Dad lined sons up, executed them with rifle, prosecutor says

His bond was set at $20M
Published: Jun. 16, 2023 at 6:11 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2023 at 11:30 AM EDT
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CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - Chad Doerman, the father charged with killing his sons ages 3, 4 and 7, lined them up in their yard and executed them with a rifle, Clermont County prosecutors revealed in court Friday.

“In an act of incomprehensible cruelty, the father that stands before you lined up his three young boys and executed them in his own home with a rifle,” Assistant Prosecutor David Gast told Clermont County Municipal Court Judge Jason Nagel.

The judge, a former assistant county prosecutor, set a $20 million bond for Doerman, 32.

“This is by far the most sickening, horrifying crime I have seen,” Prosecutor Mark Tekulve said. “I can only imagine the terror that these little boys felt and experienced as their father...their protector was murdering them. We will do our utmost within my office to see this defendant never sees the light of day again.”

Doerman is charged with three counts of aggravated murder in the deaths of his children outside their Monroe Township home on Laurel Lindale Road.

The boys’ mother, 34, also was shot in her hand.

Doerman “confessed to planning and carrying out the deaths of Victims involved for several months,” a detective with the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a criminal complaint.

Court records do not reveal a motive and Sheriff Steve Leahy declined to release it Friday morning, citing the ongoing criminal case and prosecution.

They want to make sure, he said, that nothing they say or do impacts the prosecution.

The sheriff’s office will have a complete review with the county prosecutor’s office regarding all facts they have currently, he said.

The shooting was reported just before 4:15 p.m. at a home owned by Doerman near the corner of Laurel Lindale Road and Clermontville Laurel Road.

The children’s mother called 911 and screamed her “babies had been shot,” sheriff’s officials wrote in a news release.

Three minutes later, a separate caller who drove by the shooting scene, called 911 and reported seeing a young girl running down the road warning that “her father was killing everyone.”

Sheriff’s officials have not identified the girl but say she is safe.

Court records released Friday say deputies responded “for a report of a male “killing everyone in the house. Deputies came into contact with (Doerman) who resides at this address and (was) identified by witnesses as the suspect.”

Deputies found the three young boys unresponsive on the ground when they arrived. They attempted life-saving measures until Monroe Fire/EMS arrived.

“All life-saving measures were unsuccessful” and all three children succumbed to their injuries at the scene, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

The boys’ father was found sitting on a step outside the home and detained without incident.

Their mother was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

The sheriff personally went to the hospital Thursday night and met with the woman to notify her that her three sons were dead.

There were no signs of forced entry into the home and the sheriff’s office said they were not searching for any other suspects.

“Our hearts are once again broken tonight as we yet again ask the community to lift up those affected by this horrific incident,” Tracey Miller, superintendent of the New Richmond Exempted School District, said in a tweet Thursday night:

Grief counselors were available at Monroe Elementary Friday morning.

Connection Point Church in New Richmond also is holding a 6 p.m. prayer service Friday night.

This is the latest tragedy this year for the district and Clermont County in which a parent killed one of their children.

This is the latest tragedy this year for the district and Clermont County in which a parent killed one of their children.

A 13-year-old New Richmond Middle School student, Ethan Cain, was fatally shot by his own mother who also killed two other family members, her husband and 74-year-old father, and shot her 20-year-old daughter before taking her own life on Feb. 27, according to the sheriff’s office. The 20-year-old, Samantha Cain, is still recovering.

Grief counselors were at New Richmond Middle School all week as staff and students struggled to cope with that stunning quadruple murder-suicide.

The superintendent was at the middle school most of the week as well.

In an interview with FOX19 NOW at that time, he said they would always wonder if they could have done something to stop it.

“I think the hardest thing is we’ll always have that question: could we have seen something? Is there something we could have done to make a difference in that family’s life? And we’ll just never know,” he said on March 2.

Deputies were at the Cain home the morning of the quadruple murder-suicide.

Investigators believe the mother, Theresa Cain, shot her family members, killing three of them, just minutes before deputies arrived to serve eviction papers as the family was removed from their home, Leahy has said.

On Thursday, deputies found themselves in a near-identical situation as they jumped into action to try to save the three little boys’ lives.

“I have talked with deputies that were involved, most who are young parents themselves. Like everyone, they are struggling to understand this and trying to make sense of how anyone could take the life of innocent children,” Sheriff Leahy said Friday morning.

“The plain answer is that you can’t make sense of this. It’s just evil…period. We have and do make counselors available to all of our staff. As you stated this is the second case this year where a parent killed their kids and wiped out an entire family in a matter of seconds… this is hard, it’s gut-wrenching but it is our job to make sure justice is brought for this mother and her babies.”

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