Ross Co. man accused of killing 3 indicted on rape, kidnapping and murder charges

Local News

A Ross County grand jury on Friday secretly indicted a 39-year-old man on 16 felony charges including rape, kidnapping and aggravated murder stemming from three murders.

James A. Rinehart is facing seven counts of aggravated murder, four counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of kidnapping, and one count each of attempted murder, rape, and having weapons under disability.

The aggravated murder charges stem from the deaths of 46-year-old Leann M. Potts, 63-year-old Thomas S. Littler and 50-year-old Rick Adams. Adams died from his injuries at a Columbus hospital.

Ross County Prosecutor Jeff Marks said evidence at this time indicates Rinehart acted alone. While there’s not a clear motive in the murders, Marks said one of the three murder charges related to Leann Potts’ death alleges Rinehart acted with “prior calculation and design,” according to the Chillicothe Gazette.

“It’s hard to tell right now (what the motive was). You certainly have money as a possibility. We certainly don’t have a statement from the defendant saying what his motive would be,” Marks told the Chillicothe Gazette. “Anything I would say would be speculative.”

Rinehart has been in jail since Feb. 5, a day after Potts and Littler were found shot to death in a Ross County home. Adams, who is Leann Potts’ brother, and a woman, were found critically injured at Adam’s home.

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