An Urbana man was indicted Monday afternoon relating to the murder of his own mother.
Robert James ‘Jamie’ Stevenson, 29, was indicted by a Champaign County Grand Jury on six charges — aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence, gross abuse of a corpse and aggravated menacing.
Urbana police have not released further details about how his mother Pamela Combs, 66, died but Champaign County Coroner Dr. Joshua Richards said preliminary autopsy results show that she died of both blunt and sharp force trauma.
In a 911 call obtained by the News-Sun, a cousin of Combs tells the dispatcher the day Combs was found dead that she’s concerned about Combs’ safety and asks for an officer to check on her.
“We went to her house to check on her ‘cause she was supposed to have went to the doctor this morning, and her son wouldn’t even let us in the house,” the caller continues on to say, “We’ve tried to call her. She won’t answer her phone. We’re just afraid he has done something to her.”
The welfare check quickly turned into a murder investigation when officers got to the home on Lionel Drive and found Combs dead inside.
Several Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Crime Scene Units were also at the home to process it for evidence.
A statement from Urbana Police Chief Matt Lingrell released after the death says, “Because of the serious nature of this crime, and while we await the results of the autopsy, police will not be addressing how our victim was killed, what the motive may have been, what physical evidence we’ve collected, not elaborate on what we’ve learned from people that we’ve spoken with in relation to his homicide.”
Lingrell went on to say thank you to both BCI for their help with the investigation and the Lionel Drive and Kellie Drive neighbors for their patience.
One woman who lives nearby, Megan Lachapelle said she never expected anything of this magnitude to happen in her quiet and peaceful neighborhood.
“I actually woke up to a (Facebook) tag from my neighbor about what was going on,” she said.
She said there’s still an eerie feeling in the air days after the slaying, even though Stevenson was taken into custody the day of.
“I just didn’t feel safe coming home,” Lachapelle said.
Stevenson used to live on Royal Ridge Drive in Dayton less than five years before coming to Urbana, according to a background check conducted by the News-Sun.
He was previously charged in Montgomery County with minor charges including disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstructing official business and possessing marijuana.
Stevenson is expected to make his first court appearance in Champaign County Common Pleas Court Tuesday morning.
He’s currently being held in the Tri-County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
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