Two white men were arraigned on charges in connection with the beating death of 16-year-old Dione Payne of Dayton, Ohio.
Payne had been staying at the home of Michael A Geldrich, who is accused of beating the teen the death while robbing him for drugs and money.
Michael A. Geldrich, 36, and Michael J. Watson, 39, both of Franklin, appeared for a video arraignment at 3 p.m. in Franklin Municipal Court where they were issued court-appointed attorneys. The men, who are charged with aggravated robbery and murder, are being housed at the Warren County Jail.
Judge Rupert Ruppert set a preliminary hearing for Dec. 10 and said the case could go directly to a grand jury. He told the defendants that depending on the grand jury’s determination, this could become a death penalty case.
According to a sworn affidavit, Geldrich and Watson planned the robbery. During the altercation, “Geldrich struck Payne with a table leg, fists, stomped the male with his boots and repeatedly struck the male victim’s head against the floor.”
Payne died at Miami Valley Hospital on Dec. 1 after being dumped off by the men around 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Payne’s mother was present for the arraignment, and insist that the actions of the two men were “premeditated.”
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