UPDATE: Man pleads guilty to charges in murder of sex offender i - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Man pleads guilty to charges in murder of sex offender in Meigs County

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Wallace Chafin, victim Wallace Chafin, victim


According to the Meigs County Clerk Of Courts, Ryan Cozart entered a guilty plea Thursday, Jan. 30, in the Meigs County Common Pleas Court on the charges of involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, and robbery.

With all of these charges, Cozart will serve a consecutive 22 years in prison.  



Law enforcement officials identified the victim as 57-year-old Wallace Chafin of Pomeroy, Ohio.  It appears he was stabbed and assaulted, however the exact cause of death has not been released.

Three are charged in connection with Chafin's murder: Ryan Cozart of Racine, Ohio who is charged with the murder; Ariel Smith of Portland, Ohio and Sara Craig also of Portland, Ohio are both charged with complicity to commit murder.

Detectives report Chafin knew the trio but it is not clear what sort of relationship they had. Police believe the trio went to Chafin's room, stabbed and assaulted him and then stole his car.  Deputies arrived on scene after midnight.

About 1:50 a.m. Cozart and Craig returned to the hotel in the victim's car and were arrested.  Investigators later picked up Smith at a house in Portland.

The scene was described as gruesome and bloody.  It took detectives hours to check several locations including Meigs Motel room 22.  A motive has not been determined.

Wallace is listed as a sex offender in Ohio.  Investigators have not said whether or not his criminal past had anything to do with his murder.



According to Sheriff Keith Wood, two women and one man are in custody right now.

No charges have been filed yet.

We have learned the victim is from out of state but has apparently lived in the area for a while.  A cause of death has not been released.

Investigators are trying to track down the victim's family right now.

Investigators still have to serve a search warrant on a White Lincoln Town Car recovered at the crime scene,  a house and another car that's not on the Meigs Motel property.



Crime scene investigators are on the scene of an apparent homicide.  A man is dead, however his identification is not available until his next of kin can be notified.  Law enforcement officials say they are processing several crime scenes but the focus is on Room 22 in the Meigs Motel.

The prosecutor's office has assembled with the sheriff's office to sort out what charges will be filed.  No new information at this time on the three in custody or what led up to the man's death.

13 News has a crew on the scene.  Look for live updates on WOWK-TV 13 News.



The Meigs County, Ohio Sheriff's Office is investigating a homicide at the Meigs Motel in Pomeroy, according to authorities.

There, authorities found the body of an individual.  They believe foul play is involved.

It happened late Wednesday night.

Investigators said they are interviewing multiple people in connection with the homicide.

There is an active crime scene at the motel right now.

We have a crew on scene.  Stay with wowktv.com for the latest details on this developing story.



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