No bond for man charged in neighbor’s killing; 911 caller says victim’s political beliefs behind it

Charges were upped by Butler County grand jury.

Credit: Butler County Jail

Credit: Butler County Jail

A Morgan Twp. man charged with aggravated murder for allegedly shooting and killing of his neighbor in Okeana earlier this month is now being held without bond.

Austin Gene Combs, 26, was booked into the Butler County Jail on Nov. 5 and charged with murder. Bond was later set at $950,000 during a video arraignment.

Last week, a Butler County grand jury returned an indictment the upped the charge against Combs to aggravated murder with a gun specification.

Anthony Lee King, 43, died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

On Monday, Combs was arraigned by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster Jr. on the indicted charge and ordered to be held without bond until a hearing on Nov. 21 when attorneys may address bond.

Combs admitted to shooting and killing King in the yard of his Chapel Road residence, according to court documents.

According to sheriff’s office investigators, Combs admitted to shooting King “several times with a revolver.”

Video was also obtained, confirming statements by Combs and witnesses, the court documents say.

Combs was taken into custody after deputies were called for a shooting at 11:46 a.m. and found King dead outside, according to the sheriff’s office.

Family members called 911 after hearing shots and finding King in the backyard unresponsive and bleeding. A family member told the dispatcher a neighbor had confronted King before about perceived political affiliation.

“My neighbor just shot my dad,” a male tells dispatchers.

The suspect, “just walked back onto his property,” he tells the dispatcher.

According to the son, the neighbor “has come over multiple times making statements. He’s insane.”

The caller’s mother was sobbing in the background, and the dispatcher told them to stay inside and keep the doors locked.

The victim’s wife then told the dispatcher they were cutting grass and working in the yard when she came inside to let the dog out. That’s when she heard gunshots, she said.

“I look in the backyard and that man is walking away from my husband, and my husband is on the ground,” the woman said. “He has come over like four times confronting my husband because he thought he was a Democrat. Why, why … Please, I don’t understand.”

Combs was taken into custody in a Jeep on Ohio 126, west of Chapel Road. Both Combs and his father were in the vehicle.

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