In July, Zyrian Atha-Arnett, originally from Yellow Springs, accused of the stabbing death of Leonid “Lonya” Clark, pleaded guilty to manslaughter under a plea deal with the County Attorney’s Office. Greene. Atha-Arnett also pleaded guilty to separate charges of corpse abuse and tampering with evidence related to the January 13, 2019 murder of his friend and former classmate.
Atha-Arnett was sentenced to 11 years for manslaughter, 36 months for body abuse and 12 months for tampering with evidence, to be served consecutively for a total of 15 years and ordered to pay $ 2,000 in restitution. Atha-Arnett also pleaded guilty to 10 counts of child pornography. He was sentenced to 18 months on each count, to be served concurrently with the 15 years associated with Clark’s death.
Carlson resigns, Interim Chief Burge
In August, Chief Brian Carlson resigned from the village police service, saying the resignation was a personal decision he made alongside his wife. Carlson had worked for the department since 2010, as a leader for the past five years. He said implementing a “social justice plan” for the police services, adding a social worker to the department and launching more bicycle and foot patrols were among his biggest. accomplishments during his tenure as Chief.
Carlson’s last day as leader was November 12; on that day, the village manager Joshua Salmerón appointed the recently promoted Sgt. Paige Burge as interim chef until a new full time chef is found. The appointment gave the police chief’s search committee more time to find a chief in line with the village’s values, according to Salmerón. Burge has been with YSPD since 2019, when she joined as a Foot Patrol Officer. She was promoted to sergeant in August after Naomi Watson left. A native of Fairborn, Burge will be the first female leader of the YSPD and LGBTQ +.
Prison tax has been rejected again
In November, Greene County voters rejected Issue 1, a proposal by the Greene County Commissioners’ Council to increase the county’s sales tax by 0.25% to build a new jail, with 13,334 voters voting against the measure and 10,807 approving it. The result is in part a victory for members of the Greene County Coalition for Compassionate Justice, who campaigned against the proposal. A similar tax was also rejected in 2020.
Sheriff Gene Fischer dies
Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer died suddenly on November 16. Fischer was attending an Ohio Sheriff’s Convention in Sandusky, where he suffered a “medical emergency.” Fischer, 65, was first appointed sheriff in 2003 and returned to power through county voters in the following election. Prior to his tenure as sheriff, Fischer served as Xenia’s police officer for 20 years.
CRB talks continue
In December, council voted to approve the allocation of $ 15,000 for the creation of a Village Citizen Review Board, or CRB, to deal with police misconduct. The funds will cover the cost of establishing the CRB in 2022. Details such as the size, scope, policies and procedures of the proposed CRB are still under discussion.