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Murder suspect in court in Lisbon

LISBON — Kevin E. Kirby, accused in the murder of Melinda Todd in her Salem Township home in 2012, appeared for a pretrial hearing before Common Pleas Court Judge Megan Bickerton.

Kirby, 44, North Market Street, Lisbon, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of tampering with evidence.

He had appeared by video Monday from the county jail for his arraignment on Nov. 7, but this was the first appearance on these charges at Common Pleas Court. Dates were chosen for further hearings and one of his his defense attorneys, Kelly Linger, requested Kirby be allowed to remain at the county jail for about 10 days before being transferred back to the Belmont Correctional Institute.

Linger said this would give her and co-counsel, James Wise, enough time to find a day in their schedules when both are available and could go to the jail to meet with Kirby about the case.

His next hearing was scheduled at 9 a.m. Feb. 10 for a final status conference. The jury trial is currently set for Feb. 18.

Kirby is currently serving a nine-month sentence for workers’ compensation fraud, theft and 11 counts of tampering with records. Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Gamble said Kirby should complete that term sometime the middle of January. At that point he will be returned to the county jail to await hearings on these charges. Kirby’s bond is set at $1 million cash or surety.

Todd, 43, was found dead in her state Route 45 home south of Salem in the late afternoon of Dec. 3, 2012. The cause of death was determined to be from a blunt instrument. Her 5-year-old grandson had also been attacked and suffered severe head injuries but survived.

The aggravated murder charges are unclassified felonies, which carries a 15-years-to-life sentence. The attempted murder charge, a first-degree felony carries a maximum sentence of 11 years.

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