Three indicted in connection to Meigs County murder

POMEROY, Ohio – Three people charged in connection with the murder of a 57-year-old man were indicted Friday by the Meigs County Grand Jury.

Meigs County Sheriff Craig Wood said Wallace R. Chafin, of Pomeroy, was found dead in a motel room after officers responded to a disturbance call shortly after midnight on May 9.

Later in the day of May 9, deputies arrested Ryan A. Cozart, 32, 108 Elm St., Racine, Ohio, and Sara Craig, 32, 31090 Durst Ridge Road, Portland, Ohio, as they returned to the murder scene in Chafin’s car that morning.

Ariel Smith, 22, 33529 Bailey Run Road, Pomeroy, Ohio, was arrested at home later in the day.

Cozart was indicted on charges of aggravated murder, a special felony, tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.

Smith was indicted on charges of felonious assault, a second-degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

Craig was indicted on charges of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, obstructing official business, a fifth-degree felony, and receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony.

They are scheduled to appear in Meigs County Common Pleas Court at 9:15 a.m. Monday for arraignment.

Detectives report Chafin knew the trio. Wood said Chafin was a registered sex offender and confirmed previous drug and criminal charges against Cozart and Craig.

Craig was on house arrest stemming from meth charges earlier this year in Meigs County. Investigators said Craig severed the house arrest bracelet at her home.

In 2007, Cozart was arrested in Washington County on drug possession charges. In 2008, he was arrested and arraigned on an aggravated robbery charge. He was accused of robbing a convenience store while brandishing a knife. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to attempted tampering with evidence. Cozart also is identified as the lead singer and guitarist for hard rock metal band Into the Further.