Thursday, April 2, 2009

"This hurts more than anything I can imagine."

Slaying Ends Avondale 'Peace Bowl' Football Games
By Travis Gettys
Re-printed from an article on

Convicted Peace Bowl Killer Dante Allen
Convicted Peace Bowl Killer Dante Allen is arrested in 2007.

CINCINNATI -- A man was shot on August 12, 2007 on a Sunday afternoon near the site of a youth football game aimed specifically at reducing neighborhood violence.

Ernest Crear, 19, was found in the street and transported to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting on Knott Street in Avondale.

The shooting took place several feet from where spectators had lined up along a fence to watch the Peace Bowl, a youth football game.

“We're trying to keep these kids that we're working with off the streets and lead a productive life,” said former Cincinnati Bengal Ickey Woods, who helped organize the event.

Witnesses said a group of men gathered in the street near the fence but never exchanged loud words, but two or three shots were fired.

Three gunmen, who police said appeared to be teenagers or young adults, fled, and authorities said the shooting was not connected with the football game.

Organizers then ended the football event, featuring 14 teams from local youth organizations.

"This hurts more than anything I can imagine," said City Councilman Cecil Thomas, who was at the games.

Thomas said he would put pressure on law enforcement to make an example of the shooter and anyone else connected with the homicide.

"We're going to make him a special case and he will be prosecuted at the federal level," Thomas said.

The City Councilman said he also intended to ask federal authorities to crack down on landlords who don't enforce existing rules for public housing and look the other way when their tenants harbor criminals.

"A lot of these young ladies allow these young men to move in with them, (and) we want to flush them out," Thomas said.

Avondale, Cincinnati
Local Avondale children look on at the site of the memorial where Crear was murdered.

The tournament arranged by neighborhood organizations began at 9 a.m. Sunday, with an opening ceremony featuring the Ohio National Guard, and had been scheduled to last into the evening.

"It's painful because it's sad to see people getting killed out here, especially from other people," said athlete Lawrence Brown, 11, of Avondale.

10/23/2009 UPDATE: It would later come to light in court that Dante Allen killed Ernest Crear over a $25 dollar drug debt. He was convicted and has been sentenced to 18 years in April of 2008. That equals $1.38 cents of the 25 dollar debt that was Allen's motive for murder for every year that he will spend in prison.

Additionally, Allen's murder case and conviction has been featured on the A+E show The First 48.