Danbury Twp. couple warned to stay apart before final, fatal clash

DANBURY TWP. An argument between a Danbury Township man and his ex-girlfriend Sunday wasn't the trou
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



An argument between a Danbury Township man and his ex-girlfriend Sunday wasn't the troubled couple's first, but it was certainly the deadliest.

Edward Johnson Jr., 40, died Sunday morning after being run over in the parking lot of Island View Manor Apartments by a car driven by Ashley Baughman. Baughman, 21, was an on-again, off-again girlfriend he met four months ago on the Internet, said Danbury police and the man's family.

Baughman fled the scene but later turned herself over to police. She hasn't been arrested or charged, though police say they're still investigating to see if her actions were accidental, intentional or self-defense.

A Danbury police report details an eerily similar incident between the couple two months before Sunday's fatal collision.

At about 5 p.m. July 7, Danbury police Officer Josh Young was dispatched to Johnson's apartment after receiving two calls -- the first from Baughman, the second from Johnson.

When Young arrived, Baughman told him she and Johnson had a verbal and physical dispute when she showed up at his apartment to return property.

She told Young she got into her car and tried to leave, but Johnson grabbed onto her vehicle and pulled the door frame to open the door. She then stopped the vehicle and got out, while Johnson hopped in and tried to drive off, the police report said.

Baughman then got back into the vehicle, where she and Johnson "assaulted each other," the report said.

Johnson, meanwhile, told Young that Baughman had assaulted him and she had drugs in her possession, the report said.

After noting Johnson smelled like marijuana, Young searched Baughman's car and found a marijuana roach and several marijuana seeds and stems.

Young forwarded the drug information to the prosecutor's office for review, but he also charged Baughman and Johnson with disorderly conduct.

Lastly, Young warned the two to stay away from each other.

It was a warning neither of them heeded.

Johnson's relatives said Baughman had been staying with Johnson at his apartment sporadically for the past four months, characterizing the couple's relationship as turbulent and rife with bickering.

Danbury police Det. Mark Meisler said Baughman fled the scene Sunday after striking Johnson with her car, though she turned herself over to Oberlin police more than 12 hours after the incident.

Will Hossler, 28, of Mission, Kan., was also in the vehicle when it struck Johnson, according to police and a recorded 911 call Hossler made from a pay phone in Florence Township, hours after the incident. In that call, Hossler told dispatchers Baughman dropped him off in Berlin Heights and drove away.

He also said Johnson jumped in front of Baughman's car and was "beating on" her when she tried to speed off, though witnesses said it looked like Baughman's car intentionally ran over Johnson.

Meisler said he's still trying to determine the circumstances surrounding Johnson's death. Ottawa County prosecutor Mark Mulligan said the case may be presented to a grand jury to decide if Baughman should be indicted.