man accused in Liberty Twp. standoff.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

UPDATE @ 1:30 p.m.: A jury has been selected in the trial of Donald Gazaway, the Cincinnati man facing several charges in connection to January's 30-hour standoff in Liberty Twp., where he allegedly held a 10-year-old hostage.  

Opening statements are scheduled to begin later this afternoon.

UPDATE @ 10:50 a.m.: 

Jury selection began as scheduled this morning in the kidnapping and felonious assault trial of Donald Gazaway of Cincinnati.

About 60 prospective jurors crowded into Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater’s courtroom and questioning began about 9:15 a.m.

Gazaway, 32, faces several charges in connection with a 30-hour standoff in Liberty Twp., where he allegedly held a 10-year-old hostage.

FIRST REPORT:

Trial is scheduled to begin today for a Cincinnati man facing multiple charges in connection with a 30-hour standoff in which he allegedly held a 10-year-old hostage.

Donald T. Gazaway, 32, was charged with kidnapping, felonious assault and inducing panic after the incident that started Jan. 12 at a Liberty Twp. apartment in the Springs at Liberty apartment complex off Hamilton Mason Road.

MORE: Liberty Twp.’s 30-hour standoff: How it unfolded

A Butler County grand jury handed down an indictment with additional charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and two counts of having weapons under disability.

Gazaway, who has been held in the Butler County Jail for nine months in lieu of a $1,001,000 bond, was scheduled to stand trial beginning July 7 in Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater’s courtroom. But defense attorney Lawrence Hawkins III was retained to represent Gazaway just days before that trial date and asked for a continuance.

MORE: Standoff suspect served 4 years for firing a gun into a crowd of 30

Detectives say Gazaway was let into the apartment and there was an altercation. The adults, including the boy’s mother, fled. But Gazaway took the child hostage before surrendering hours later, according to deputies.

Butler County Sheriff’s Detective Joe Nerlinger said during a previous court hearing that about 25 bullet casings were removed from the scene and that Gazaway fired the majority of the shots from the apartment before moving to the garage with the child.

When taken into custody, three guns were found with Gazaway, Nerlinger testified. Live rounds were also found.

The child was not physically injured, according to the sheriff’s office, though officers said they saw Gazaway use the boy as a shield. That, they said, prevented them from making any movement toward the residence.

The trial is scheduled to last five days. More than 20 subpoenas have been issued for witness, including the young victim, his family and many law enforcement officers.

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