UPDATE: January trial now set for suspect in Patsy Sparks murder

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) Update: 9/25/2018 5:20 P.M.

Randy Slider, charged in the 1992 murder of Marietta resident Patsy Sparks, appears in a hearing in Noble County Court on Sept. 25, 2018.
Randy Slider, charged in the 1992 murder of Marietta resident Patsy Sparks, appears in a hearing in Noble County Court on Sept. 25, 2018.

The trial of a man accused in a 26-year old murder case is scheduled to begin in early 2019.

A pre-trial hearing was held Tuesday, for Randy Slider, the accused killer of Patsy Sparks.

Special Prosecutor Dan Kasaris said in court Tuesday Slider has previous convictions-some of which he admitted to-involving crimes against women.

Slider's attorney, Jack Blakeslee, argued those convictions should not be brought up at his upcoming murder trial.

But the state said they provide a pattern of behavior, with similarities to Sparks' disappearance in 1992 and her death.

"With these eight women, you have very similar facts," Kasaris told Judge John Nau, "very similar fact pattern and very similar product of the defendant."

"The jury's going to conclude that, 'yeah he done all that other stuff, then he's probably done this, too'", Blakeslee countered.

Kasaris said the incidents in question happened in the 1990's and 2000's. None involved deaths, but all, according to prosecutors, involved the victims being taken to a remote area, beaten, and, in some instances, the commission of sexual offenses.

Sparks body was found in a remote area of Noble County in 1994, two and a half years after her disappearance.

A coroner's report said she suffered a broken jaw and a fractured skull.

Other evidence the state intends to present at Slider's trial includes photos of Sparks, including autopsy and crime scene photos, and phone records.

Slider's trial date was set for January 28th, and another hearing is set for November 20th.


UPDATE: 6/13/2018, 5:00 P.M.

The trial date has been changed for a man charged with murder in the 1992 death of a Marietta woman.

In February, 2018, Randy Slider, 56, pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated murder and one count of murder in the death of Patsy Sparks, of Marietta.

Authorities say Sparks was last seen in Parkersburg on April 22, 1992, when Slider offered her a ride to a bar in Marietta. Sparks' remains were found in Noble County, Ohio two years later.

At Wednesday's pre-trial hearing in Noble County Court, Judge John Nau changed the date of Slider's murder trial, which was previously set for July 16.

Judge Nau set a new pre-trial motions hearing for September 25.

The new trial date for Slider has not yet been announced.

Slider is currently serving a 40-year prison term at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution in Ohio on separate kidnapping, robbery, and sexual assault charges in Clermont and Hamilton counties.


UPDATE: 2/13/18 10:50 A.M.

A suspect in the killing of a Marietta woman in the early 1990s pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to multiple counts of murder.

Randy Slider, 56, entered the plea in Noble County Common Pleas Court before Judge John Nau, who set a trial date for July 16.

Nau also issued a gag order in the case that prevents attorneys and other court officials from publicly discussing the case.

A Noble County grand jury indicted Slider in January on three counts of aggravated murder and one count of murder in the death of Patsy Sparks, who authorities say was last seen in Parkersburg on April 22, 1992, when Slider offered her a ride to a bar in Marietta.

She remained missing until hunters round her remains in a wooded area in Noble County in 1994.

Slider, formerly of Marietta, is currently serving a 40-year prison term on separate kidnapping, robbery, and sexual assault charges in Clermont and Hamilton counties.

He's being held at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution.

Tuesday's arraignment hearing originally was scheduled for Wednesday morning but was moved up a day.


Update: 1/24/2018 10:00 A.M.

Randy Slider, 56, who was indicted on Friday, January 19, for the 1992 death of Patsy Sparks, is scheduled to be arraigned February 14 before Noble County Common Pleas Judge John Nau.


UPDATE: 1/23/2018 11:00 A.M.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that a Washington County man has been charged with killing a Marietta woman in 1992.

A Noble County Grand Jury indicted Randy Slider, 56, on Friday, January 19, on three counts of Aggravated Murder and one count of Murder for the 1992 death of Patsy Sparks.

The charges relate to the 1992 killing of Patsy Sparks. Sparks was last seen in Parkersburg, West Virginia on April 22, 1992, when Slider offered her a ride to a bar in Marietta. She was missing until hunters discovered her remains in a wooded area in Noble County in 1994. Slider, formerly of Marietta, is currently serving a 40-year prison term on separate kidnapping, robbery, and sexual assault charges in Clermont and Hamilton counties.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office cold case squad led the investigation with assistance from the Attorney General's Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The Parkersburg Police Department, the Noble County Sheriff's Office, the West Virginia State Police, the Marietta Police Department, and the FBI Crime Lab also assisted with the case. At the request of the Noble County Prosecutor, attorneys from the Ohio Attorney General's Office Special Prosecution section are prosecuting the case.

An arraignment date is pending.


9/1/2016

More than 24 years after her disappearance, the Patsy Sparks homicide case is being re-opened.

The Washington County Cold Case Unit says with recent success in both the Pat Arnold and Ray Clark investigations, they feel they can continue solving even more cold case files.

The unit is made up of five individuals, all of which will work on this case until it's solved.

The family says they're elated and grateful the case getting re-opened.

"Somebody that doesn't have this kind of thing happen to them really doesn't understand how much it changes. I was only fourteen when this happened, so it changed my whole outlook. Knowing that somebody got away with that is a really hard pill to swallow," says a cousin of Patsy Sparks, Jessica Whipkey.

The investigators will review the case and come together with a strategy to find justice for Patsy Sparks.




 
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