Murder suspect appears in court
LISBON — Kevin E. Kirby, the man accused in the 2012 slaying of Melinda Todd and severe injuries to her young grandson, appeared Thursday before Common Pleas Court Judge Megan Bickerton for video arraignment from the county jail.
At the age of 43, Todd 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 had severe head injuries but survived the ordeal, going through multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy.
On Thursday, the 44-year-old Kirby, of Chestnut Street, Lisbon, pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated murder relating to Todd’s death, attempted murder for the injuries to Cole Reed and tampering with evidence. The aggravated murder charges are unclassified felonies, which can carry a 15 years to life sentence. The attempted murder charge, a first-degree felony, can carry a maximum sentence of 11 years.
Kirby was found to be indigent and was appointed two defense attorneys — James Wise and Kelly Linger — through the Criminal Defense League.
Chief Assistant County Prosecutor John Gamble requested Kirby’s bond remains at $1 million cash or surety due to the circumstances regarding the case and for his record, which includes prior violent felony convictions. Bickerton said she would address any requests for changes to the bond at the next hearing.
Kirby has been serving prison time at the Belmont Correctional Institution from an unrelated case. In April, he was sentenced to nine months in prison for charges of workers’ compensation fraud, theft and 11 counts of tampering with evidence.
He was returned to Columbiana County earlier this week for the arraignment and Bickerton ordered him to remain here instead of being returned to Belmont at least until after his pretrial hearing, which is scheduled for Nov. 18.