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Three charged in homicide at motel

TNS Regional News • May 11, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Three people are in custody following a homicide on Wednesday night at the Meigs Motel just off Ohio 7 near Pomeroy.

According to Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood, Wallace R. Chafin, 57, of Meigs County was found dead at the Meigs Motel in the early morning hours of May 9. Chafin was a guest at the motel.

Wood stated that Ryan A. Cozart, Sara J. Craig and Ariel R. Smith, have been arrested in connection with the case.

Cozart, 32, of Racine, has been charged with murder; Craig, 33, and Smith, 22, both of Portland are charged with complicity to commit murder.

According to assistant Meigs County Prosecutor Amanda Bizub-Franzmann, Cozart, Craig and Smith will be formally charged at 11 a.m. on Friday in Meigs County Court.

Officers with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance call at 12:15 a.m. on Thursday morning at the motel. Upon arrival, the officers found evidence of an altercation and a homicide.

Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood stated that officials with his office, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and the Meigs County Coroner were on scene early Thursday at the Meigs Motel.

Cozart and Craig were arrested early Thursday morning after returning to the crime scene in the victim’s car. Smith was arrested at a home on Durst Road in Portland, Ohio.

Craig had been on house arrest while facing charges in a meth case in Meigs County Common Pleas Court. According to investigators, Craig cut her house arrest bracelet and left her home.

The three suspects are currently at the Middleport Jail awaiting arraignment as the investigation continues.

The victim’s body has been sent to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.

At this time, investigators are not releasing details as to the cause of Chafin’s death.


By Sarah Hawley - The Daily Sentinel, Pomeroy, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Daily Sentinel (Pomeroy, Ohio)

Visit The Daily Sentinel (Pomeroy, Ohio) at www.mydailysentinel.com

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