Crime

4 men indicted for Athens murder, drug trafficking; 1 sentenced to prison

ATHENS, OH (WCMH) - Four men involved in a drug trafficking and burglary ring have been indicted after an Athens man was shot and killed last month, and another man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in the crimes.

According to the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, 26-year-old Robert Andrew Martin, of Glouster; 28-year-old Troy Allen Vermillion II, of Athens; 23-year-old Bernard C. Mitchell, of Athens; and 20-year-old Michael Allen Russell, of Athens, were indicted on multiple felony charges Wednesday, including murder.

“These four individuals, along with Jonathon McLaughlin, are accused of engaging in the trafficking of methamphetamine,” Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said in a press release. “Each are accused of accepting stolen property as payment for the drugs.”

Blackburn also said the suspects are believed to have broken into several homes and buildings and stolen multiple items, including firearms and jewelry.

On Tuesday, 23-year-old Jonathon Champe McLaughlin, of Glouster, pleaded guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, having weapons while under disability, aggravated trafficking in drugs and burglary. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in the drug trafficking ring.

“The circumstances surrounding this case remain under investigation but should serve as a reminder of the results of drug use and drug trafficking,” Blackburn said. “In this matter, the results were the ultimate tragedy, the loss of a life.”

The investigation stems from the shooting death of Charles Duncan Sr., 55, on Nov. 25. Blackburn said Martin, Vermillion, Mitchell and Russell are accused of shooting a firearm through the front door of Duncan’s home on the 200 block of West Washington Street, hitting Duncan. He was pronounced dead on the scene, according to the Athens Police Department.

The charges against each suspect are as follows:

Robert Andrew Martin:

  • Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a felony of the first degree

  • Having weapons while under disability, a felony of the third degree

  • Aggravated trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fourth degree

  • Burglary, a felony of the third degree

  • Murder, an unspecified felony

  • Involuntary manslaughter, a felony of the first degree

  • Aggravated robbery, a felony of the first degree

  • Robbery, a felony o the second degree

  • Two counts of receiving stolen property, a felony of the fourth degree

Troy Allen Vermillion II:

  • Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity

  • Having weapons while under disability

  • Aggravated trafficking in drugs

  • Burglary

  • Murder

  • Involuntary manslaughter

  • Aggravated robbery

  • Robbery

  • Receiving stolen property

Bernard C. Mitchell:

  • Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity

  • Having weapons while under disability

  • Murder

  • Involuntary manslaughter

  • Aggravated robbery

  • Robbery

  • Breaking and entering, a felony of the fifth degree

  • Grand theft, a felony of the fourth degree

  • Burglary

Michael Allen Russell:

  • Having weapons while under disability

  • Murder

  • Involuntary manslaughter

  • Aggravated robbery

  • Robbery

  • Receiving stolen property

All four suspects will appear for arraignment in the Athens County Court of Common Pleas on Dec. 12.


STORY TOOLS

STORY DISCUSSION

Local Headlines

Latest Videos