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Published: Thursday, 8/21/2003

Holland man, 19, dies after assault in S. Toledo home


Justin Alley, 19, of 7017 Washington Drive, died about 4 a.m. in Medical College of Ohio Hospitals, where he was taken after the assault about 45 minutes earlier in South Toledo.

David McCullough, 21, of 746 Prouty Ave., is charged with one count of murder in the death. He also is wanted on an unrelated warrant for burglary. He was not in custody last night.

Alley died from neck injuries that were associated with “sudden severe rotational injury of the neck or head,” according to a news release by Dr. Diane Barnett, a Lucas County deputy coroner. She said he was in a “choke hold” a short time before he was found unresponsive.

David McCullough allegedly choked and punched Justin Alley in a city home. David McCullough allegedly choked and punched Justin Alley in a city home.

Police Lt. Rick Reed said Alley was staying a night or two with an acquaintance and her children at 1412 Beecham St., where the assault occurred.

Mr. McCullough supposedly was in the house about an hour before the assault, spoke with Alley, and left. When he returned about 3:15 a.m., Alley was sitting in the living room playing a video game.

“There was brief exchange between the two of them. [Mr. McCullough] got up and put a choke hold on the victim and punched him in the head a couple of times. The victim collapsed and the suspect fled out the front door,” the lieutenant said.

A witness, a 15-year-old boy whose mother lives at the Beecham residence, went upstairs to wake his mother and his sister. They found Alley lying on the living room floor and called 911. The boy's 19-year-old sister tried to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Alley, who was gasping for air, Lieutenant Reed said.

He said a motive for the assault wasn't clear. However, he said there may have been a past disagreement between the two men. He said there was an allegation that Mr. McCullough previously assaulted Alley; however, police didn't have a record of the incident.

Occupants at Alley's residence declined comment, as did a woman who lives at the Beecham address.

Alley was released in March from the Lima Correctional Institution, where he served nearly eight months on burglary and receiving stolen property convictions, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Mr. McCullough also has had numerous run-ins with the law, including convictions for obstruction of official business, drug possession, and disorderly conduct, according to Toledo Municipal Court records.

Mr. McCullough has brown hair and eyes, weighs 140 pounds, and is 5 feet, 9 inches tall.

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