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Attorney General DeWine Announces Guilty Plea in 1998 Shelby County Murder Case


(DAYTON, Ohio)—Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that Vance Short, 45, pleaded guilty today to Conspiracy to Commit Murder and Complicity to Commit Aggravated Burglary in the murder of Gregory Trapp, of Sidney, Ohio. Trapp was found dead on May 21, 1998, of a gunshot wound to the head. Short and Gregory Trapp's brother, William Trapp, were arrested and indicted in the case last year.

"We are happy to assist local law enforcement in this case," said Attorney General DeWine. "Their dogged investigation means this murder will not go unsolved and justice will be served."

Short will be sentenced at a later date.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office reopened the case in 2010 and asked for assistance from the Cold Case Unit of the Montgomery County Coroner's Office. Investigators reinterviewed previous witnesses and located new witnesses. The Attorney General's Office prosecuted the case because the Shelby County Prosecutor had in the past represented Short as a private attorney.
At the time of Trapp's death, Short was arrested for tampering with evidence related to the case. He pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of tampering with evidence, and was sentenced to three years community control and fined $1,000.

The case against William Trapp was recently dismissed due to his health issues. However, the right to prosecute has been reserved should his health improve.


Media Contacts

Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti: 614-466-3840

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