TURTLECREEK TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN/WLWT) – An attempt to lure a man to a home in Turtlecreek Township and rob him of his clothes and weed backfired, leading to the death of Centerville 18-year-old Mason Trudics, according to a report from our partners in Cincinnati, WLWT.
Now, four teenagers are charged with murder.
Dakota Cox, 18, is one of the four defendants and appeared in Lebanon Municipal Court on Thursday, where new details were released in the case.
2 NEWS is not releasing the names of the other teenagers charged because they are under 18 and currently being charged as juveniles.
Investigators with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office said Cox drove everyone to a home on Oregonia Road on Dec. 13, a day after the teens hatched a plan to rob and kidnap a man. One of the defendants lives at the house, and investigators said she was in on the plot.
“(He) parked across the street, and then all the individuals exited the car and took up positions around this residence to play their part out in kidnapping this gentleman,” said Detective Chris Wong.
Wong said the teens planned to kidnap the man — who was known to have weed on him — then take him back to his house, strip him and rob him.
The incident didn’t go as planned. At that point, defense attorney Jon Paul Rion said his client had a change of heart.
“What we do know is that on the second go-around, three individuals indicated that they did not want any part of this, one of those being Dakota Cox,” Rion said.
Rion said Cox left the scene.
“Once they got close to the fire, they realized that this was not what they wanted to be involved in. They knew that the person with the drugs was known to be a gun person, someone that carries a weapon, and clearly for an ounce of marijuana, no body wants to lose their life,” Rion said.
Detectives said two of Cox’s friends stayed behind and still wanted in on the robbery. Detectives say Trudics was armed with a baseball bat, while the other juvenile had a gun.
“Once the shooter was lured to the window, he begins knocking on the window. (Juvenile defendant) and Mason observe him coming across there. (They) watch him get to the window. As he’s knocking on the window, they approach him from behind. At this point, Mason is going to strike him with a bat. (Juvenile defendant) has possession of a handgun. The individual turns, sees Mason about to strike him with a bat and shoots Mason. He starts backing up. Mason continues. He shoots Mason again and then tries to flee the area. As he’s fleeing, (juvenile defendant) begins shooting at him, and he turns around and returns fire towards (juvenile defendant),” Rion said.
Trudics died while the other juvenile defendant was seriously injured but is expected to survive.
A grand jury now has Cox’s case after a judge found probably cause that Cox committed a crime.
The other teens’ cases are moving through the juvenile court system since they’re under 18 years old, but they could also, eventually, be tried as adults, according to WLWT.