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Accused shooter indicted

LISBON — A Homeworth area man accused of murdering Ryan Virden in a Knox Township shooting incident in late March has been indicted by the Columbiana County Common Pleas Court grand jury this week.

Gary E. Joiner, 42, Homeworth Road, Homeworth, is now charged with two counts of aggravated murder and one count of murder, all unclassified felonies. He faces a possible 15 years to life in prison without the possibility of parole on each of those charges.

Additionally, Joiner is charged with two counts of aggravated burglary, both first-degree felonies; and two third-degree felony charges of having weapons while under disability and tampering with evidence. Joiner’s charges include a firearms specification.

Joiner was charged after deputies responded in the early morning hours of March 29 to the home on Homeworth Road, which was reportedly the address of Nicole Kenst and a place where Joiner previously had stayed. Virden was found in the bedroom shot in the chest.

Joiner had remained at the home when the shooting was reported and was taken into custody that night on a warrant for a prior domestic violence case involving him allegedly abusing Kenst earlier in March. Joiner’s bond is set at $1 million cash or surety.

At the time of the alleged burglary and shooting there were three people — Virden, Kenst and Michael Spencer — at the home. Additionally, court documents indicate Joiner was ineligible to legally carry a firearm at the time after a possession of drugs conviction from April of 2018 in Common Pleas Court.

Both Kenst and Spencer are considered witnesses and have been ordered by Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Washam to enter a recognizance bond of $100,000 each to ensure they appear for required court appearances.

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