Jotham Lee Parker, 27, whose address was listed on the official police report as 5551 Cherry St., Sciotoville, but was known to reside on Ohio 139, died at Grant Medical Center Monday in Columbus.
Larry I. Delawder, 25, of 607 Eighth St., Lancaster, Ky., will now face an aggravated murder charge in Parker’s death.
According to Portsmouth Police, officers responded to a call of a male subject being stabbed around 1:42 a.m. Saturday.
Upon arrival officers said the victim and witnesses were standing in the 2000 block of Eighth Street. They told officers they were at the Fish Bowl Bar and an employee of the bar came inside and said someone was trying to break into their vehicle. The witnesses and the victim advised that they exited the bar and observed the suspect and two other males standing next to their vehicle.
That is when witnesses said the suspect and two other males started running eastbound on Eighth Street. They advised that they started chasing the suspect and his companions, yelling at them to drop whatever it was they had taken from the vehicle.
According to the official report, the witnesses were unable to identify where between the bar and the house at 2112 Eighth St. that Parker was stabbed in the head. They said that the suspect ran between the house and the parked vehicles in the yard and threw the knife into the back yard. Additionally, they said that the suspect then came back from the side yard with a long black object in his hand and started swinging it at the victim and the witnesses.
Both witnesses told officers they witnessed Delawder stab Parker in the head, then throw the knife into the back yard.
Delawder was found by a Portsmouth Police officer in the residence at 2112 Eighth St. in a bathroom hiding between a wall and the bath tub in the process of shaving his head.
Delawder reportedly told officers he was shaving his head because he knew he had warrants out of Lawrence County and did not want to go to jail.
“The Ironton Municipal Court has a warrant for him for failure to appear for a review hearing,” Lawrence County Sheriff Timothy W. Sexton told the Portsmouth Daily Times. “That warrant is held by the Ironton Police Department.”
During questioning, Delawder also advised officers that he had not stabbed anyone in the head, but said he did swing a jack handle with a lug wrench a the victim and witnesses.
Life Ambulance responded to the scene and transported Parker to Southern Ohio Medical Center
Parker’s injuries were so severe that he was flown to Grant Medical Center. Parker died Monday.
Tuesday morning, the Franklin County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy on Parker with Detectives Jim Charles and Pat Hutchens of the Portsmouth Police Department present. The results of the autopsy are pending.
Delawder was first charged with felonious assault and tampering with evidence, but those charges were changed Tuesday to aggravated murder in Portsmouth Municipal Court.
Patrol officers and detectives continue to follow up leads and ask that anyone with information call the Portsmouth Police Department at (740) 354-1600. Charles said callers may remain anonymous and all calls will be kept confidential.
FRANK LEWIS may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.