Note: This story appears in the Tuesday, Dec. 4 newspaper on Page A1.
A burglary at a Glouster residence is connected to the Nov. 25 homicide that occurred on West Washington Street in Athens, according to Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn.
Charles Duncan Sr., 55, was shot to death in an apartment at 221 W. Washington. Two people — Bernard C. Mitchell, 23, of Athens, and Michael Allen Russell, 18, whose last known address is Athens — each currently face felony charges in Athens County Municipal Court of involuntary manslaughter and robbery. The allegation is that they were attempting to take $50 from Duncan, and a shot was fired through a door fatally wounding Duncan.
Felony burglary charges have been filed in municipal court against Jonathon McLaughlin, 23, of Glouster; Troy Allen Vermillion II, 28, of Athens; and Robert A. Martin, 26, of Athens. They are accused of burglarizing a Glouster residence and taking four firearms.
County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said McLaughlin is accused of being present at the 221 W. Washington St. at the time of the homicide.
Asked if the weapon used in the shooting of Duncan was one of the weapons taken in the burglary, Blackburn declined to comment.
Although Blackburn said the burglary is connected to the homicide, he said the matter is still under investigation. He said investigators are working to determine the culpability of each of the burglary suspects in regard to the homicide.
The charges against all five are pending in municipal court. Felony charges are prosecuted in Athens County Common Pleas Court, and can be transferred there by having preliminary hearings in municipal court. All five have preliminary hearings scheduled for this Wednesday.
Prosecutors can bypass the preliminary hearing stage by taking cases directly to a grand jury. Blackburn confirmed that a grand jury is scheduled for Wednesday, but declined to say what will be presented.