$500K bond for suspect in elderly beating case

EAST LIVERPOOL — The Liverpool Township man accused in the Friday home invasion that left an 89-year-old Glenmoor man critically injured had his bond set at $500,000 cash or surety in East Liverpool Municipal Court Monday.

Appearing by video arraignment from the county jail before Judge Melissa Byers Emmerling on a charge of tampering with evidence, Robert E. Stevens, 48, 1211 Fox Chase Road, had a preliminary hearing set for March 15. He was ordered to have no contact with the residence at 16871 state Route 267 (Lisbon Street), where the alleged crime took place, or any resident there.

A public defender was assigned to the case after Stevens reported no source of income other than Social Security disability and food stamps.

Meanwhile, police reports contained in the court docket shed some additional light on the incident, including the identity of the victim, Charles Travis, who remains in critical condition at a Pittsburgh hospital where he was flown by medical helicopter.

According to reports, Travis’ daughter told police he had tried to call her 10 or 12 times around 1 p.m. Friday and that was why she went to check on him at his home, where she found him lying on the floor in a room next to the kitchen and called police.

Officers reported finding Travis with severe injuries to his face and covered with blood and said he told them two men had come to his door, saying they had a package for him for which he had to sign, which is why he opened the door for them.

After Travis opened the door, he told police, the first man started attacking and choking him. He was able to describe his assailant as white, tall, skinny, dirty and unshaven and the clothing he was wearing.

Travis told police he was unable to describe the second male due to the attack, according to the police report.

His daughter had found his wallet and asked her father if anything was missing from it. He told her he had about $300 in the wallet, which was gone, police reported. Nothing else appeared to be missing from the home, Travis’ daughter reported.

Currently, Stevens is the only person charged in the case, and St. Clair Township police Chief Brian McKenzie was asked Monday if investigators are actively searching for a second suspect.

He said all the evidence collected, which includes video footage, showed only one person involved in the incident, pointing out, “The victim took a severe beating,” saying he believes they have the only person involved in custody.

Stevens faces additional charges in the case, and reports noted that, while being questioned by detectives with the county homicide task force, he admitted to the crime, also admitting to burning the clothing he was wearing during the incident, which had blood on them, and other forms of evidence.