Indictment made in horrific Harvard Avenue domestic violence incident

Source: Cuyahoga County Sheriff
Source: Cuyahoga County Sheriff

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor has indicted Julian Whitaker for the June 1st domestic that left a 5-year-old dead and his sister hospitalized.  Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

On that morning around 8:30 a.m., Deonche Lewis, 10,  ran to her mother's place of employment at Willow Park Nursing Home with a slashed throat and told her mother that a male cut her throat and was holding her little brother hostage at their Harvard Avenue home.

Workers at the nursing home called 9-1-1 and reported the incident. The mother and other workers were outside of the nursing home when a Warrensville Heights Police cruiser drove by and was flagged down for help. Warrensville Police responded to the home located at 18914 Harvard Avenue and called Cleveland Police to the scene.

When officers arrived, Julian Whitaker exited the home wearing a bloody shirt and waving a knife. Officers requested that Whitaker drop the knife, but the suspect declined. Officers then shot Whitaker several times, he was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center where he underwent surgery late Wednesday afternoon and was last listed in critical condition Thursday.

Once inside of the home, officers located the body of Larvell Smith, 5, and the family dog. Both were deceased. The boy suffered severe lacerations to the neck.

EMS responded to the nursing home and transported Deonche Lewis to MetroHealth Medical Center where she was treated and released late Wednesday for a laceration to her neck.

Julian Whitaker had been dating the children's mother Markish Smith and was living with the family at the time of the incident. Both Whitaker and Smith worked at Willow Park Nursing Home.

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