crimesider

4 Ohio men fatally beaten in 4 separate homes

Darrell Lewis, Freelin Hensley, and Billy Jack Chatman are three of four men authorities say were fatally beaten in Bucyrus, Ohio CBS affiliate WBNS

BUCYRUS, Ohio - Authorities in the small Ohio city of Bucyrus are trying to figure out why four men were fatally beaten in four separate homes. A suspect who authorities say led them to two of the victims is in custody but has not yet been charged.

Police in the small city about 65 miles north of Columbus said all the slayings are likely related, but they don't know if the men knew each other. Two bodies were found Monday, and the two others were discovered Tuesday morning.

Authorties said the suspect came into the police station and led officers to two of the bodies. CBS affiliate WBNS reports the suspect claimed he was responsible for killing the men. Prosecutor Matthew Crall told reporters Tuesday night that "charges will be filed as soon as possible."

Found dead Monday were Billy Jack Chatman, 55, and Freelin Hensley, 67, according to Crawford County Coroner Dr. Michael Johnson. On Tuesday, the body of 65-year-old Darrell Lewis was found in his apartment. Johnson said the identity of the fourth victim, found in an apartment in the same complex Tuesday, hasn't been confirmed.

Johnson said the deaths are homicides, but specific causes haven't been determined. He said a preliminary autopsy report will be available Thursday.

"There was trauma to all of them," Johnson said. He said authorities believe the slayings are related "because of the sequence and time, and appearance of the scene." He declined to release any more details.

Crall and city police officials didn't immediately return phone messages Wednesday.

Crawford County Sheriff Scott Kent said Wednesday that the suspect gave some details as to why the killings occurred, but authorities aren't releasing them. The sheriff's office is assisting police in the investigation.

"One (slaying) can be complicated, four is overwhelming," Kent said.

Some of the residents of the town of 12,000 said they were worried about their safety in a place that is unaccustomed to violent crime but battling a heroin epidemic.

  • Crimesider Staff

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