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4 charged in killing of $250,000 lottery winner in Ohio

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: 4 charged in killing of $250,000 lottery winner in Ohio

Burglars returned again and again to the home of a $250,000 Ohio Lottery winner who had two Jaguars, a Rolex watch and lots of cash. The final intrusion, apparently by different criminals, left the 78-year-old retired stockbroker dead of a gunshot wound.

Police aren't saying if Lee Kost's death last Thursday was related to the Mega Millions prize that he won on Sept. 28. But it was clear burglars focused on his home, hitting the house sometime early in the year, again about March 11 and on April 27.

Each time cash was taken, at least $2,800 in all, plus a Rolex, four diamond rings, a sapphire ring, a credit card and a large soft-drink bottle filled with about $500 in change. The first two times, entry was gained through an unlocked door and the third time someone apparently reached through the mail slot and unlocked the door.

Police haven't disclosed what was taken in last week's attack, but said the victim previously met at least one of his attackers. Four people have been charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery and $2 million bond was set for each at court appearances on Monday.

The defendants, Terrence J. Maya, 26, of New Orleans, and Antonio C. Taylor, Porche J. Sweet and Megan C. Harper, all 18-year-olds who shared a Canton apartment, got court-appointed attorneys.

Sweet's attorney, Jeffrey Jakmides, said he looked into evidence against his client on Tuesday and said police weren't disclosing much. She will fight the charges, he said.

Kost, who lived alone with two Siamese cats, was found dead in his home Friday after police 35 miles away in Brecksville stopped the four defendants traveling along Interstate 77 in one of his two Jaguars. The car was speeding and moving erratically, police said.

Canton Prosecutor Frank Forchione said the victim had dinner with Sweet on the evening that he was killed and she contacted the others by text message while at the Kost home. Forchione declined Tuesday to specify how Kost and Sweet knew each other.

With two Jaguars and active in the community, the victim's wealth may have attracted unwanted attention, Forchione said. He said the suspects in Kost's death apparently were a different group than the earlier burglars.

Jakmides said he was unaware of any meeting between Kost and his client, if they knew each other or if she might have a financial motive.

The judge who appointed the attorneys to represent the four said there was a potential conflict of interest among them. Jakmides said he understood that meant the defendants might have provided police with information implicating co-defendants.

The defendants are due in court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday. Anthony Koukoutas, an attorney representing Maya, said he couldn't comment except to say his client appeared shocked over the matter.

Messages seeking comment were left for the other defense attorneys.

Sweet was involved in Cleveland on juvenile court charges that she was unruly in 2006 but the case was dismissed, according to court spokeswoman Patricia Oakar. An unruly charge typically involves behavior, like truancy, that isn't a crime for adults.

Sweet, who was placed in a foster home in 2006, was released last year after she turned 18, according to Oakar.

AP

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37 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by maine23.
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benmas's avatar - waveform
Connecticut
United States
Member #56010
October 28, 2007
427 Posts
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Posted: May 20, 2008, 11:47 pm - IP Logged

OF course i feel bad about what happened to him, but it is clear that he was not taking certain common sense precautions....

"But it was clear burglars focused on his home, hitting the house sometime early in the year, again about March 11 and on April 27.

Each time cash was taken, at least $2,800 in all, plus a Rolex, four diamond rings, a sapphire ring, a credit card and a large soft-drink bottle filled with about $500 in change. The first two times, entry was gained through an unlocked door and the third time someone apparently reached through the mail slot and unlocked the door."

So his house was hit not once but twice previously, unlocked door, living alone with two siameses cats...two jaguars...

He should have been more cautious when he knew he had money.especially after his house was robbed twice before... he should have locked all the doors, keep a gun and a dog "a german shepherd"  not siamese cats

    NightTrain1234's avatar - 8ball
    a Powerball AND MegaMillions state!
    United States
    Member #24190
    October 20, 2005
    78 Posts
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    Posted: May 21, 2008, 12:38 am - IP Logged

    A 78 year old man having dinner with a unrelated 18 year old girl.   He probably thought he was going to get lucky.

      ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

      United States
      Member #56506
      November 21, 2007
      4657 Posts
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      Posted: May 21, 2008, 12:41 am - IP Logged

      No Nod People can be so horrible sometimes.

      "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

        jeffrey's avatar - moon
        Hamilton, OH
        United States
        Member #4162
        March 27, 2004
        277 Posts
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        Posted: May 21, 2008, 2:05 am - IP Logged

        I'll donate the firewood and light the match if they want to burn the trash.

          DC81's avatar - batman39
          MI
          United States
          Member #54830
          August 31, 2007
          977 Posts
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          Posted: May 21, 2008, 2:37 am - IP Logged

          Geez, he didn't even win a big one either. He had to have had money beforehand.... I wonder if something like this and story of that couple that won a jackpot a few years ago and ended up broke and dead, will influence whomever won the last Mega Millions jackpot.

           

          This guy must have been lonely to leave his door unlocked for anyone to just be able to walk in, maybe a bit dense. Not to mention meeting this girl for whatever reason.

