Witness: Murder suspect said, ‘I’ll take care of this’ and then pulled out knife

The case involving a Middletown man charged with murder was bond over to a Butler County grand jury Monday afternoon by Middletown Municipal Court Judge James Sherron.

James Ray Carroll, 39, is charged with murder, tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, receiving stolen property and failure to report a crime of death. At his preliminary hearing, Sherron kept Carroll’s bond at $1.2 million.

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Throughout the hearing, Carroll sat silent and only shook his head a few times as Detective Steve Winters testified about the case. Winters said he believes Carroll stabbed Lawrence Kinzel, 46, of Chicago, around 12:30 a.m. Nov. 18 at the intersection of Lefferson Road and Sheffield Street after an argument.

Kinzel suffered a stab wound and his death has been ruled a homicide, according to the Butler County Coroner’s office.

Winters testified police have been unable to find a murder weapon, described as a 12- to 16-inch knife.

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Carroll and a woman were in a vehicle when Kinzel knocked out a window, police said. Carroll then reached into a bag in the back seat, grabbed a knife and stepped out of the vehicle, a witness told police.

Carroll allegedly told the woman: “I’ll take care of this,” according to Winters.

A few minutes later, he got back into the car and asked her, “What side is the heart on?” Winters testified.

The woman told police the knife was covered with blood, according to Winters.

Carroll later stole a car in the parking lot of Save-A-Lot at 4525 Roosevelt Blvd. The owner, who was in the store shopping for Thanksgiving groceries, had left her keys in the car, she told the Journal-News earlier.

After stealing the vehicle, Carroll was discovered hiding in a closet at a Central Avenue residence and police were told by witnesses that he washed his clothes and shoes to remove any possible DNA, according to the police report.

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