By: Felicia Jordan
CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (Scripps News Cincinnati) — Court documents filed in Clermont County on Friday revealed new information about the tragic and grisly murders of three young boys in Clermont County, allegedly at the hands of their own father, Chad Doerman.
On June 15, county dispatchers received a 911 call reporting a shooting on Laurel Lindale Road in Monroe Township at around 4:15 p.m.
Editor’s note: This story contains graphic details that some readers may find disturbing.
Body camera footage from officers showed when they arrived, 32-year-old Chad Doerman was sitting outside his home with a rifle next to him. He was quickly taken into custody and prosecutors said he later admitted to killing his three sons: 4-year-old Hunter, 7-year-old Clayton and 3-year-old Chase.
Despite allegedly confessing to law enforcement that he was responsible for the murders, Doerman pleaded not guilty in court on June 23.
A bill of particulars filed in Clermont County laid out more information about the homicides and the months leading up to them, when Doerman said he’d been thinking about killing his children.
The document says on the day of the murders Doerman came home from work early and asked his wife and the boys to join him in the master bedroom for a nap. Next to the bed was a gun safe holding the Marlin Model HC .22 rifle he would later use to open fire on his family.
While this is happening, the boys’ sister was watching television in the family room of the home, the document says.
After lying down with his wife and three sons, the document says Doerman got back out of bed and retrieved the rifle from the gun safe. He inserted a loaded magazine into the rifle and shot one of his sons twice, according to the document.
The mother of the children immediately began to render aid to the boy, and yelled for her other sons to run. By this time, the sister had made her way to the master bedroom in time to witness the first shots fired, according to the document.
She ran after one of her brothers, screaming for him to keep running, but Doerman gave chase, firing at the boy as he fled. The document says the boy was hit by gunfire and fell; Doerman approached the boy and fired again at close range.
The young girl then ran back to the house, where she picked up another of her brothers and fled with him in her arms, the document says. As she neared the road, Doerman caught up with the two, raised the rifle and demanded she put her brother down. Doerman attempted to fire the rifle, but it didn’t go off; the document says the gun appeared to be out of ammunition.
The young boy then ran to his mother, who had left the home and gone into the yard to render aid to the boy shot outside. The young girl began to run toward the Monroe Township Fire Department nearby, telling a passerby who stopped her that “her father was killing everyone” as she fled.
The third boy and his mother were approached by Doerman, who bit the woman in an attempt to wrestle her child from her arms. During the struggle, the woman grabbed the rifle and Doerman fired, shooting her through her thumb.
In the chaos, she dropped her child, who Doerman shot once in the head.
“After the defendant executed all three boys, he sat on the side stoop of the residence” and watched the boys’ mother attempt life-saving measures on her children, the documents say.
In all, nine total shots were fired: one boy was shot once, and the other two were each shot four times, the document says.
“The defendant made multiple statements to law enforcement, such as ‘I did it. Take me to jail.’, ‘I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have shot [redacted] and them.’ The defendant also gave a statement during an audio and video recorded interview, during which he admitted to having been thinking about shooting his sons since October,” reads the document.
Doerman allegedly told investigators that he hadn’t slept in the three or four days leading up to the murders because “the thoughts of having to kill his sons was so heavy on him,” the document says.
In total, Doerman faces 21 separate charges connected to his alleged actions on June 15. He is charged with nine counts of aggravated murder, eight counts of kidnapping and four counts of felonious assault.
The judge ordered Doerman be held in the Clermont County jail on a $20 million cash bond.
“This is the most serious offense that we have on the books, judge,” said David Gast, assistant Clermont County prosecutor, during Doerman’s first court appearance on June 16, one day after the murders. “This is it. You can’t commit a more serious offense.”
A neighbor who witnessed the aftermath of the shooting said he’s seen Doerman treat both his wife and children poorly.
“He was angry every day,” said Richard Kincannon. “There wasn’t a day he didn’t yell at his wife and kids out there.”
Kincannon said Doerman had a temper, “yelling all the time and treating (his wife) like s***.”
Doerman’s father, Keith, said days after the murders that he has no exact explanation for what happened, adding his son “just snapped.”
“I could tell in his eyes he’s hollow inside,” Keith Doerman said. “That wasn’t Chad standing at the arraignment, that was not him.”
A celebration of life was held for the three boys on June 26 where community members attending the service at First Baptist Church of Glen Este wearing bright colors at the request of the family.
“I wish everybody would’ve had five minutes with them, just to be able to see how much fun they were,” said Dwayne Kuhn, 7-year-old Clayton’s baseball coach. “There’s nothing that’s ever going to take away the time that we got to spend with them and I cherish every single moment that I was with those boys. I’m just so lucky to have gotten to know and spend the time that I got to spend with them, it’s going to be a tough road ahead but if we keep getting the support and the community coming together, I think we will get through this.”
The association held a memorial for the boys on a baseball field and sold T-shirts with all proceeds going to the family.
“The daughter reached back to us and said, ‘I want to play in the tournament for my brothers’ and that just shows you the strength of them of what the community has done to help them,” said NRYSA president Kristin Bennett.
This story was originally published on July 14, 2023, by WCPO in Cincinnati, an E.W. Scripps Company.