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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Grand Jury Indicts Six with Charges Related to Murder

Authorities Ask for Assistance in Locating Missing Child

DAYTON – A federal grand jury has charged six individuals with crimes related to the August 2017 murder of Robert Caldwell in an indictment returned here today. Two defendants are charged with death-penalty-eligible crimes.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Riverside Police Chief Frank Robinson and Sugarcreek Township Police Chief Michael Brown announced the charges.

The FBI also announced a $15,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of 14-year-old Jacob Lee Caldwell and the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in his disappearance.

Those charged in the indictment include:

Name

Also Known As

Age

City of Residence

*Sterling H. Roberts

 

34

Spartanburg, S.C.

*Tawnney M. Caldwell

Tawnney Thomas

33

Centerville, Ohio

Chance P. Deakin

Chance Roberts

25

Dayton, Ohio

Christopher C. Roberts

 

30

Dayton, Ohio

James T. Harmon

 

55

Burlington, Ky.

Chandra D. Harmon

 

54

Burlington, Ky.

* Charged with murder

According to the six-count indictment, from August 1 to August 5, Sterling Roberts cyberstalked Robert Caldwell via cell phone through the assistance of Tawnney Caldwell.

On August 15, Sterling Roberts allegedly used a firearm that he possessed illegally and traveled interstate to stalk and murder Robert Caldwell. Tawnney Caldwell, Deakin, Christopher Roberts and James Harmon are all charged with aiding and abetting the illegal gun possession.

It is alleged that Tawnney Caldwell obstructed justice by destroying the contents and data of a cell phone on that same day. 

Tawnney Caldwell and Chandra Harmon also allegedly conspired to intimidate and threaten witnesses related to the case in November 2017.

Crimes charged in the indictment include:

Crime

Potential Sentence

Stalking – using mail, computer, cell phone

Up to life in prison

Felon in possession of a firearm

Up to 10 years in prison

Stalking – traveling interstate

Up to life in prison

Discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence

Death penalty or up to life in prison

Tampering with evidence

Up to 20 years in prison

Tampering with a witness by intimidation

Up to 20 years in prison

Five of the defendants were arrested on February 28. Sterling Roberts is currently in state custody in South Carolina.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI and Riverside and Sugarcreek Township police departments, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Sheila G. Lafferty and Amy M. Smith, who are prosecuting the case.

If you have any information related to the whereabouts of Jacob Caldwell, please call the Sugarcreek Township Police at 937-310-3200 or the FBI at 513-421-4310.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Contact: 
jennifer.thornton@usdoj.gov
Updated March 13, 2018