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Downtown Dolls Boasts Three Dead Men

Franklinton, Ohio- Downtown Dolls, the Franklinton strip club where three men have been fatally shot since August, hasn’t reopened since last weekend and will stay shut.

The owner of the club, Michael D. West, kept the club closed Monday and hasn’t unlocked the doors since, after two men were shot and killed outside the club early Saturday.

Assistant City Attorney Bridget Carty said West told her on Monday that he’d keep it closed if she told him to. She did.

The club at 1336 W. Broad St., where nude dancers performed, violated Columbus’ zoning code, Carty said. The property is zoned commercial. West needs a variance or must have the land rezoned manufacturing, she said.

The city issued orders on Wednesday that the club couldn’t operate as adult entertainment without the proper zoning.

“The real issue is to stop the behavior,” said City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr.

Bouncers David Carter, 25, and Andrew Conley, 28, were shot by a patron who had been thrown out of the bar, police said.

Conley died soon after he was shot; Carter died Tuesday.

During an Aug. 10 shooting, club patron Andre D. Price II, 22, was killed, and Carter’s 27-year-old brother, Chris, also a bouncer there, was injured.

“It may be creating a public nuisance by the secondary effects of what they have going on inside,” Pfeiffer said.

West’s attorney, Tim Dye, said the club had been open for about three years and that West has no plans to reopen it.

“Nobody’s going to come to an establishment after a crime like that happened,” Dye said.

The club had no liquor license, but patrons could bring in alcohol, Dye said. The club barred weapons and drugs, and everyone was searched before entering.

Neighbors won’t miss the place or the “nasty clientele,” said Carol J. Stewart, chairwoman of the Franklinton Area Commission.

Stewart heard complaints about the club after the first shooting.

After the slayings Saturday, those complaints grew, and their tone became more urgent, she said.

“There has been a great deal of concern and a lot of fear because of the violence there. It’s kind of scary for people living behind it on Hayden Avenue, knowing there’s bullets flying around.”


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