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Former fiscal officer charged with stealing township funds  

 FPS staff report

A former Augusta Twp. fiscal officer is being accused of stealing approximately $25,000 in township funds.

Darla Turnipseed (now Darla Murray), 44, of 4 Apache Trail, Malvern, was indicted last Wednesday by the Carroll County Grand Jury on 30 counts of theft in office.

Irregularities in the township's accounts were discovered by auditors during the township’s regular financial audit, and Auditor of State’s office investigator Andrew Bodzak investigated the case on behalf of the AOS Special Investigations Unit.

Between 2009 to 2011, Turnipseed is alleged to have forged signatures, falsified records and used public funds to pay personal expenses. Nine of the charges are fourth degree felonies and 21 are fifth degree felonies.

She was appointed Augusta Twp. fiscal officer July 6, 2004, and served in that capacity through the end of 2011. During that period, she was known as Darla Turnipseed.

Arraignments for Turnipseed and the 19 others indicted are scheduled for Nov. 15 beginning at 8:30 a.m. before Common Pleas Judge Dominick E. Olivito Jr.

The grand jury also indicted Thomas D. Wilson, 22, of 7 Ontario Trail, Malvern on one count of vehicular manslaughter, a 2nd degree misdemeanor, for allegedly causing a traffic accident that resulted in the death of John E. Earley Jr., 26, of 7144 Sandy Lane, Malvern.

The accident occurred on SR 43, just south to the SR 183 intersection in Brown Twp.

Other indictments included:
RUSSELL E. WHITTAKER, 40, of 36440 Scio-Bowerston Rd., Bowerston, indicted on one count of breaking and entering and one count of theft, each 5th degree felonies. It is alleged that on Aug. 15, 2012, Whittaker trespassed into a Chalon Rd. garage and removed a gas powered drain auger and a chain saw.

JAYVON L. CUNDIFF, 23, of 2215 E. Tuscarawas, Apt. 402, Canton, one count of possession of cocaine, a 5th degree felony. It is alleged that on June 28, 2012, Cundiff possessed cocaine.

BRANDON R. SCOTT, 22, of 770 Jones Ave. NW No. AA, Carrollton, one count of aggravated robbery, a 1st degree felony.  On or about Aug. 23, 2012, Scott aided accomplice Caleb Black in committing an armed robbery at Rossi’s Drive-Thru in Carrollton. 

CHARLES D. STUTLER, 21, of 3092 Jasmine Rd., Carrollton, KEVIN M. OTT, 27, of 332 2nd Street NE, Carrollton, and CHRISTOPHER J. BURRIS, 26, of 3198 Ivory Rd. NW, Carrollton, were each indicted on multiple counts of trafficking and possession of Heroin, all 4th and 5th degree felonies.

Stutler was indicted on one count of trafficking in Heroin, a 4th degree felony, one count of possession of Heroin, a 5th degree felony, and one count of tampering with evidence, a 3rd degree felony.

Ott was indicted on three counts of trafficking in Heroin, each 4th degree felonies, one count of trafficking in Heroin, a 5th degree felony, and one count of possession of Heroin, a 4th degree felony.

Burris was indicted on two counts of trafficking in Heroin, each 4th degree felonies, one count of possession of Heroin, a 4th degree felony, and one count of possessing criminal tools, a 5th degree felony. It is alleged that during September and October 2012, they sold heroin.  All three defendants were also indicted on one count of theft, a 5th felony.

It is further alleged that on or about Oct. 11, 2012, they removed personal property from the residence of a family member, Burns said.

AMBER HILL, 22, of 155 1/2 3rd St. SE, Carrollton, and GILBERT WATT, 23, of 10921 Stump Rd., Minerva, were each indicted on two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, each 3rd degree felonies, two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, each 4th degree felonies, and one count of trafficking in drugs, a 4th degree felony. It is alleged that during July and August 2012, they sold morphine and oxycodone, which are Schedule II drugs, and buprenorphine, a Schedule III drug.

CHRISTOPHER L. POWELL, 61, of 418 McKinley Ave. NW No. B, Carrollton, was indicted on three counts of trafficking in marihuana, each 5th degree felonies, and COREY J. OCHELTREE, 19, of 418 McKinley Ave. NW No. A, Carrollton, one count of trafficking in marihuana, a 5th degree felony. It is alleged that during August 2012, Powell and Ocheltree sold marihuana.

ANTHONY A. HILES, 43, of 4372 Brush Rd. NE, East Rochester, MARCUS J. JARVIS, 18, of 90 W. Main St., Carrollton, and RONNELL T. MARSHALL, 24, of 901 North Jenkins Blvd., Akron, were each indicted on one count of failure to appear, a 4th degree felony. It is alleged that all three defendants have failed to appear for a hearing in the Carroll County Court of Common Pleas after being released on their own recognizance.

JOSEPH L. DOTSON, 31, of 153 West Lisbon St., Waynesburg, was indicted on one count of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, a 4th degree felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 20, 2012, Dotson had a loaded firearm in his vehicle that was readily accessible. 

DUSTIN C. CUTLIP, 27, of 106 Euclid Ave., Minerva, JEFFREY L. LOTERBAUGH, 27, of 7060 Alliance Rd. NW, Malvern, and DI EMMA C.J. WHITE, 23, of 451 Baird Ave. SE, Paris, were each indicted on one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, a 4th degree felony, while Cutlip and Loterbaugh were indicted on an additional count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, a 3rd degree felony.  It is alleged that Cutlip and Loterbaugh sold methamphetamine, a Schedule II drug, on or about Oct. 21 and 23, 2012, while White allegedly sold the drug on Oct. 23.

DAVID C. BROWN, 51, of 20625 Malone Rd., Salineville, was indicted on one count of trafficking in Heroin and one count of possession of Heroin, each 3rd degree felonies. It is alleged that on Nov. 5, 2012, Brown sold heroin.


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