UPDATE: Man Pleads Guilty in Morgan County Burning Body Case

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UPDATE 2/27/2014 12:35 PM

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio murder suspect who opened his trial acting as his own attorney changed his mind and pleaded guilty.

One day into his aggravated murder trial in Zanesville, Shaquille Davis pleaded guilty Wednesday to a reduced charge of murder with a gun specification, as well as one count each of abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

He faces a life sentence without parole eligibility for 20 years when he is sentenced later.

The 20-year-old man opened his trial this week telling jurors that he shot his 24-year-old cousin, Phillip Kimbro Jr., in July to stop him but not kill him. He said Kimbro was intoxicated when he was dropped off at Davis' house and quickly became aggressive.

Prosecutors have said Phillip Kimbro, Jr. was killed in Muskingum County, and the body taken to Morgan County, where it was found in July 2013.

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Update: 08/15/2013

Five people have now been indicted by a Muskingum County Grand Jury, after last month's discovery of a burned body in Morgan County.

Prosecutor Michael Haddox says the indictments were announced Wednesday.

Shaquille Davis of Zanesville, who was taken into custody last week, was charged with one count of aggravated murder with a firearms specification, three counts of tampering with evidence and one count of abuse of a corpse.

Tiffany Ellen Peace and Marcia Harris have been charged with two counts of tampering with evidence, three counts of obstruction of justice and one count of abuse of a corpse.

Billy Harris, identified as Marcia Harris mother, has been indicted on one count of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstruction of justice.

Samantha Drabik was charged with one count of obstruction of justice.

Prosecutor Haddix says Phillip Kimbro, Jr. was killed in Muskingum County, and the body taken to Morgan County, where it was found July 25th.

Trial dates for the five have not yet been set.


UPDATE: 08/06/2013 2:02 PM

A Zanesville man charged in connection with a body found late last month in Morgan County is in custody.

Muskingum County Prosecutor Mike Haddox says Shaquille Davis, 19, has been charged with the murder of Phillip Kimbro Jr.

Haddox says Davis was arrested Wednesday.

Davis faces one count of aggravated murder with a gun. Haddox says Davis and Kimbro were first cousins, but adds the motive is unknown.

He was arraigned Thursday morning in Muskingum County Municipal Court. Haddox tells WTAP Davis is being held on $1 million bond.

His case is to be presented next Wednesday to the Muskingum County Grand Jury.

Nearly two weeks ago Kimbro's dead body was found burning on County Road 15 in Morgan County.

UPDATE: 7/30/2013 6:05 PM

Police release the name of the dead body left burning on the side of a remote Morgan County road.

The Morgan County Sheriffs Office responded to the call last week Thursday.

24-year-old Phillip Lawrence Kimbro Jr. has been identified as the burning body.

He lived in Lorain, Ohio.

He was found on the side of County Road 15, near State Route 555.

The investigation continues.

A burned body is found on the side of a Morgan County road four days ago. While police continue to investigate what happened, people in the area are speaking out about concern for their safety.

"That's the first time I've heard anything about it." Debbie's talking about a burned body dumped along side of a Morgan County Road.

On Thursday, July 25th, The Morgan County Sheriff's Office was called to the scene on County Road 15 in Union Township.

Debbie moved to the area four years ago, but says if she knew this kind of stuff happened often, she would have never moved. "I'm from Oklahoma and I've seen a lot happen down there but this little town's getting worse every day and it's scary."

Even scarier to some who live in McConnelsville is the lack of information available when crimes like this happen.

Dayle Silvus says, "I really don't know anything about it. All I know is it's a sad situation."

Police are still searching for answers in the crime. They were able to positively identify the man through fingerprints, although his name isn't being released.

"It's scary, don't get me wrong, because you can't trust nobody around here anymore. You can't leave your doors unlocked because you never know," Debbie adds.

And residents are still searching for answers on their safety and peace of mind.

"I'm concerned about things that's happening in our little village. Things are being done but it seems like they can't catch anyone," Silvus says.

The BCI is helping in the investigation. They took samples of DNA evidence on scene as well as tests to see if any accelerant, and what kind was used.

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