Two individuals have been charged in connection with the apparent beating death of an Albany area man during a robbery attempt. The man was found dead at his home Saturday morning.
According to a news release from state Attorney General Richard Cordray's office, Trinity "Ty" Whitcraft, 29, has been charged with one count of murder, while Nichol Lafleur, 23, has been charged with one count of aggravated burglary. Whitcraft and Lafleur, both of Albany, were arrested in the early morning hours on Thursday and have been taken into custody by the Meigs County Sheriff's Office, the release said.
Investigators believe Whitcraft and Lafleur intended to rob 65 year-old Winfield Hardiman, the release said. Hardiman was found dead outside his Darst Road home in Meigs County Saturday by an acquaintance who had stopped to check on the man after being unable to reach him. An autopsy determined that Hardiman died of blunt-force trauma, the AG's release said.
Whitcraft and Lafleur were identified as suspects after a debit card belonging to Hardiman was used multiple times in the Albany area after his death, according to the release.
Further information about scheduled court appearances for Whitcraft and Lafleur will be issued at a later time by the Meigs County Prosecutor's Office.
The arrests were officially announced by AG Cordray and the state Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, along with Meigs County Sheriff Robert Beegle and Meigs County Prosecutor Colleen Williams. The Meigs County authorities had requested aid from the state agencies in investigating the murder.