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Atwater man's shooting death investigated

By Dave O'Brien | Staff Writer Published: January 15, 2013 4:00 AM
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Portage County sheriff's detectives are investigating the shooting death of an Atwater man that took place in the 2200 block of Alliance Road early Sunday morning.

Kevin M. Bailey, 32, with a last known address of 1425 Whittlesey Ave., was shot at least once in the upper torso at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, according to Portage County Sheriff David Doak.

Investigators believe they know who shot Bailey, and that man is cooperating with the investigation, detective Lt. Greg Johnson said. Additional information will be released as the investigation progresses, he said.

An autopsy on Bailey's body was performed at the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office in Akron on Monday, and no further information was immediately available. Once the investigation is completed, it will be reviewed by the Portage County Prosecutor's Office for consideration of criminal charges.

Bailey's death is being investigated as a homicide, which in legal terms is the killing of one person by another. It has not been ruled a murder, which would imply a criminal act.

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Bailey recently was released from the Portage County jail after being arrested by a Portage County sheriff's deputy on Jan. 10 and charged with one count each of theft of a credit card, a fifth-degree felony, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, a first-degree misdemeanor.

According to court records, Bailey alleged stole a credit card and took a 1998 Chevrolet Venture van without permission from two victims on Jan. 10, according to the Portage County Sheriff's Office. He was free on a personal recognizance bond, pending future court dates, at the time of his death.

Bailey was a three-time convicted felon with a lengthy criminal record in Portage County. He spent four years in prison from 2003 to 2007 on a felony burglary conviction out of Portage County Common Pleas Court and was sentenced to one year in prison in January 2011 after being convicted of fourth-degree felony aggravated assault and grand theft for assaulting another man and stealing a Ford Explorer on May 23, 2010, according to court records.

Follow Dave O'Brien on Twitter at @RCCrimeWatch

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

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anonymous Jan 22, 2013 11:27 AM

The real problem with publishing the criminal record is it removes the ability of friends and family to pretend this kid was an innocent wide eyed babe.

anonymous Jan 21, 2013 3:36 PM

January 15, 2013

Mr. O'Brien:

I just finished reading your article online about the shooting death in Atwater. My name is Jackie Westfall and I am the mother of the VICTIM, the one who is dead........... Kevin Bailey. I do not appreciate you printing my son's legal record in the paper. First of all, it has absolutely nothing to do with the shooting. Second of all, he is not even buried yet and this is what you print in the paper??? You write all this ******** in the paper and you don't even know my son. You say to the world that he is a criminal but you know what? He was a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a fiance' and most important of all he was a DADDY. The house in your picture is Kevin''s uncle's house and you make it sound like he was there to rob it. Maybe you should use your reporting and investigating skills and talent and check out the murderer who shot and killed my son. Why don't you print his legal record? Why don't you write an article about him? Then maybe his Grandma, his Mom and Dad, his children, his Aunts and Uncles, his brothers and sisters can read it too and their hearts can be torn, broken and hurt and ache like mine and my families are after reading your article. At least they can go to him and hug him. My family and I cannot go hug my son ever again because he is dead and he is the VICTIM here. He is NOT the one who pulled the trigger.

I have had a subscription to the Record Courier for 34 years but I am cancelling it now and never again will I read your paper.

To Mr. Speakmymind you are not a judge or jury. You judge my son by one newspaper article. I am glad you feel safer now in your community. Just remember one thing someday you will be judged by the Lord himself and wishing and being happy about this criminal being dead does not look too good on your record to God. By the way, the criminal has a name and it is Kevin Bailey and I am very proud to have had him as a son.

Jackie Westfall

Mom of Kevin Bailey

Cc: Mr. Dipaolo, Editor

anonymous Jan 21, 2013 2:14 PM

I am a family friend of the victim and I find the last part of this article highly inappropriate and disrespectful. I understand you are just doing your job but this article is a perfect example of why you cannot believe what the news says. There is much more to this story that is not included in the article and it reports news that is very far from the truth of what actually happened. If you felt the need to report on the vicim and his past don't you think it makes more sense to report on the past of the murderer? The man that was murdered in this story was a brother, a father, a son and loved by many people. Why was none of that reported on? I attended his calling hours this weekend and it was amazing how many people showed up to mourn for this man. If that many people loved him he obviously had a positive impact on many lives. I am greatly offened that the author of this article can not use his position at the newspaper to honor a man instead of taking one last moment to bash him before his family can lay him to rest. My response to this article is this: I hold a position as Office Administrator at a world wide company. We frequently advertise in local newspapers. We will never be using this newspaper's services. I will never purchase this newspaper again. I am very sad this reporter has no respect for the deceased and I hope in the future when reporting on a murder, or as you called it a homicide, you think twice about the person that is about to be laid to rest and all the family and friends that cherished that individual.

