CIRCLEVILLE — A $1 million bond has been set for a Circleville man accused of murder.
Gregory A. Hardman, 33, of Circleville was arraigned via videoconference in Circleville Municipal Court on an aggravated murder charge, a felony of the first degree. Hardman is accused of the death of Raymond Dixon, 57, of Circleville.
According to the probable cause affidavit prepared by a detective with the Circleville Police Department, first responders arrived at 205 W. Main St. Apartment 3 in Circleville just after 8 p.m. Monday night to complaints of the smell of smoke.
It was there that first responders found Dixon, who was then transferred to OhioHealth Berger Hospital before being flown to Columbus to be treated at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dixon would later die at the hospital.
According to the affidavit, Circleville Police found fingerprints and handprints at the scene and while investigating they also found a wooden club. During a canvas of the neighborhood, officers received several names of potential suspects, including Hardman.
Circleville Police then received a phone call from someone who said they were with Hardman who had confessed to killing Dixon.
Officers located Hardman at the scene on South Scioto Street and took him back to the police station for questioning.
According to the affidavit, during that interview Hardman confessed to hitting Dixon in the head with the club found at the scene and told police he was there to kill another person Richard Greeno, but killed Dixon by accident.
Hardman reportedly hit Dixon three to four times and then put a plastic bag over his head before lighting a towel on fire in an effort to hide the evidence by destroying the apartment. Hardman told police he then climbed out a window and ran away from the apartment and then changed his clothes. Before returning to the scene, Hardman told police he disposed of his clothes in a creek off of East Main Street, which were later found.
At that time, Circleville Police arrested Hardman and charged him with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony. The charge has a maximum penalty of death or life imprisonment and a $25,000 fine.
In addition to those charges, Circleville Police believe that additional charges are coming from the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office for arson.
In addition to the Circleville Police and Fire Departments, The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI), the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Fairfield-Athens Major Crimes Unit also assisted at the case.
Hardman also is facing an additional burglary charge, a third-degree felony, from an incident on Sept. 9 and is due to be back in court on Sept. 25. He’s currently in custody at the Pickaway County Jail.
Hardman’s preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 3 at 3 p.m.
The case still remains under investigation.