Two suspects in Dayton teen beating case appear in court Tuesday

FRANKLIN, Ohio -- The two men who face robbery and murder charges from a fatal beating incident involving a 16-year-old Dayton boy appeared before Judge Rupert Ruppert Tuesday afternoon.

Michael Geldrich, 36, appeared in the courtroom with a host of security, along with his fellow accused, Michael J. Watson, 39.

In the hearing, Franklin Detective Jeff Stewart said Watson told him Geldrich sent a text message saying he wanted to beat the victim, Dione Payne, over drugs and money.

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"After Michael Geldrich picked him up, they both drove back to 11 Vernon Street where they spoke about robbing Dione Payne," Stewart said.

Watson, referred to as "Jay" in the trial, told Stewart that he and Geldrich walked into the home's garage and Geldrich picked up a table leg.

"He indicated that he asked Michael Geldrich if he was actually going to hit the young man inside the house, who we later found to be Dione with the stick," Stewart said in court. "Jay indicated the original plan was to go in, put a pillow case over Dione's head and then rob him of his dope and money, take him somewhere, uncover him and then everything would be good."

According to Stewart's claim, Watson said Payne was sleeping in the front room of the home on a couch. He said that was when Geldrich hit Payne twice in the head with the table leg.

"After Geldrich hit Dione with the table leg a second time he heard Dione gasp at which time Michael then threw him on the floor and began to continue to assault him," Stewart said. "Jay said it was his function to ask Dione the stuff was indicating the dope or money, he said he asked Dione this more than one time. He indicated that Michael did not want Dione to know he was also involved in the robbery so this was his function."

The judge turned the case over to the Warren County Grand Jury, who will hear testimony in a few weeks.

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