CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio - Daniel Harris was more concerned about his niece's funeral than the fact that he was wearing ill-fitting prison orange and sitting in the Pickaway County jail. Harris twice yesterday asked Circleville Municipal Judge Gary Dumm to allow him to attend the funeral of Brittany Nicole Jeffers, 21, who died last Thursday after being assaulted during a street brawl.
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — Daniel Harris was more concerned about his niece’s funeral than the fact that he was wearing ill-fitting prison orange and sitting in the Pickaway County jail.
Harris twice yesterday asked Circleville Municipal Judge Gary Dumm to allow him to attend the funeral of Brittany Nicole Jeffers, 21, who died last Thursday after being assaulted during a street brawl.
Dumm granted his request, permitting Harris, 26, and Jeffers’ stepsister, Angel Haines, 18, to attend the funeral on Thursday with police escorts.
The judge also set their bonds at $500,000 each on aggravated-riot charges as they were arraigned via a video hookup from the jail.
Four people are charged with contributing to Jeffers’ death by fighting at the corner of Washington and Maple streets on Circleville’s south side a week ago.
In addition, prosecutors cited Preston Harvey, 16, and Shyia Harvey, 14, on Monday to appear on Pickaway County Juvenile Court this month on delinquency counts of rioting. They are Jeffers’ half-brother and half-sister.
Police Chief Wayne Gray said investigators are awaiting the results of Jeffers’ autopsy before filing charges in her death. She was declared brain dead about 12 hours after being assaulted. Gray anticipates no other arrests.
Emily Harvey, Jeffers’ mother, was upset that Harris and Haines were arrested before her daughter’s funeral, arguing that they are not risks to flee. “But I understand that they had to charge them all,” Harvey said. “I really do.”
Mrs. Harvey’s report to police on Monday identifying a neighborhood teenager attempting to break into a house across the street from her home set off the melee in which Jeffers died.
A sister to the burglary suspect began yelling threats, Mrs. Harvey said, triggering a heated argument that lasted several minutes before fighting erupted in front of up to 50 onlookers.
Last week, police arrested four people “on the other side of the argument,” Gray said. Circleville residents Nicole Leasure, 37, and Cameron Eby, 20, were charged with aggravated rioting and are being held in lieu of $500,000 bonds.
Brandon Bolin, 17, and Keely Martin, 17, who is Leasure’s daughter, were charged with delinquency counts of rioting. They are being held in a juvenile detention center until a court hearing on April 11.