ASHVILLE - Officers from the Ashville Police Department responded to reports of suicidal threats Monday and ended up nabbing a Franklin County murder suspect.
Todd Charles is currently in the custody of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, charged with aggravated murder in the shooting death of John A. Emmers in Truro Township near Reynoldsburg on Monday.
According to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Charles was quickly identified as the suspected shooter in the case in which Emmers, 24, was found dead inside his Chatterton Road apartment by his girlfriend about 5:33 p.m. Monday when she returned home from work.
The body had not yet been discovered, however, at the time Ashville Police were dispatched to a home on Jamison Road about 4 p.m. Monday on reports of the homeowner's adult son threatening suicide and a firearm missing from the residence, according to Chief Doug Clark.
As Officer Don Mayse was standing in the driveway completing his report, Clark said they spotted the subject, identified as Charles, driving up the street toward the house. The vehicle suddenly changed direction, however, and went down a side street, then back out onto Ashville PIke.
Clark said Mayse located the vehicle in the parking lot at The Savings Bank on state Route 752, but no one was inside. Mayse then walked across the street to the Marathon gas station and discovered Charles standing inside.
Knowing there was still a firearm unaccounted for, Clark said Mayse asked Charles to step outside, where he placed him in handcuffs while assessing the wellbeing of Charles, as well as everyone inside the store. Charles then agreed to be transported by Harrison Township EMS to Berger Hospital for evaluation regarding the suicidal threats.
Once the body was discovered in Columbus and police made the connection between their prime suspect and his relatives in Pickaway County, Clark said they realized it was the same person they had transported to Berger Hospital for evaluation.
Officers from Ashville, Circleville and the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office then converged on Berger Hospital and awaited deputies from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, who arrived and took Charles into custody.
Clark said the missing weapon was located in the trunk of the vehicle Charles had parked in the Savings Bank parking lot in Ashville. It and the vehicle also were taken as evidence by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.
Charles currently is charged with aggravated murder, but additional charges are expected, according to Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott. He is being held in the Franklin County Jail.