Chad Doerman indicted on 21 counts after confessing to executing sons

Posted at 7:37 AM, June 23, 2023 and last updated 11:10 AM, June 23, 2023

By: Sean DeLancey

BATAVIA, Ohio (Scripps News Cincinnati) — A grand jury has returned a 21-count indictment against Chad Doerman seven days after he allegedly killed his sons.

Editor’s note: The following story contains details that readers may find upsetting.

chad doerman arrest

This image from bodycam video shows the June 15 arrest of Chad Doerman. (WCPO)

Doerman was initially charged with three counts of aggravated murder last week after confessing to lining up his three boys — Clayton, Hunter and Chase — in his front yard and executing them with a rifle.

On Thursday, a Clermont County Grand Jury returned a 21-count indictment against Doerman including nine counts of aggravated murder, eight counts of kidnapping and four counts of felonious assault.

Some near the courthouse, like Douglas Holland, celebrated the heavy application of the law.

“I think they need to just hurry up, do what they got to do, and don’t waste any money on it,” Holland said. “He’s a bad man, and needs to be dealt with swiftly.”

Others, like Crystal Jackson, viewed the situation with empathy for everyone involved.

“Working at a Christian hospital, I always feel that God tells us to love everyone and he’ll sort it out,” Jackson said. “So, there’s no hate or vengeance, it’s just that he gets the help he needs.”

Many were confused as to how three deaths could result in nine murder charges against the same person.

“The Clermont County Prosecutor’s Office threw the kitchen sink at this guy, and wanted to cover all their bases,” said local defense attorney Clyde Bennett.

Bennett said legally speaking, a person can commit aggravated murder in multiple ways against the same victim and each one is a different charge potentially leading to a conviction.

“In the act of kidnapping a person, you killed someone, and then you kidnapped a person to kill them, and then that person is under 13. That’s three ways you can get to aggravated murder,” he said.

Three different charges of aggravated murder for each of the three children added up to nine charges, though Bennett said Doerman could only be sentenced for one per child.

left: Chad Doerman, Right: Three Doerman boys

left: Chad Doerman, Right: Three Doerman boys (Scripps News Cincinnati)

Bennett said Doerman is eligible for the death penalty, and he expects the prosecutor to bring a death penalty case against him.

Doug Holland hoped that justice would be served against the father, and he hoped the surviving mother and sister would find peace.

“I just hope that he gets taken care of and the little girl and the mom get to move on with their lives,” said Holland.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Cincinnati, an E.W. Scripps Company.