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Security Guards Indicted for Murder and Abduction in Price Shooting
DAYTON -- Both security guards in the Dante Price shooting, Christopher Tarbert, 32, and Justin Wissinger, 24, were indicted for murder and abduction and a warrant for their arrest has been issued.
A grand jury returned the indictment Wednesday. The guards arraignment is scheduled for July 26th at 8:30 am.
Police said Price, 25, was trespassing in the parking lot of Summit Square Apartments when security guards shot and killed him in March. The guards fired handguns 17 times at Price.
There was a lot of controversy on whether or not this shooting was racially motivated since the shooters were security guards, not police officers. Private security guards had no legal authority to detain or threaten to use deadly force against Price.
Police say he refused to leave when asked. Police also say Price tried to use his car to run over the two security officers on duty that night.
Here's what prosecuting attorney Matt Heck had to say:
On the evening of Thursday, March 1, 2012, two private security guards were patrolling the parking lot of the Summit Square apartment complex, near 5446 Hoover Avenue in Dayton. They saw the victim, 25-year-old Dante L. Price, in the lot. Price had been trespassed from the property. The guards pulled their handguns and ordered Price to exit his vehicle at gunpoint. Price did not comply with their orders. Price attempted to drive away, and the guards fired their handguns at least 17 times at Price, (striking him 3 times) fatally wounding him.
A lengthy and thorough investigation was conducted by the Dayton Police Department over several months. Every possible witness was attempted to be located and interviewed. The Montgomery County Grand Jury reviewed the case and heard testimony over 10 days. Anyone who indicated they had information was subpoenaed to testify before the Grand Jury, and 29 witnesses testified.
The shooters were employed as private security guards through Ranger Security – they were not police officers. They did not have any special arrest powers, authority or privileges beyond what a private citizen would have. Generally, a private citizen cannot detain or arrest someone for committing a misdemeanor. Therefore, these private security guards had no legal authority to detain or attempt to detain the victim, and had no legal authority to use or threaten to use deadly force in order to make the victim comply with their orders.
Today, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck, Jr. announced that the Grand Jury has indicted both defendants, 32-year old Christopher E. Tarbert and 24-year old Justin R. Wissinger, for one count of Murder and one count of Abduction.
Both counts also carry firearm specifications, which include an additional, mandatory, 3 year sentence. A warrant for the arrest of the defendants has been issued with the filing of this indictment. Arraignment is set for July 26, 2012 at 8:30 am.
Heck continued, “Dayton Police Chief Biehl and I want to dispel any notion that this shooting was a hate crime or racially motivated. While we cannot look into the mind of another, including the two security guards, there is absolutely no credible evidence that this shooting was racially motivated. To suggest such only serves to divide our community.”
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