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Ironton man pleads guilty to murder

The Ironton man accused of robbing and killing an Ashland, Ky., doctor pleaded guilty Friday to charges against him.

Standing before Boyd County Circuit Court Judge C. David Hagerman, Von Blevins, 20,

of 303 1/2 Walnut Street, pleaded guilty to the murder of Dr. Francisco &uot;Tico&uot; Lara.

He also pleaded guilty to charges of robbery, theft by unlawful taking, fraudulent use of a credit card and two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Blevins will be sentenced August 16.

Lara, an optometrist at the Vision Center at Wal-mart retail store in Cannonsburg, Ky.,

was found dead in his apartment Sept. 15, 2001 by his mother. Police said that he had been stabbed to death.

Blevins was arrested a few days later

in Ironton after leading Ohio authorities on a chase on State Route 141 that ended when Blevins rammed his car into a police cruiser.

Blevins allegedly told authorities at the time that he had acted out of self defense after Lara pulled a gun on him.

Blevins had been scheduled to stand trial Oct. 21 on these charges. The trial date was set

last month after a psychiatrist had determined that Blevins was mentally competent to stand trial. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune