Even in the Dayton, Ohio area, few heard about the case of two Franklin men who beat an African American teen to death.
The local mainstream media affiliates did talk about it, in general, it received disproportionately little coverage compared to most other issues, and especially murders of children.
Even worse was when the local media covered this story, they implicitly blamed the victim. That victim was 16-year-old Dione Payne. Dione was raped, and then beaten to death by Michael A. Geldrich, 36, and Michael J. Watson, 39.
Both men were eventually arrested after we launched an online campaign to bring charges against them. There were, eventually, charged with aggravated robbery and murder and were locked up in the Warren County Jail.
In a sworn affidavit signed by Franklin Detective Jeff Stewart we read that, “during the robbery Geldrich struck the male victim (later identified as Payne) with a table leg, fists, stomped the male with his boots and repeatedly struck the male victim’s head against the floor.”
These two then dumped Payne’s nearly-dead body around 10:30 a.m.
They pulled up to the emergency room at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, very close to where they lived.
They thought that they might have “over done it” in their beating and rape of the child. They knew that if Payne died, there would be an investigation, whereas if he didn’t the police would likely do nothing. As it is, the police did very little until we mobilized the Dayton area grassroots and supporters around the globe to put pressure on the prosecutor.
The hospital says that when Payne was dumped there, he was already in critical condition and suffered “heavy damage to his head and was bleeding from his ears,” before he got there. He also had “heavy damage done to his chest from what appeared to be someone striking him repeatedly.”
The tiny Middletown hospital could not handle these injuries, so Dione was quickly taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.
The MVH workers realized very quickly that Payne had been sexually assaulted, something which police who responded to the Middletown hospital had neglected to mention or report.
They then contacted the Middletown police to ask about the sexual assault, which the police report says the department had no idea about, even though it only took a cursory examination by the hospital to see that this is what had happened to the youth.
Payne’s mother Tamiko Payne sold Donna Parson, a family friend, that this was very clearly a premeditated act, even though the police refused to refer to it as one.
“[Death] is what they deserve. Death. This was a 16-year-old boy [beaten] by two full-grown men,” she said.
But the local Dayton Daily News seemed just as clueless as the cops. They were only interested in emphasizing two things in their reports on the murder, in the article, ‘Dayton teen beaten to death had troubled past’:
First, they focused on the fact that the 16-year-old rape and murder victim had a “troubled past”, bringing up narcotics possession and sales on the youth’s juvenile record. They emphasize that he was just released October 22 from the custody of the Ohio Department of Youth Services. They even note that he was arrested for littering recently. Why such a hyper-fixation on his juvenile record? Isn’t this a case, a story and a tragedy about assault, rape and murder? Why should the local media focus so much on what the victim has done in his past?
Secondly, they fixated on what Franklin Police Chief Russ Whitman said, that: “there is no evidence whatsoever” the rape, beating and murder of Payne was racially motivated. Perhaps they suspect that this was the first time the two men had ever purchased drugs, or maybe that they had raped, beaten and murdered other people they had bought drugs for.
The Dayton Police reports zeroed in on an incident involved Dione allegedly firing five shots at his mother’s boyfriend after an argument at the family’s home back in October of 2012.
Payne was arrested on these allegations several weeks later after being stopped for littering in the DeSoto Bass neighborhood several blocks from his house. He was transported to juvenile detention where a small amount of cocaine was found in his pocket, according to the report.
The police offer no evidence nor even propose a motive for this attack and murder.
And more importantly, why is the local Dayton media trying to highlight statements that would exonerate the rapists and murderers from hate crime charges, while simultaneously focusing on the low points in the youth’s life that in no way justify nor caused his physical and sexual assault, as well as murder?
Throughout the Dayton area, the African American community is saying they are not surprised. Dayton has a long history of slanted, anti-African American reporting such as this, where the victim is first and foremost blamed for whatever happens to them.
“All evidence points to the crime being drug-related,” Dayton Daily News emphasized Chief Whitman’s statement. “Any suggestion that this is a ‘hate crime’ or racially motivated is not based upon actual evidence.”
Strange, since so incidences like this are relatively unheard of in the area, regardless of whether drug sales are involved or not. Why are the police so quick to dismiss a motive of racism, and perhaps just as importantly, why is the local media asleep at the wheel?
The police and media blamed this 16-year-old for his own rape and murder, highlighting his “troubled past”. He was RAPED and MURDERED!
Why do the police (and their buddies in the mainstream media) constantly BLAME THE VICTIM!?
(Article by M.B. David)