Four indicted in connection with Athens murder

From staff reports

ATHENS, Ohio — Four people were indicted Wednesday on murder charges in the Nov. 25 shooting death of a 55-year-old Logan man in Athens.

Robert Andrew Martin, 26, of Glouster, Ohio; Troy Allen Vermillion II, 28, of Athens; Bernard C. Mitchell, 23, of Athens; and Michael Allen Russell, 20, of Athens, were indicted on multiple charges by the grand jury, according to a release from the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office. They are also accused of trafficking methamphetamine, accepting stolen items in exchange for drugs or stealing items themselves.

“It is further alleged that on Nov. 25, 2018, these individuals are responsible for the death of Charles Duncan Sr., resulting from the shooting of a firearm through the front door of the residence that Duncan was in,” Athens Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said in the release.

A release from the Athens Police Department said officers were notified of the shooting at 221 W. Washington St., Apt. 202, just before 10 p.m. Nov. 25.

All four were indicted on charges of murder, an unspecified felony; first-degree felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated robbery; second-degree felony robbery; and third-degree felony having weapons while under disability.

In the release, Blackburn said the having weapons while under disability charges were related to the suspects being “drug dependent and/or in danger of becoming drug dependent” while regularly having possession of guns.

Martin, Vermillion and Mitchell also were indicted on a first-degree felony count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Martin also was indicted on a third-degree felony count of burglary, two fourth-degree felony counts of receiving stolen property and a fourth-degree felony count of aggravated trafficking in drugs.

Vermillion faces a third-degree felony count of burglary and one fourth-degree felony count each of aggravated trafficking in drugs and receiving stolen property.

Other charges in the indictment against Mitchell were second-degree felony burglary, fourth-degree felony grand theft and fifth-degree felony breaking and entering.

Russell was also indicted on a fourth-degree felony charge of receiving stolen property.

All four men will remain in custody at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail until their arraignments on Dec. 12 in Athens County Common Pleas Court, the release says.

Also connected with the drug trafficking operation is 23-year-old Jonathon Champe McLaughlin of Glouster, who was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years in prison by Athens County Common Pleas Court Judge Patrick J. Lang. McLaughlin had been convicted of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, having weapons while under disability, aggravated trafficking in drugs and third-degree felony burglary.

The cases were investigated by the Athens Police Department, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Athens Major Crimes Unit, Glouster Police Department and the prosecutor’s office.