Man accused of dumping woman’s body faced prior allegations

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A man accused of stabbing a woman to death and leaving her body in a dumpster behind her Kettering apartment was accused twice before of physically assaulting women, according to court documents.

Terrel M. Ross, 37, was indicted Wednesday on charges of murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse. Ross is accused in the killing of Sierra Dawn Woodfork, the woman whose body was found Jan. 18 wrapped in a blanket in the dumpster.

Ross allegedly told police that he killed her Jan. 12 and first placed her in a closet and then inside a refrigerator before moving her to the dumpster. He is being held at the Montgomery County Jail on $1 million bond.

Ross was previously accused of cutting a different woman’s lip during a fight and, in a more recent incident, banging another woman’s head against a wall and hitting her while she was on an RTA bus trying to get away from him.

Meanwhile, funeral services were set for Woodfork. A visitation will take place from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Eberle-Fisher Funeral Home & Crematory, 103 N. Main St., in London. A memorial service follows the visitation at 2 p.m. at the funeral home.

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Woodfork is a Springfield High School graduate, and she enjoyed soccer, the Special Olympics, music, dancing and movies, according to her obituary.

This isn’t the first time Ross has been accused of violence against women. In 2011, Trotwood police were called and investigated a woman who was injured following an altercation with Ross, according to a police report obtained by the Dayton Daily News via a public records request.

“She had a split bottom lip and a mark on her left eyelid,” an affidavit filed in the case said.

The woman told police that she left a house after hanging out with Ross and other people and Ross followed her out trying to get her to come back inside.

“Eventually, Ross came to the realization that (she) was not coming back and it became physical,” the affidavit says. “Ross hit and held (the woman) down for an unknown amount of time in a vacant lot.”

Police began to search for Ross and found him hiding in an attic trying to hide from them, the affidavit says. The case was dismissed less than a month after it was first filed.

However, another case was filed against Ross in 2018. In that case, a woman described as a family member of Ross said the man banged her head against a wall multiple times during a barbecue then hit her again once she boarded an RTA bus trying to get away from him.

“(The woman) further explained she and Terrel had got into a verbal argument during a discussion they were having, and Terrel took hold of her head and banged it against the wall a couple of times,” a police affidavit of the incident says. “After Terrel banged her head against the wall, (she) told me she left out of the apartment and asked someone to take her home, but no one did.

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“Fearing Terrel would do her further harm, (the woman) left out from the apartment complex and walked to the RTA stop located at W. Third Street and Cherokee Drive. When (the woman) saw the RTA bus there she attempted to board the bus but was not permitted to because (she) did not have any money to pay. (the woman) said she explained to the driver she did not have any money and she was trying to get away from (Ross) who had just assaulted her,” the affidavit says.

The woman eventually got on the bus, the affidavit says, and Ross followed her.

“…Terrel followed her onto the bus and struck her in the head and the stomach with a closed fist,” the affidavit says. “After Terrel struck (the woman) he got off the bus and went back to the apartment complex. The bus driver saw the assault and then called the police.”

Ross was charged with domestic violence in that case. It was eventually resolved when he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct, according to court records. He was sentenced to serve 30 days in jail and five years of community control, the court records say.

Also, the Dayton Daily News has previously reported that police were called twice in December to Woodfork’s apartment before her death. Those calls were placed by neighbors because of “disturbances,” police say, and no one answered the door to the apartment when police arrived.

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