Prosecutor finds second murder-for-hire case similar, haunting

Men accused of trying to kill young rape victims
Posted at 4:36 PM, Jan 26, 2018

BATAVIA, Ohio – It gives Assistant Prosecutor Scott O'Reilly the creeps to be working another murder-for-hire case in Clermont County.

"I think you look at somebody who's facing life without parole. He's desperate. Dangerous. That's what you have here - desperation and danger,” O’Reilly said.

It's especially disturbing that in both cases, 10 years apart, the man at the center was accused of trying to kill a young girl - a young girl he was charged with raping.  

“It’s absolute evil," O'Reilly said.  

O’Reilly was in court Friday when county jail inmate Joseph Addison appeared for his arraignment. Prosecutors say Addison not only tried to hire a fellow inmate to kill the 11-year-old girl he’s charged with sexually assaulting, he wanted four potential witnesses killed as well.

"Without getting into the specifics, I'd tell you there were very specific details as to how it would be accomplished," O’Reilly said.

Everything about the Addison case seems to remind O'Reilly of another from 2007. It’s seared in his mind.

"We had one almost identical to this 10 years ago,” O’Reilly said. “When this first started, I thought immediately back to that.  

"The facts were similar. The conduct was similar. Although I'd like to think this almost never happens, it's happened twice in my career.”  

A decade ago, Michael Gray was charged with sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl and trying to pay two people to kill her.  

O’Reilly said it was odd but he even remembered the details of the sting as if it were yesterday.

"We had an undercover agent who met him at the Frisch's right here on top of 32. That's where they met. They exchanged the money," O’Reilly said.  

“They went out and tried to get somebody to burn down or blow up the house,” O’Reilly said. “Like I said, it's surprising that this has happened more than once in almost identical fashion."

Gray was sentenced to life without parole and two others served time in connection with the plot.  

Now Addison could be facing the same fate.

Addison said nothing at Friday's arraignment. He has been indicted on five counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.

Addison is due in court for a pre-trial hearing on Feb. 1.  

RELATED: How officials say they learned about Addison's murder-for-hire plot