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Man Charged with Murder in April Beating
Posted on: 05/24/2013
By  Mike Cullums
After nearly two months of investigation and of submitting and waiting on autopsy and lab test results, Marietta Police obtained evidence sufficient to charge a man yesterday in the death of Frank Stephens. It happened on April 2 in a mobile home at 139 Groves Avenue, on Slaughterhouse Hill.

Ira David Blair Jr, 28, of that address has now been charged with murder.    

Detective Sgt. Greg Nohe says police launched the murder investigation as soon as they arrived at that mobile home just after noon on April 2, since they’d found Mr. Stephens lying dead on the living room floor with multiple trauma injuries – a severe beating.
 
At the same time, other officers were already with Ira Blair Jr at Marietta Memorial Hospital. He was being treated for injuries and had blood on him. He told police he lived at 139 Groves Avenue along with a Richard Haught, and that their neighbor, Frank Stephens, had been at the residence the previous night, where heavy drinking had taken place.  
 
Blair had been arrested that day after he allegedly broke into an apartment on Third Street. When police woke him up and arrested him at the apartment, Blair told them he thought he was at home on Groves Avenue.  
 
Most of the delay in making an arrest was because of the wait for final, very detailed autopsy results from the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. Those results indicated that Mr. Stephens suffered blunt and sharp force trauma to the head and neck, the chest, the abdomen and the extremities, and died as a result of those injuries.  
 
Additional evidence collected in the case was sent to the Ohio BCI laboratories to be analyzed.  Through lab testing, scientists were able to show that the victim’s blood was found on the suspect.   And so Ira David Blair Junior was served with a murder charge at the Washington County Jail, where he’s been held since April 2 on a burglary charge for the Third Street break-in.  
 
Blair appears in municipal court for arraignment this morning.
 
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