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Published: Friday, 11/4/2005

3 Toledoans indicted in Waterville man's death

A South Toledo couple and a 34-year-old man were indicted yesterday by a Lucas County grand jury in the beating death of a 62-year-old Waterville man.

In addition to the slaying of James Steinhurst, the 14-count indictment alleges Christina Morris, her husband, Jesse, both 24 and both of 739 1/2 Orchard St., and Lonnie Scurles, 34, of 1820 Forest Ave., were involved in a similar crime in the south end that did not result in a death.

Each was charged with murder and aggravated robbery in the death last month of Mr. Steinhurst, who police believe went to the couple's home and was robbed. The indictment accuses the trio of beating and robbing a man several days earlier.

Scurles also is accused of two unrelated robberies.

Police believe Mr. Steinhurst picked up Mrs. Morris on Broadway on Oct. 18 and went to the couple's home on Orchard for sexual favors but instead was beaten and robbed by her husband and Scurles.

Mr. Steinhurst, who was robbed of his cell phone and cash, returned home. His daughter found him unconscious later in the day on the bathroom floor. He was taken to Medical University of Ohio Medical Center, where he died the next day.

The couple and Scurles were indicted on felonious assault and aggravated robbery for a similar incident Oct. 20. Authorities said a 30-year-old Toledo man picked up the woman on Broadway and went to the home, where he was struck repeatedly on the head.

The defendants are accused of taking a small amount of cash, the man's shoes, and a baseball cap. The victim reported the incident to police and was treated at a local hospital.

Scurles also was indicted in an attack on a 30-year-old woman Aug. 5 at Broadway and Colburn Street. The woman was waiting for a bus when she was assaulted and her purse was stolen. He was charged with one count each of felonious assault and aggravated robbery. Also, the grand jury indicted Scurles on a robbery charge for punching a Blade circulation worker Sept. 16 in the 1700 block of Broadway and taking his wallet.

The murder indictment against Scurles includes a specification that he is a repeat violent offender. He went to prison in 1989 for a rape convictionand was paroled in July, 2003.

The three defendants are being held in the Lucas County jail in lieu of $1 million bonds.

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