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Grand jury indicts man in murder case

A Lawrence County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against a Huntington, W.Va. man in connection with the shooting death last month of an Ironton teenager.

The indictment contains five counts, including two counts of murder involving different scenarios about how the death occurred.

In count one, the jury indicted Charles Edens, 22, on one count of murder with a gun specification, meaning he used a gun to commit the alleged offense.

The second count is also murder but alleges Edens assaulted Auston Wells, 19, and Wells died as a result of the assault. It also carries a gun specification.

The grand jury also indicted Edens on one count each of felonious assault, tampering with evidence and having a weapon under a disability. Ohio law prohibits convicted felons from having a weapon; Edens has a prior drug conviction.

The case was presented to the grand jury by Paul Scarsella of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office asked for a special prosecutor to be appointed, citing conflict of interest.

Edens was arraigned Friday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court by Judge D. Scott Bowling. He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, J.T. Holt.

Bowling added a $200,000 own recognizance bond to the $250,000 cash or surety bond set in Ironton Municipal Court. He scheduled an Oct. 11 pretrial conference.

Edens remains in the Lawrence County Jail.

Wells was killed Aug. 30 during an incident near the corner of Eighth and Madison streets.