Suspect charged in murders of 4 in Ohio

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WEST JEFFERSON, Ohio (AP/WJW) — A man who knew the four people shot to death in an Ohio village last month was charged Monday with their killings, the community’s police chief said.

John Steckel, 35, was arrested by Columbus police on June 2 after police found he had felony warrants out for his arrest. Steckel gave his address as the “streets of Columbus,” according to a Columbus police report.

Steckel was charged with four counts of murder in Madison County Municipal Court, said Christopher Floyd, chief of West Jefferson, roughly 15 miles west of Columbus.

Steckel remains in Franklin County Jail, where he has asked for an attorney, but should be transferred to Madison County soon, Floyd said. Jail records don’t list the name of an attorney.

Floyd said Steckel’s name came up early in the investigation. Steckel knew the victims and the apparent motive was robbery but he wouldn’t provide further details. Multiple video images obtained from residents, businesses and the village led authorities to charge Steckel, Floyd said.

Our sister station, NBC4, reports that, according to Floyd, Steckel has a lengthy criminal background, and is on probation at the local, state and federal levels.

The victims were 45-year-old Andrew Thomas Swindall, who lived at the property; 45-year-old Shawn A. Wright and 38-year-old Leon Billy Daniels, both of London; and 30-year-old Jamie Danielle Lavender, of Springfield.

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