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Published: Wednesday, 11/9/2005

2 men plead not guilty in beating death

A Toledo couple and another man charged in the death of a Waterville resident appeared yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for arraignments on murder and other charges in unrelated crimes.

Judge Charles Wittenberg appointed lawyers to represent Jesse Morris and Lonnie Scurles. He accepted the not-guilty pleas they entered and continued their cases to Nov. 23.

They and Mr. Morris' wife, Christina, are accused in the slaying of James Steinhurst, 62, who died Oct. 19 in Medical University of Ohio Medical Center. Police believe he went to the couple's home at 739 1/2 Orchard St. the day before and was robbed and beaten.

Judge Wittenberg continued Mrs. Morris' arraignment to Nov. 23. She did not enter a plea.

Each defendant is charged with murder and aggravated robbery in the death of Mr. Steinhurst. They also were indicted on felonious assault and aggravated robbery charges for a similar incident two days earlier.

Scurles of 1820 Forest Ave. also was indicted on one count each of robbery, felonious assault, and aggravated robbery in two South Toledo incidents.

Judge Wittenberg ordered Scurles held in the county jail in lieu of $1 million bond. Jesse and Christina Morris, both 24, are being held in the jail in lieu of $500,000 bond each.



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