One dead after Norwood shooting - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Soldier who beat up homeless man charged with accidentally shooting woman

Riley Feller (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office) Riley Feller (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Janice Svajda (Source: Facebook) Janice Svajda (Source: Facebook)

NORWOOD, OH (FOX19) - A Tri-State soldier arrested Thursday night in connection with a reckless homicide in Norwood is the same man awaiting sentencing for the beating of a homeless man back in April. 

Riley Feller, 25, faces a charge of reckless homicide for the death of 26-year-old Janice Svajda of Troy, Ohio.  Norwood Police say Svajda died after being shot in the chest when a hand gun in Feller's possession went off. 

Norwood police say Feller and his friend Michael Hesson, who was also charged in connection with the homeless man's beating, were in an apartment in the 4500 block of Smith Road along with Svajda, who is Hesson's girlfriend. The were messing around with a 9mm handgun when it accidentally went off, hitting Svajda.

A neighbor living above the apartment heard the gunshots and called police.

"After the initial bang there was there was like, 'oh my God, like what I have done' kind of thing," said LaVonne Scoggins, the neighbor who called 911. "It didn't sound intentional from what I could here. They were very panicked and very frightened, and they didn't leave the building afterward so I think they were in shock as well."

Norwood Police and Fire arrived at the scene and found Svajda with a gunshot wound to the chest.  She was transported to University Hospital, where she later died.

Norwood Police say the incident is nothing more than a tragic accident.

Feller is also charged with having weapons under disability. He had been released on his own recognizance for the homeless man's beating. Hesson is not facing additional charges.

Feller faces sentencing on Jan. 20 for the beating of John Johnson, a homeless man who was beaten last April by four suspects with baseball bats and other objects.

Army officials say Feller was discharged from the Army last year, but failed to give a reason.


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