DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - Dayton attorney Anthony Vannoy told 2 NEWS Investigates he became involved with Dameon Wesley about a year and a half ago when his grandmother asked him to help her baby.
"She'd come in on her walker and she'd call first, I'm trying to get down there Mr. Vannoy. I've got to find a ride. She's precious, just a precious woman, so I fell in love with her," said Vannoy.
Vannoy is a criminal defense lawyer who took a chance on Dameon Wesley, the man accused of shooting a 13-year old girl to death and critically injuring the girl's cousin. The shooting happened Sunday on Home Avenue in Dayton.
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"He wanted to be the guy who never went back. He wanted to be who made it, who was successful, just a tragedy," Vannoy said.
Vannoy hired Wesley to help in his law office. At first he worked 20 hours a week.
The people in the building they'd see this big guy and they got along with him well, no problems at all and then ultimately we increased his hours to full time," Vannoy told 2 NEWS Investigates.
However, Vannoy said in the middle of January Wesley stopped coming to work.
Vannoy said, "Heard from him maybe a couple weeks later asking to come back to work and I said we'll see come on in and let me talk with you and he never made it back into work."
Then he got the news. Vannoy shared his reaction, "Just heartbroken and sad to hear that even being associated with Dameon because he was doing so well."
Vannoy saw and heard Wesley being led to jail. He believes Wesley's apologies were genuine.
2 NEWS Investigates asked Vannoy, "You know there are those who say had he just been in prison he would not have hurt those children." Vannoy responded, "I know that. That's a true statement. That's a true statement. Couldn't hurt those babies. The flip side is there are people who are not in prison who we don't know have the proclivity, the ability to hurt children, they are school teachers or they are other people and they hurt children.
We don't have a crystal ball so we do the best that we can."
Since Monday 2 NEWS Investigates has been seeking comment from the Ohio Parole Board that chose to release Dameon Wesley last year. The following email arrived late Wednesday, "The Parole Board is monitoring the situation closely, and of course expects serious crimes like this are fully investigated and those responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
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