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AUSTINTOWN Suspect arrested in slaying from 2000



Published: Sat, August 10, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The man is being held in Mahoning County Jail.

AUSTINTOWN -- One year ago, Stella Moore asked township police for closure in the slaying of her brother. Today, she is one step closer.

Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, acting on a tip from Austintown police, apprehended the man police say is responsible for the killing.

The patrol said Ronald Knab Jr., 41, of Palm Bay, Fla., was stopped about 12:39 p.m. Friday on state Route 7 in Marietta.

He was taken back to the area by Austintown police after opting not to fight extradition from Marietta. He is being held in Mahoning County Jail on a charge of murder and two charges of tampering with evidence. He was taken into custody without incident, said Austintown Township Chief Gordon Ellis.

Police said Knab stabbed to death 45-year-old Roy Patterson of Hackensack, N.J., behind the Rebel Lounge on Seventy-Six Drive in November 2000. The stabbing was said to have happened during a fight between the two men.

Witnesses told police the attacker got into a commercial waste hauling truck with a blue design in the shape of a "z" along the side and left the bar's parking lot after the fight. Austintown police told highway patrol troopers Friday that Knab would be driving that truck through Washington County.

Frustrated relatives

Moore, who could not be reached to comment, made the 15-hour round trip to Austintown, along with four other Patterson relatives, in July 2001 to speak with investigators. At that time, the family expressed frustration with the pace of the investigation.

Moore said she could not understand how the killer was able to drive away from the Rebel Lounge without being apprehended.

Austintown detective Bob Schaeffer has said the investigation had been complicated by the fact that the killer and most of the witnesses at the bar are truckers on the move.

The Rebel Lounge, near the state Route 46 ramp to Interstate 80, is frequented by truckers.




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