Piqua man pleads not guilty to attempted murder

Troy man in court for porn, rape

By Melanie Yingst - [email protected]


MIAMI COUNTY — A Piqua man was arraigned on a grand jury indictment on Thursday for allegedly shooting another Piqua man during an attempted robbery incident on Nov. 31.

In Miami County Common Pleas Court, James E. Wright, 35, of Piqua, entered a not guilty plea for attempted first degree murder and aggravated robbery and a third degree felony weapons under disability charge.

Judge Christopher Gee continued Wright’s bond of $750,000 for all three charges. Wright’s pre-trial conference was set for Feb. 26 with Judge Gee presiding.

On Nov. 31, Wright allegedly shot Robert V. Smith, 35, of Piqua, during an attempted robbery on South Main Street.

Officials state that Wright allegedly wanted money from Smith and fired multiple shots during an attempt to rob him. After being shot, Smith apparently went to 304 1/2 S. Main St. seeking help and Wright allegedly followed the wounded man, still attempting to rob him.

When Smith collapsed, Wright allegedly left the handgun used in the assault at the 304 1/2 S. Main St. address, and then fled. Officers recovered the weapon during the execution of a search warrant later.

Smith survived the incident and was released from the hospital the following day.

In other news:

• Billy Hensley, 37, of Troy, entered a plea of not guilty to 10 counts of second degree felony pandering obscenity. Hensley’s pre-trial conference was set for Feb. 22 with Judge Jeannine Pratt presiding. Hensley was charged after a Troy Police Department detective traced Hensley’s online activity through a special task force with the FBI. Hensley’s computer had child pornography photos of young girls and teens. Hensley allegedly told authorities he was downloading the material to turn over to the FBI.

Hensley’s bond was continued for $100,000.

• Thomas Contento, 48, of Troy, was arraigned on grand jury indictment on five counts of first degree felony rape. He entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. Judge Gee sent bond at $250,000 for all charges. If Contento posts bail, he was ordered to have no contact with the victim.

Contento was investigated by Troy Police Department for alleged rape of a child in 2004, but the investigation did not lead to any charges. New information reopened the case, according to authorities.

• On Feb. 8, Miami County Prosecutor Tony Kendell filed a petition to appoint a special prosecutor for all incidental Grand Jury and court proceedings for a pending criminal matter to avoid impropriety.

According to court documents, on Feb. 9, Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher Gee appointed Warren County Prosecuting Attorney David Fornshell and his staff to investigate the matter and represent the state of Ohio.

Troy man in court for porn, rape

By Melanie Yingst

[email protected]

Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews

Reach Melanie Yingst at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews

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