Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Julie Custer, 23 failure to control dogs that mauled neighbor to death

Dayton, OH

Montgomery County

February 7, 2014  
Andrew Nason, 28 failure to control dogs that mauled neighbor to death

Dayton, OH

Montgomery County

February 7, 2014  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
Misdemeanor   2 Mastiff mix dogs Alleged  

An Ohio woman known for her love of cats was found in front of her home on February 7th fatally mauled by two neighborhood dogs.
Police said they found Klonda Richey, 57, unclothed, with her coat apparently torn off by the mixed-breed dogs.

The victim was attacked by the two dogs sometime during the night.   Her body was discovered in the front yard at 31 East Bruce Ave. in Dayton.

Authorities said Richey's next-door neighbors, Andrew Nason, 28, and Julie Custer, 23, were taken into custody and being held pending a formal charge of reckless homicide.

“It appears the victim came out of the side door of the house and was attacked by two dogs that belonged to the neighbors,” said Lt. Matthew Dickey. ” It looks like it occurred some time in the early morning hours and we received the call about 8:30 in the morning when someone reported finding her dead body.”

Officers arriving at the scene found the dogs at the body and destroyed them. The dogs’ owners have now been identified and are in custody. The dogs are registered to Julie Custer. The other person who lives at the home is Andrew Nason. They are charged with reckless homicide.

Investigators said the mauling took place just a few feet from where the couple was sleeping.

Mark Kumpf, director of the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center, said the dogs were a Mastiff mix and registered with the county as Mastiffs.

Animal control officers were called to care for Richey's cats.  Richey owned and cared for at least 20 cats.

Update 2/21/14:
A fire at the home where Nason and Custer were taken into custody after their dogs fatally mauled a woman on February 7th has been ruled arson, according to Dayton fire officials.

A passerby reported seeing smoke coming from the building around 8:15 am, said Dayton Fire Chief Jeff Payne.

After responding to the call, firefighters forced entry through a locked door and knocked down the fire, which was in a second floor rear bedroom, Payne said.  There were no people or animals in the building, Payne said.

Payne said the department’s arson investigation unit was at the scene collecting evidence. Investigators will turn their evidence into the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab to determine if any accelerants were added to it, he said. “We’re going to go ahead and rule this arson,” he said. “It’s an arson under investigation.”

Payne declined to comment further on the investigation. Earlier reports said damage was estimated at between $5,000 and $10,000. According to the Montgomery County Auditor’s website, the home is valued at $22,870. Nason purchased the home in 2011 for $8,000, the website says.

Nason and Custer have been released from jail “pending additional investigation" into the death of their neighbor.

“Neighbors said they had been moving out all week,” he said.  The neighbors weren’t able to say for sure when the last time Custer and Nason were at the house.

In the months before her death, Richey started collecting surveillance video from outside of her home for evidence that the dogs were charging her and threats she said Nason had made against her for about two years. She filed and was denied a civil stalking protection order but at one point apparently left an unsigned and undated note on Nason’s door offering to buy his house for $3,900 cash.  “Don’t really want the house, but do want the trauma to my cats and fear to end,” Richey wrote. “…If you want to hurt me, shoot or stab me. Leave cats in peace.”

Update 9/12/14:
Nason and Custer will face charges.  Both are now charged with two misdemeanor counts of failure to control dogs.

  Photo courtesy of WDTN of Julie Custer and Andrew Nason

On September 11th a grand jury declined to indict Nason or Custer on involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide charges. Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said there wasn't enough evidence or any witness testimony to support indictments.

The attorney for Nason and Custer, Jay Adams, says once the evidence is presented he's convinced his clients will be cleared of these charges, too.  "As far as who let the dogs out I can tell you it's not my clients," Adams said.

Adams says it appears Richey played a role in her own death.  Adams indicated Ritchey went onto her neighbor's property and let the dogs out.

Nason's bond is set at $25,000. Custer's is $500. If they're convicted, the pair could each spend a year in jail.


Telegraph Herald  WDTN
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