WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Braceville man accused of a Warren murder went before a judge Friday.
Walter Toles, 54, was indicted by a Trumbull County grand jury Thursday on charges in the stabbing death of 27-year-old Marlon Smith.
Smith died of a stab wound to the neck, according to the Trumbull County Coroner’s Office.
Police were initially called to Smith’s home on Oriole Place SW around 1:45 p.m. Monday after Smith’s mother found him dead. She hadn’t heard from him since 10 p.m. the night before.
Detectives say Toles and Smith knew each other.
Police said evidence at the crime scene led detectives to Toles’ home in Braceville. According to an affidavit for a search warrant, Smith’s cell phone was missing from the murder scene, but Toles’ driver’s license and an “Ohio corrections card” belonging to Toles were found in the couch where Smith’s body was found.
When detectives went to Toles’ home in Braceville Township, they called the victim’s cell phone and reported hearing the ring, according to the affidavit.
Police took Toles into custody, and they reported finding the victim’s cell phone, a screwdriver and a folding knife during a pat-down search. Police reported that Toles had what appeared to be blood on his jacket and pants pocket.
Toles told police that he went to Smith’s home and found him dead, according to the affidavit. He reportedly told officers that he took Smith’s cell phone, but he denied killing him.
During a search of Toles’ home, police took a used condom from one of the bedrooms.
In court Friday morning, Judge Ronald Rice denied bond for Toles, citing more than a dozen previous convictions and a history of drug use.
“Unfortunately, he didn’t learn his lesson any of those previous times, and now he’s gone into much worse things, and unfortunately has caused the death of an innocent person,” said Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker.
Toles is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on February 27. If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.