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Fight over ‘phone numbers’ may have spurred fatal shooting of wife

The man charged with murdering his wife of seven months told police they got into an argument Sunday about “phone numbers” on her cell phone, according to the search warrants obtained by the Journal-News.

Middletown police located the cell phone on the roof of the home, right where Bobby Jo Nitz told police he threw it during the argument, the warrant stated.

Sometime after the argument, which began in the back yard and continued into the home in the 1200 block of Short Street, Nitz fatally shot his wife, Crista Nitz, 41, in the head, Middletown police said. Crista was discovering lying in the bathroom by her 11-year-old daughter.

POLICE: Man who allegedly shot and killed wife had no criminal past

Nitz, 45, then left the home on his motorcycle and headed toward Meigs County, about three hours from Middletown, police said.

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One of Nitz’s friends told police he received a text from Nitz that read: “I just killed my wife talk to you later.”

The friend thought the text was a joke, then he received the next text: “I kill her sorry,” according to the search warrant.

Later, police received a tip that Nitz was riding to Meigs County to kill a deputy who works in the jail, the search warrant said.

When police searched the residence, they found two guns in the residence and blood in several rooms inside the house, according to the search warrant.

Nitz appeared in Middletown Municipal Court on Wednesday morning and visiting Judge Robert Taylor set his bond at $1 million, either cash or surety, and no 10 percent.

Throughout the 10-minute hearing, Nitz, dressed in a jail jumpsuit, looked over at his family and friends who sat in the front row of the court room.

He told Judge Taylor that he needed a court-appointed attorney. His preliminary hearing was set for next week.

The judge asked the city prosecutor Ashley Bretland if she had any recommendations for bond and she said “high” because Nitz fled Middletown on his motorcycle after allegedly killing his wife and when he was located in Meigs County, he was in possession of a gun.

Middletown police said they don’t know if the gun was the murder weapon Nitz allegedly used.

Nitz was located on his motorcycle Sunday night, and when officers there tried to pull him over, he fled, said Maj. Scott Trussell from the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office. A 3-mile chase ensured and Nitz was pulled over and charged with fleeing.

He then was transported back to Middletown.

When the bond was discussed, Nitz told the judge he had never been in trouble before except for fighting in Meigs County. According to Meigs County court records, Nitz has been arrested and charged there numerous times for domestic violence, disorderly conduct/intoxication, and passing bad checks.

Bobby Nitz’s relatives declined to comment as they left the courtroom.

Nitz remains in the city jail, according to records.

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