Archived Story

Ironton man arraigned on murder charge

Published 9:55am Thursday, March 7, 2013

An Ironton man maintained his innocence Wednesday in connection with the shooting death of his brother-in-law.

Rodney Delawder, 33, of 2953 State Route 243, was arraigned in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court on one count each of murder with a gun specification, second-degree discharging a firearm into a habitation and second-degree felonious assault.

The man pleaded not guilty through attorney Mike Davenport.

Judge Charles Cooper set bond at $500,000 cash or surety and set a pretrial for March 20.

Delawder is accused of killing his brother-in-law, John A. McKnight, 48, at their home on Jan. 29. He is also charged with felonious assault against another brother-in-law, Larry J. McKnight, 46.

According to testimony by Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office Detective Aaron Bollinger at a probable cause hearing in Lawrence County Municipal Court earlier this month, Delawder had allegedly fought with his two brothers-in-law over a past incident between his wife and the two men.

In other cases:

• A mental evaluation was admitted in to evidence for Michael Thompson, 28, of 190 Private Drive 779 County Road 56, South Point, which stated the man is competent to stand trial.

Thompson previously pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor (videos) and two counts of third-degree sexual battery involving two juveniles, ages 14 and 16.

Mike Eachus, a Gallipolis-based attorney, is representing Thompson.

• Christopher Russell, 37, of 1024 S. Fifth St., Ironton, was arraigned on counts of third-degree tampering with evidence, fifth-degree possession of drugs and misdemeanor possession of drugs.

Russell pleaded not guilty through attorney Luke Styer.

Cooper set bond at $10,000 cash or surety and set a pretrial for March 13.

• David Lee Shope, 38, of 225 Cliff St. Apt A, Napoleon, was sentenced to 11 months in prison for community control sanctions violations of not reporting to adult probation, using drugs while on CCS and failing to pay child support arrears for his three children.

Shope must also pay $64,000 in restitution.

• Emory Markel Jr., 24, of 624 1/2 Lawrence St., Ironton, admitted CCS violations and was sentenced to 60 days in prison.

• Tonya Hardy, 24, of 1577 County Road 59, Chesapeake, admitted CCS violations and was sentenced to two years in prison.

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