Graphic: Sons ‘gunned down, ripped from mother’s arms’ by Clermont County dad, prosecutor says

Published: Jun. 23, 2023 at 8:07 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2023 at 9:24 AM EDT
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Warning: Story contains graphic details.

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - The father charged with nine counts of aggravated murder in connection with the deaths of his three sons appeared in court Friday as the prosecutor explained what happened on June 15.

Chad Doerman, 32, pleaded not guilty to all 21 counts against him.

Doerman, according to court records, was indicted Thursday on the following charges:

  • Nine counts of aggravated murder
  • Eight counts of kidnapping
  • Four counts of felonious assault

Clermont County Prosecutor Mark Tekulve said the aggravated murder charges include various aggravating circumstance specifications that subject Doerman to the possibility of the death penalty.

“This is a death penalty case and my goal is to have this man executed for slaughtering these three little boys,” Tekulve said Friday after the court hearing.

The boys, ages 3, 4, and 7, were “slaughtered” with a Marlin Model HC .22 Rifle, according to the court documents and Prosecutor Tekulve.

Tekulve explained in court how the three kids were killed.

Doerman first killed his 4-year-old son, Tekulve said. The middle child was shot twice in the head, according to the prosecutor.

The oldest of the three brothers, the 7-year-old, was “gunned down from behind” while running in a field near the home on Laurel Lindale Road, Tekulve said.

Doerman then went up to his oldest son, who had fallen, and then “executed him at close range,” the prosecutor explained.

His 3-year-old son was in his mother’s arms, but Doerman “ripped” him from her arms and “put a bullet in his head,” according to Tekulve.

Judge Victor M. Haddad ordered Doerman to be held in jail without bail.

A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for 11 a.m. on July 5.

Court records obtained previously state Doerman “confessed to planning and carrying out the deaths of victims involved for several months.”

Records do not reveal a motive.

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, screaming her “babies had been shot,” sheriff’s officials wrote in a news release.

Three minutes later, a separate caller driving 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.

Body camera video from the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office shows deputies finding Doerman sitting outside the Laurel Lindale Road home with a rifle next to him.

The bodies of the three boys were found in the yard.

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 died from their injuries at the scene, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

The boys’ mother, 34, was shot in the hand and taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

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