September 13, 2012
PDT Staff Writer
A Wheelersburg man has been convicted on all 10 counts lodged against him, including two counts of aggravated murder, and will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. A jury found Raymond Linkous, 35, guilty in the death of Felipe Lopez, 24, of Camp Street, West Portsmouth, whose badly burned body was found in a burned-out truck on March 7 of this year.
The jury received the charge and began deliberating Thursday morning at approximately 9 a.m., and deliberated until 10:15 a.m. when they returned with verdicts of guilty on all 10 counts - two counts of aggravated murder; one count of murder; aggravated arson; arson; three counts of tampering with evidence; kidnapping and conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.
By rule of law, some of the sentences merged. For instance, the first three charges merged into one, resulting in sentencing to life without the possibility of parole. In addition to the life sentence, Linkous received an additional 26 years on the other charges to be served consecutively.
Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor Pat Apel said there are two more cases yet to be heard involving two other men charged in the same crime.
“The next one is David Gerald, and it is set for October 9 (2012), and Thomas Steinhauer is scheduled for trial on Nov. 13 (2012),” Apel said.
Apel said each start date is on a Tuesday because in each case the Monday before is a holiday.
Gerald, 37, is also from Wheelersburg, and Steinhauer, 47, is a Portsmouth resident.
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said his office received a 911 call March 7 that a truck was on fire in the 4400 block of Junior Furnace Powellsville Road, Franklin Furnace. Deputies and the Green Township Fire Department responded to the location. Donini said the body was discovered after the fire was put out. Detectives and the State Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene to investigate.
Assistant Prosecutor Julie Hutchinson was also a part of the prosecution team, while Linkous was represented by Scott Hicks.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com