Fight Over Boy May Have Led To Riot That Resulted In Circleville Mother's Death

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Circleville police now say the fighting that happened on the corner of Walnut and South Washington Streets on March 27 started with 18-year-old Angel Haines and 16-year-old Keely Martin.

Chief Wayne Gray said the girls had been arguing for more than a year over a boy, and escalated following a break-in attempt.

The dispute finally erupted into the brawl that left Brittany Jeffers unconscious on the ground, said Gray.
Twelve hours later, she was pronounced dead.

Angel Haines is Jeffers' step-sister.

Haines, Keely Martin and Martin's mother, 37-year-old Nicole Leasure are among eight people charged with aggravated rioting.

The four adults pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, and their bond was reduced from $500,000 to $100,000.

Defense attorney Mark Collins told 10TV the victim's mother has retained him to defend 26-year-old Daniel Harris, the victim's uncle -- for his alleged role in the riot.

Circleville Police Chief Wayne Gray is related to Harris.

Gray said he does not know him personally, and he is not the lead investigator on the case.

"And I think what is also troubling in this situation is the Chief of Police is first cousins with my client," said Mark Collins, "So, that's difficult as well."

For the mother of Brittany Jeffers, she must deal with the loss of her daughter and the fight to free her children.

"Oh, she's devastated. Her two young children are being charged in this instance, as well as her brother. And to have that same bond requested by the prosecution is very troubling to the family," Collins said.

Police said they are waiting for an autopsy report to get back in four weeks before moving forward with any possible additional charges.

The next court appearance for these four adults is set for May 15.

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Previous Stories:

March 31, 2013: Family, Friends Of Woman Who Died After Circleville Beating Participate In Peace March -
March 29, 2013: Circleville Mother Who Died After Beating Leaves Behind More Than Friends, Family -
March 29, 2013: Police Arrest 4 As ‘First Step’ In Case Of Circleville Woman Who Died After Beating -
March 28, 2013: Anonymous Police Tip May Have Sparked Severe Beating -