          You can't predict random.

            time*treat's avatar - radar

            United States
            Member #13130
            March 30, 2005
            2171 Posts
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            Posted: May 21, 2008, 7:58 am - IP Logged

            "retired stockbroker"

            In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
            Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

              Sandra Dee's avatar - dandy
              Bayonne
              United States
              Member #61147
              May 13, 2008
              129 Posts
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              Posted: May 21, 2008, 9:58 am - IP Logged

              reason #54,789 why to remain anonymous and to leave these young hussies alone! Thud

                Uff Da!'s avatar - InCelebration 001.jpg
                Washington State
                United States
                Member #33973
                February 26, 2006
                345 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: May 21, 2008, 10:35 am - IP Logged

                DC81 said, "This guy must have been lonely to leave his door unlocked for anyone to just be able to walk in, maybe a bit dense."

                Leaving his door unlocked may not have been a deliberate choice.  The man was 78 years old.  As we get older, many of us become forgetful, though still "have it together" enough to live alone.  I'm no where near his age, but bet I end up leaving the door unlocked overnight at least half a dozen to a dozen times a year.  Thankfully, I live in a very low-crime area - and have a very protective German Shepherd.  I don't know how I'd protect myself from my own memory problems if I won the big one, but I wouldn't think a $250,000 win would attract much attention if one didn't have flashy things.


                  United States
                  Member #59167
                  March 8, 2008
                  174 Posts
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                  Posted: May 21, 2008, 10:36 am - IP Logged

                  reason #54,789 why to remain anonymous and to leave these young hussies alone! Thud

                  Animinity is not the answer.  Having wealth is not a reason to craw under a rock and hide from the sun.  If thats your goal, buy a candy bar and walk the streets.

                  Having wealth and advertising it, not having a security system, common sense, and the maturity to live a normal life are flashing signs for disaster.  Of course, living in an environment that attracts criminals is not a superior choice either. Yelling out that you have money, and live alone, is not a way to obtain longivity. The statement "With two Jaguars and active in the community, the victim's wealth may have attracted unwanted attention," indicates everything I need to know. The guys ego ruled everything he did. That had a price. He payed the price.


                    United States
                    Member #59167
                    March 8, 2008
                    174 Posts
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                    Posted: May 21, 2008, 10:40 am - IP Logged

                    DC81 said, "This guy must have been lonely to leave his door unlocked for anyone to just be able to walk in, maybe a bit dense."

                    Leaving his door unlocked may not have been a deliberate choice.  The man was 78 years old.  As we get older, many of us become forgetful, though still "have it together" enough to live alone.  I'm no where near his age, but bet I end up leaving the door unlocked overnight at least half a dozen to a dozen times a year.  Thankfully, I live in a very low-crime area - and have a very protective German Shepherd.  I don't know how I'd protect myself from my own memory problems if I won the big one, but I wouldn't think a $250,000 win would attract much attention if one didn't have flashy things.

                    As shown on the TV show, "It Takes A Thief", a cheap hunk of meat eliminates the threat of any dog.  Criminals have known about that for years.  Even trained attack dogs go after the low grade hamburger. Even a doggie treat is suffiient. A friendly house dog is a great campanion, but is useless protection.. An attack dog is a suicide waiting to happen.

                      Uff Da!'s avatar - InCelebration 001.jpg
                      Washington State
                      United States
                      Member #33973
                      February 26, 2006
                      345 Posts
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                      Posted: May 21, 2008, 11:05 am - IP Logged

                      As shown on the TV show, "It Takes A Thief", a cheap hunk of meat eliminates the threat of any dog.  Criminals have known about that for years.  Even trained attack dogs go after the low grade hamburger. Even a doggie treat is suffiient. A friendly house dog is a great campanion, but is useless protection.. An attack dog is a suicide waiting to happen.

                      Ah, but when the dog (in the garage) starts barking to alert one as soon as he hears someone or something within 100 feet of the house, it gives one time to get up and investigate.  A barking dog and lights going on in the house would discourage most would-be burglars if they don't want a confrontation.  It may not discourage the lower percent who are intent on robbery, but IMO it certainly decreases the total risk.

                        Avatar
                        New Member
                        Midwest
                        United States
                        Member #10470
                        January 14, 2005
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                        Posted: May 21, 2008, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

                        reason #54,789 why to remain anonymous and to leave these young hussies alone! Thud

                        I think you said it correctly about the hussies.

                        What the hell is a 78 year old man doing having dinner with an 18 year old?  I'm not the smartest guy in the room, but I have a good idea why.  Now all that other stuff about the unlocked door doesn't matter.  She keeps him occupied until her "friends" are in the house, and then it's over.

                        I would venture an educated guess that the lottery prize just made an already visible and wealthy man that much more visible.  And therefore a bigger target.

                          Avatar
                          Kentucky
                          United States
                          Member #32652
                          February 14, 2006
                          5511 Posts
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                          Posted: May 21, 2008, 2:44 pm - IP Logged

                          reason #54,789 why to remain anonymous and to leave these young hussies alone! Thud

                          Having an option to remain anonymous when winning $250,000 doesn't help much when he probably told his 18 year-old dinner date who happened to be a thief. We can say he should have known better because he had been burglarized before, but apparently he didn't. 

                          It's a sad story but when a 78 year-old man who lives alone, wears a Rolex, drives a Jag, and dates 18 year-old, painted a target on his back.

                            Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                            Zeta Reticuli Star System
                            United States
                            Member #30470
                            January 17, 2006
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                            Posted: May 21, 2008, 2:46 pm - IP Logged

                            It sounds like this poor dumb schmuck either blew it all at once or just used the $250,000 to go deeper into debt - two Jags, etc...

                            If ever there was an argument for keping a low profile and not flaunting it, this guy is it!

                            Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

                            Lep

                            There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.