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Published: Saturday, 6/9/2007

Findlay man dies following stabbing


FINDLAY - A 22-year-old Findlay man died in Blanchard Valley Hospital early yesterday, less than an hour after authorities found him stabbed in the upper torso following a fight in a local bar's parking lot.

The suspect was apprehended in McComb, in northwestern Hancock County, seven hours after the stabbing.

Killed was Andrew C. Coleman of 1336 Logan Ave., officers said.

Charged with murder is Aaron Hernandez, 19, of McComb, who was held in the Hancock County Justice Center last night.

Coleman was found lying in the parking lot southeast of Brandy's Cafe, 1101 West Main Cross St., about 2:35 a.m. by police crews responding to a call of a fight at closing time, they said.

There were several witnesses. The knife used to stab Coleman had not been found last night, Hancock County Sheriff's Lt. Jim Barker said.

Coleman was pronounced dead at 3:20 a.m. The Lucas County Coroner's Office is to perform an autopsy today.

The suspect fled the scene in a vehicle.

Mr. Hernandez was arrested at a friend's residence in McComb at about 9:30 a.m., police said.

A Findlay Municipal Court judge is expected to conduct a probable-cause hearing for Mr. Hernandez tomorrow, and he is expected to appear in court Monday.

The case appears certain to be bound over to Hancock County Common Pleas Court.

This is the first time for Mr. Hernandez to be held in the Hancock County jail.

Coleman, however, had been held in the jail seven times in the past four years and had done prison time for burglary, Hancock County Sheriff's Lt. Jim Barker said.

On Monday, Coleman pleaded no contest and was found guilty in Findlay Municipal Court of driving under the influence of drugs, reckless operation, and failure to stop after an accident - charges stemming from two separate police apprehensions.

Neither man was employed, according to what Mr. Hernandez told his jailers yesterday and what Coleman told them the last time he was in jail.

The manager at Brandy's was not available to comment last night.

"The nightclub has had its fair share of disturbances," Lieutenant Barker said. "But I don't think there's ever been anything like this."

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