anonymous Jan 20, 2013 4:57 PM

@ 'speakmymind' i feel you are a real douche! but thats just my opinion!

anonymous Jan 19, 2013 7:24 AM

A follow up story !!!!let the police and detectives do their job,once they have finished their investigation its a sure bet the truth will come out and be reported for everyone to read,and it wont matter what is reported because some people will still be unhappy with the out come anyway.

anonymous Jan 19, 2013 2:52 AM

As my friend Kevin gets placed in his final resting place at 11 a.m. one week after he lost his life there still hasn't been a follow up story on the unknown shooter and his criminal background or what took place that night to lead to this tragic event. There hasnt been anything positive posted about Kevin like how he was a great loving and caring father with another baby on the way or how he was a great friend and brought happiness to those that truely knew him or how he was loved and cared for by many family members and friends. To you Mr.O'Brien any junior high student could have done a better cover story and they would have dug deeper to reveal the shooters name and what aroused that night,so for future references do a little more homework before you write your next story!

anonymous Jan 18, 2013 12:19 PM

where is the follow up story Mr.O'Brien? Where is the shooters side of the story of what happened?

anonymous Jan 18, 2013 9:40 AM

I am sorry that the family is hurting. I realize that every family has a bad apple but seriously after someone spends that much time in prison and more that once and they still participate in criminal behavior than I don't see change and I feel it is my right to know what this man has been up to and to come to my own opinions on the situation. I really feel we as a community are better off now without the worry of at least this criminal robbing us or maybe worse. He was 32 years old and he hasn't learned yet? How many more people would have to suffer before he changed? I for one feel safer now. Prison gate or pearly gate criminals will be judged!

anonymous Jan 18, 2013 9:16 AM


A person's criminal background is legitimate in an article when the reporter has established a direct connection to incident he is reporting on. To include it in an article only because, "who knows, maybe it is linked to why the shooting took place" is best case scenarion, sensationalism, and worst case, biased. The point is that to say that his background is relevant ONLY because it happened within days of his death is irresponsible.


The only court case that can come from this is if the person who shot and killed Kevin is brought up on charges. If the prosecutor determines that charges will be brought, no judge will allow the victim's criminal record to be admitted into court unless it has a direct relation to the shooting. Establishing patterns of criminal behavior are allowed for the person on trial but almost never for a victim. These are the not the words of a fool, they are fact. So, "no matter what, the jury would NOT hear it anyways". I don't have a problem with the reporter printing the truth as long as it is the whole, unbiased truth. I question how much investigating was done before this article was written. This article was written over two days after the shooting but no where in the article does it say that the home Kevin was shot and killed in was the home of his uncle, an uncle he was very close to. I find that to be much more relevant to this incident that what Kevin did in 2003 or 2007. The truth does hurt, sometimes, once you know the truth and, right now, there are very few people who know what happened inside that house, that night. I am not one of them and neither are you so stop pretending as if you are. In other words, let's be real.

anonymous Jan 18, 2013 2:06 AM

First of all Kevin's past is public record anybody can get that at any time...second of all if you don't think the past was going to be brought up in court then your a fool just because the writer did his job you want to hate on him he didn't make Kevin do what he has done and whether he wrote about the past or not doesn't matter like I said its public record and would be brought up in court no matter what so the jury would hear it anyways. I mean seriously. Saying Kevin was turning his life around since Jan 10th ummm ok lets be real. Kevin made his own choices obviously some weren't the best but don't blame a reporter for writing the truth of his past. Ignorance is bliss I guess. I have so much more to say but I will just leave it at that. Not trying to offend anybody but the truth hurts sometimes.

anonymous Jan 17, 2013 6:36 PM

So What... I would venture to say that you are incorrect. There is never any investigative reporting done. I can tell you from past experience they print only what the sheriff or prosecutors want them to. Anyone of us could do this job because there is no true "reporting" being done.

anonymous Jan 17, 2013 3:30 PM

I would like to extend my condolences out to the family and friends of this person. It is truly a tragedy when someone so young leaves this world too soon.

