PDT Staff Writer
Kelly Lopez, the wife of homicide victim Felipe Lopez, told the jury in the murder trial of Raymond Linkous, that she and her husband were familiar with Linkous and the other two defendants yet to go on trial, David Gerald and Thomas Steinhauer. She said Steinhauer and her husband had known each other for awhile, and after they moved into their home at 27 Camp St. in Friendship, Gerald also started visiting. She said it was at the end of summer last year when Linkous also began to stop by.
The day before her husband was killed, he came in and told her Steinhauer was going to pick up Linkous and they were going to Otway. She said Gerald was in the garage at the time, though she didn’t see him. But her husband told her he was going out to the garage to talk with Gerald. About a half hour later, Lopez said her husband came in and told her he was leaving, and all three of the suspects in the Homicide were with him.
At one point during her testimony Kelly Lopez said she had suspected that her husband was trafficking in cocaine.
“I had suspected something but I didn’t ask any questions because I wasn’t a part of that,” Lopez said. “What he did with them was his business. I didn’t ask questions.”
Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor Pat Apel questioned Lopez.
“What brought those suspicions to your mind,”Apel asked. “Just how often they would come, and they wouldn’t stay very long?”
She said the next thing she heard was at 4 a.m. on March 7, 2012, when a deputy knocked on her door and asked her about a pickup truck. He told her to call Scioto County Sheriff’s Detective Jodi Conkel, which she did. Conkel also asked about the truck and asked if she had heard from her husband. She also asked what he was wearing, and Lopez told her.
Around 8:30 a.m. detectives came to her door and this time told her that her husband’s burned body had been found in a burned truck on Junior Furnace Powellsville Road in Franklin Furnace.
In his cross examination, defense attorney Scott Hicks of Lebanon, Ohio, asked if she had seen Gerald the day before the incident and she told him she had, but she said she had not seen Steinhauer or Linkous.
Among others who testified Monday were 911 dispatcher Debra Lindamood who gave a timeline of events from the time she received her first call which was at 8:11 p.m. the night Lopez was last seen. The Prosecution called the man who called in the truck fire, Jeff Huffman; Loren Oakes, who saw a car and a truck as he returned home from church, and his daughter, Amy Fraulini, who had seen a car and beyond that car, a truck almost on its side in a ditch. Green Township Fire Chief George Moore was called as to what he had witnessed when he arrived at the scene of the burning truck, and he told the jury the fire seemed to have started in the truck cab.
The day began with jury selection at 9 a.m. A jury was picked by 10:30 a.m., and attorneys for both sides then gave opening statements before breaking for lunch. It was a few minutes after 1 p.m. when Judge William T. Marshall, called the trial back into session, and the prosecution began calling witnesses.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org