Man who killed two women, shot himself last summer sentenced to life in prison without parole

Posted at 1:07 PM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 20:05:35-05

HAMILTON, Ohio — A Middletown man who killed two women, shot at deputies and shot himself in Butler County last summer was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Judge Keith Speath sentenced 45-year-old James Geran on an aggravated murder charge for the shooting death of his girlfriend’s mother, Sharon McCleary.

Last month Geran pleaded guilty to shooting McCleary on June 13 and to a murder charge for shooting Megan Motter the previous day. The prosecution agreed the sentences would run concurrently in exchange for the plea.

Geran shot himself in the face after killing McCleary, but he was able to speak in court.

"Not a minute goes by that I don't regret my actions," Geran said.

The victims' families fired harsh words at Geran.

"Why, why, James? Can you tell me why?" asked Phyllis Walker, McCleary sister.

Geran looked at her but did not reply.

McCleary's son, Richard McCleary, said his mother was blind and had two heroin-addicted daughters who brought Geran into their house.

McCleary's other sister, Kathy, said Geran was a coward for shooting himself after killing the two women. "You don't got enough nerve to try to killing himself. Give me a break," she said.

"I will never forgive you," she added.

"This was an evil act," said Motter’s mother, Chandra Potschneris. "Now her little boy is looking for her. She was murdered for no reason."

Geran, a convicted felon, shot Motter in the head and dumped her body off Woodsdale Road in Madison Township. The investigation of Motter’s death led deputies to a Trenton apartment, where Geran opened fire on them, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

Over two hours, Geran fired five to eight times at the deputies outside. Negotiators talked him into releasing two sisters, including his girlfriend. However, when Geran let the second sister out, he closed the door and deputies heard gunfire.

Geran then crawled out, having shot himself in the chin with a .380 caliber gun, Sheriff Richard Jones said in June.

Deputies found McCleary’s body inside.