I realize that most of you are upset about the article because you feel airing his dirty laundry is not unnecessary, but I'm sorry I have to disagree. I fail to see how January 10th is considered his past. What I see in this story is the writer is establishing a pattern of his criminal background and who knows, maybe it is linked to why the shooting took place. I don't know who the shooter is either and am wondering about their "past" as well. I would venture to say that Mr. O'Brien is limited to what he is permitted to write. Just a thought.

anonymous Jan 17, 2013 12:01 PM

Dear Mr.O'Brien,I have been friends with Kevin for several years and i feel the article you had posted about all the negative stuff he had accomplishedin his life is very unfair to his famiy and friends, why dont you post all the positive things that he has done in his lifetime. Where is the follow up report on the shooter? where is the shooters background,or even the shooters name and what REALLY happened the night Kevin got shot? What are you hiding? Kevin was a good person, he may not have always made the right decisions in life but nobody is perfect! Next time you write a story in the paper why dont you look more into the positive stuff instead of the negative! sincerely, Redneck!

anonymous Jan 16, 2013 8:54 AM

To the family and friends of Kevin bailey: Don't take this article personal it will beat you up! Dave (obedient) O'Brien and Dave( luvs) dixs will bow down and do whatever the sheriff wants! For example instead of allowing freedom of speech on their site they will violate bloggers rights and reveal names address's and phone #'s of screen names! If you would call the record courier and ask them who HYPER OR CENTS was they would not tell you because it's private and against policy! If Dale (jerkoff insecure hairpiece) Kelly would ask them then they would disclose all info needed! Because he has a badge and he's the law! Lol LOLLIPOP R.I.P SORRY YOU WERE VIOLATED AND BLOCKED FROM THIS SITE! WE LOVED HOW YOU SPOKE THE FACTS AND REVEALED THE TRUTH ABOUT PEOPLE. YOU WILL BE MISSED!

anonymous Jan 16, 2013 8:13 AM

Well Mr. Obrien Im still waiting for your acticle on the shooter!!! Why hasnt his name, his past/present convictions been revealed? You wasted no time giving your thoughts and judgement on the victim KEVIN MARK BAILEY.....Yes that was printed for all to read...Now lets talk about Donny why dont we?????????? This is in no way a one sided story so start your investigation (if thats what you want to call it) and give us readers a chance to read the whole story NOT just what you feel is the facts.......

anonymous Jan 16, 2013 7:57 AM

Mr. Obrien

It was very hard for our family to read this. A young man who was someones son, brother, father and the young lady that he was the love of her life and is going to give birth to his 2nd child is shot and killed. All you can look at is his past? I do not understand Mr.Obrien any have what you said about Kevin has to do with the shooting. I am sure you did not do your homework and learn how to handle a issue like this. Have you even thought about what this will do if this is brought into court.Did you think about the family and friends this young man had in his lifeat all! Did you even think what it was going to do to the family and friends that read this. This is what I read " It is okay to kill someone if they have had a bad past and no chances to turn your life around is okay in your book. I hope that the management of the record courier look hard at this story and thinks about what your actions have done to this young mans family and friends. Oh and Mr. Obrien did you do your homework on the shooters background?

anonymous Jan 15, 2013 10:30 PM

You are right stanback! Mr. Obrien is not the type of reporter that does a complete investigation. Unfortunately, Dave has a big nose ring that is hooked to Sheriff Doke's azz! Obrien will report ONLY what benefits the paper, not all that should be published. The "APPLE" doesn't fall far from the tree, as Dave Dix, "PUBLISHER" is his ultimate boss. I give the "RECHID COURIER", less than 3 yrs. before it is bought out and/or goes belly up. CENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

anonymous Jan 15, 2013 8:24 PM

Mr. Obrien, Please explain how the last three paragraphs are relevant to the headline and the rest of the article. I can not think of any correlation between the two. This smells of sensationalism and will make it difficult to seat a jury if charges are brought against the "very cooperative" shooter. I know, I know, sell newspapers first and don't worry about the consequences that others must bear. I am hoping you will respond and explain.