Marietta Municipal Court Judge Janet Dyar Welch opted not to make a ruling on bond Wednesday for a Marietta resident being held on a low-level felony count of burglary after an argument that the bond was much too high.
Ira "David" Blair, 28, of 139 Groves Ave., has been held on $100,000 bond since being arrested April 2 after being found covered in blood in an upstairs bedroom of 423 Third St. by the building's owner, David Martin.
That same day a body was found in Blair's home and Marietta police are investigating the death as a homicide. Officers have declined to say whether there might be a connection between the two crimes.
The Marietta Times
Marietta resident Ira 'David' Blair, left, sits with his attorney Rolf Baumgartel during a preliminary hearing Wednesday on a fourth-degree felony count of burglary.
During a preliminary hearing Wednesday for Blair, his attorney said his bond was unusually high for the crime he was charged with.
"That is so far above what is typically set for a fourth-degree felony. Normally this type of offense is in the neighborhood of $5,000," argued Blair's attorney, Rolf Baumgartel.
However, Welch, who did not make the initial bond ruling, said she preferred to defer the issue of bond to Washington County Common Pleas Court.
About the case
- Ira "David" Blair, 28, of 139 Groves Ave., was arrested April 2 for burglary, a fourth-degree felony, after being found asleep and bleeding in an upstairs bedroom at 423 Third St.
- The same day, a body was found in Blair's home, prompting a homicide investigation by the Marietta Police Department.
- Marietta Police officers have declined to say whether there may be any connection between the two crimes.
- David Martin, the property owner at 423 Third St., testified that he checked on the property after receiving a voicemail April 2 warning him Trent Mason was selling drugs there.
- Martin testified he found the door frame to the second floor mutilated as if the door had been kicked in and subsequently found Blair asleep in his daughter's bedroom.
- While awaiting treatment for his injuries at Marietta Memorial Hospital, Blair told officers that he had been given permission to sleep at the residence by Martin's daughter, Ali Martin.
- Ali denied giving Blair permission and police could not find any indication in Ali's phone records to corroborate Blair's claim that he had called her.
- Ali Martin was arrested April 3 on three felony charges brought forth during a March indictment.
- Trent Mason was arrested April 3 on a probation violation.
- An investigation into the homicide is ongoing.
- Police now have the autopsy findings for Frank B. Stephens, 68, of 1001 Gilman Ave., but are declining to release them, citing the ongoing investigation.
"Let's call over there and make sure we get the ball rolling on that," she said.
Blair, who did not speak throughout the proceeding, is being accused of breaking into Martin's property sometime between the evening of April 1 and the morning of his arrest.
Martin's property used to house his full-time retail business and now acts as a music recording studio and residence for his daughter, he testified.
Though he regularly checked on the residence anyway, Martin testified he had been compelled to check the residence that morning because of a voicemail he received.
"There was a message on my answering machine that morning that Trent Mason was selling drugs on the second floor of my store," he said.
Martin said he had never heard Mason's name before, nor did he recognize the phone number or female voice that left the message.
A person at that phone number Wednesday said she did not wish to comment about the situation.
When Martin entered the residence, he found an adult male that he later identified as Blair, asleep and bleeding from the head on his daughter's futon.
Marietta Police Detective Ryan Huffman testified that he made contact with Blair at the hospital and Blair indicated he had received permission from Martin's daughter, 23-year-old Ali, to be in the residence.
"He advised he'd placed a call around 9:30 p.m. and received permission from her to sleep at 423 Third St.," said Huffman.
But David, who pays for Ali's cell phone, went through her phone records online in the presence of Huffman.
"I specifically looked for calls around 9:30 p.m. and there were no calls within a couple of hours of that both ways," said Huffman.
The detective and David Martin also testified that the door to the upstairs portion of the property appeared to be kicked in. Huffman said it showed a footprint with a tread similar to that he had seen in a photo of Blair's boot.
Huffman added that he had spoken to Ali Martin, who denied giving Blair permission to be in the residence, and Mason, who denied being in the residence.
Both Mason and Ali Martin were arrested on April 3. Martin was arrested on felony charges of theft, receiving stolen property and trafficking in drugs which stemmed from a March indictment. Mason, who was arrested on a probation violation, was indicted earlier in March for allegedly stockpiling ingredients to make methamphetamine.
Welch found that there was enough evidence to have Blair's burglary charge bound over to Washington County Common Pleas Court for possible indictment.
Marietta police are still investigating the death in Blair's home. Autopsy reports for Frank B. Stephens, 68, of 1001 Gilman Ave., have been completed. However, police are not releasing the findings pending the ongoing investigation.