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Press Release

Murder victim’s ex-wife sentenced to 35 years in prison for interstate stalking resulting in death

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Ohio

DAYTON – A 37-year-old Centerville woman was sentenced in federal court today to 420 months in prison for interstate stalking that resulted in her ex-husband’s death.


Tawnney Caldwell accepted responsibility for her role in the August 2017 murder of Robert Caldwell. She pleaded guilty in federal court in October 2020.


According to court documents, around 6pm on August 15, 2017, Robert Caldwell and his three minor children left a counseling appointment in Riverside, Ohio. While crossing the parking lot, Robert Caldwell was shot multiple times by an assailant in front of his children and died at the scene. The assailant is alleged to be co-defendant Sterling Roberts.


Tawnney Caldwell is the ex-wife of the murder victim and was the girlfriend of Sterling Roberts at the time of the incident.


She and the murder victim had an ongoing dispute regarding the custody of their children and Tawnney Caldwell had talked to Sterling Roberts on at least two occasions (while Roberts was incarcerated in Montgomery County) about killing Robert Caldwell.


Tawnney Caldwell collaborated with others, including Sterling Roberts; his brothers, Chance Deakin and Christopher Roberts; Chandra Harmon (Tawnney’s mother); and James Harmon (Tawnney’s step-father), to plan, execute and cover-up the violent crime resulting in the death of Robert Caldwell.


Sterling Roberts is scheduled for jury trial in U.S. District Court on March 7, 2022. Each of the other defendants has pleaded guilty in this case.


Vipal J. Patel, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Chris Hoffman, 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 sentence imposed today by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose. Assistant United States Attorneys Amy M. Smith, Sheila G. Lafferty and Kevin Koller are representing the United States in this case.


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Updated July 15, 2021

Violent Crime