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UPDATE: Union City teen faces murder charges

CELINA — An 18-year-old Union City man faces 27 charges in connection with the November 2011 murders of Robert and Colleen Grube.

Trevor-Sanders-Mug

SANDERS

Trevin M. Sanders has been incarcerated at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City since the fall for an unrelated crime. He will be brought to Mercer County in the coming days.

Legal proceedings for Sanders must begin in juvenile court because he was 17 when 70-year-old Robert Grube and his 47-year-old daughter were shot to death at their Burrville Road home east of Fort Recovery. Both had been bound with duct tape. A relative who went to the Grube home the morning of Nov. 30, 2011, found their bodies in the living room — Robert in his wheelchair and Colleen on a nearby couch.

Sanders has been charged with multiple counts of aggravated murder and murder, kidnapping, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, burglary and theft. All charges carry firearm specification.

The charges, prepared by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, allege that Sanders, identified in court records as a delinquent child, committed the crimes “purposely and with prior calculation and design.”

If a decision is made to try Sanders as an adult, the case would go before a grand jury and then be handled in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

“The investigation is still continuing,” Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said at his 9 a.m. press conference today. “There is the possibility of more charges in the future and the possibility of new people in the future.”

Also arrested in connection with the murders was Bryant Rhoades, 22, of rural Union City. He was taken into custody about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at his home on a warrant charging him with obstructing official business.

Additional tips have come in since Tuesday’s announcement. The sheriff urged anyone with information about the case to contact his office at www.mercercountysheriff.org or call the tip line at 567-890-TIPS (8477).

“We don’t want anyone to walk away that was there,” Grey added.

Based on DNA found at the scene, authorities know at least two people — a man and a woman — were present in the Grube home at the time of the murders.

It is believed the perpetrators entered the home through an unlocked door or were admitted inside. 

Grey-press-conferenceDaily Standard Photo/Mark Pummell

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey makes the announcement of two arrests in the 16-month murder investigation of Robert and Colleen Grube of rural Fort Recovery during a press conference Tuesday morning. The poster kicked off a statewide initiative spearheaded by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to bring those involved in unsolved murders to justice. To watch Grey’s press conference, go to www.dailystandard.com 

The theft and burglary charges support earlier statements that the home was ransacked. The charges do not mention what was removed from the home, but investigators previously identified a laptop among the items missing.

Officers contend the crimes were not a random act, calling the Grubes “unlikely” victims given their quiet lifestyle.

Colleen Grube, the oldest of Robert’s five children, previously worked as a nanny in New Jersey. She moved home in 2001 while recovering from a stroke she suffered the previous year.

Their roles changed when her father, a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam Era, suffered a stroke in 2005. More strokes left him weakened and in need of a wheelchair.

Grey said any further information regarding the Grube case must come from Mercer County Prosecutor Matt Fox.

$3.5M bond set for man tied to murders

CELINA — One of two people charged in connection with the November 2011 murders of Robert and Colleen Grube appeared Tuesday afternoon in Celina Municipal Court.

Bryant L. Rhoades, 22, was arrested Tuesday morning at his home near Union City in rural Darke County. He faces a charge of obstructing official business, a third-degree felony. The offense, normally a misdemeanor, was classified as a felony due to its connection with a murder.

Rhoades courtappearanceDaily Standard Photo/Mark Pummell

Bryant L. Rhoades, who is charged with obstructing justice in connection with the November 2011 murders of Robert and Colleen Grube, looks on during his preliminary appearance Tuesday in Celina Municipal Court.

Mercer County Prosecutor Matt Fox requested a $1 million cash bond with no 10 percent provision, citing the seriousness of the alleged crime, the defendant’s criminal history and his failure to remain in contact with probation officers as directed.

“I understand the allegations and stuff, but it typically was just lying,” Rhoades said in court. “I’m not running nowhere ... I’m not trying to get out of nothing.”

The defendant, dressed in a jail-issued orange jumpsuit and shackled about the wrists and ankles, stated he had hoped to be released on his own recognizance so he could go home and take care of some business.

“I don’t see why bond is so high,” he said.

Judge James Scheer, commenting the case is the most serious he has handled in more than two decades on the bench, set bond at $3.5 million subject to 10 percent. Rhoades must post $350,000 to be released.

Scheer found the defendant, who is not employed, eligible for a court-appointed attorney but declined to name one immediately. He said he wants to check who is representing the other person arrested in connection with the case before making an appointment.

A preliminary hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to present the case to a grand jury has not been set. A grand jury could indict Rhoades on the same charge or other charges.

The obstructing business charge stems from a June 4, 2012, interview regarding the Grube murders. Rhoades allegedly told officers about meeting a woman the night of the Nov. 29, 2011, murders. He took investigators to her trailer at the Broadway Mobile Home Court in Fort Recovery. Court paperwork indicates the occupant at that location is a man.

Rhoades’ name surfaced early in the investigation when Jay County, Ind., authorities contacted the Mercer County Sheriff’s office regarding suspicious information they uncovered while investigating another case in their jurisdiction. They reportedly said some of the details might be linked to the Grube case. Local detectives, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification agents and Indiana authorities accompanied Darke County sheriff’s deputies to a home where Rhoades resided with two other people.

On Jan. 4, 2012, Rhoades and four other people — three men and a woman — were arrested following the discovery of an active methamphetamine lab.

Rhoades was convicted of illegal manufacture of drugs in 2012, drug abuse and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2010 and theft/grand theft of a motor vehicle in 2009.

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