Charge upgraded to murder

LISBON — Robert E. Stevens was in court Thursday to face murder charges in the March home invasion beating death of 89-year-old Charles J. Travis.

Stevens, 49, of Fox Chase Road, was originally charged with felonious assault, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and tampering with evidence for entering Travis’ home on March 9 under false pretenses and then beating and robbing him of $300. Using a Federal Express delivery box, Stevens convinced Travis to open the door to his home on state Route 267, East Liverpool.

Travis was hospitalized and later transferred to the Calcutta Health Care Center, where he died on July 19 from injuries stemming from the assault. This resulted in murder charges being filed against Stevens last month.

Stevens pleaded not guilty to the murder charge during Thursday’s arraignment hearing in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court, and a status hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13. He remains in the county jail on $500,000 bond.