Saturday, June 23, 2012

“She had a lot of problems.”

Convicted Murderer Free Only Two Months - Kills 15-Year-Old Girl
Re-printed from a story at WCPO Channel 9 on June 23rd 2012

An Ohio man is convicted of two murders in 11 years. After his latest conviction, his next chance to kill someone will be in 2038.

A man recently released from prison for manslaughter has been charged in the shooting death of 15-year-old Africa Hope in Over-the-Rhine earlier this week.

Thirty-seven-year-old Harold Croft was arrested in College Hill Friday afternoon for the her murder.

Hope was was shot at the 1700 block of Vine Street shortly after 11 P.M. Monday, June 18th 2012. Officials originally reported the incident as a drive-by shooting. Hope was transported to University Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig announced the murder charge against Croft during a news conference Friday afternoon. Croft was arrested a short time later. He was released from prison in April after serving 10 years for manslaughter.

Croft shot Thomas Koroma, 30, on Republic Street in Corryville on April 16th 2003. Hope's family expressed their frustration over her shooting death earlier this week and the circumstances leading up to it.

Shrine made for a young girl killed in a drive-by in The Over-The-Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2012.

The teen attended Taft High School and then a charter school before dropping out in March. Hope lived with her grandmother, Corline Stone in the West End.

“She had a lot of problems,” Corline said earlier this week. "She didn't take her medication." Stone said her granddaughter's problems included attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Hope's family has pleaded for someone with information to come forward.

“Deep in your heart, come forward and do the right thing. Anyone that's out there who knows anything about this please come forward and justice will be served," said Rodney Stone, Hope's uncle.

The man who was convicted of killing the girl, Harold Croft, was released from prison only two months prior to the murder after serving 10 years for Manslaughter in the 2003 murder of another man, Thomas Koroma.

Police said they did not believe Hope was the target of the shooting.

In June of 2013, Harold Croft was given 25 years in prison. He will be 62 when he is released from prison.

WCPO Channel 9, Man charged in shooting death of 15-year-old girl
WCPO Channel 9, 15-year-old girl killed in Over-the-Rhine shooting