Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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July 2, 2014

Warrant issued for man in connection with death at motel room

ASHLAND — Ashland Police Department has issued an arrest warrant in connection with a man’s death at a motel room on June 21.

The warrant charges Joe Bentley, 52, with first-degree manslaughter in the death of Russell Chandler, who was found dead in Room 247 of the Bluegrass Inn, 1835 Winchester Ave., 12 days ago, according to the APD.

Chandler had been living at the motel.

Boyd County Coroner Mark Hammond ruled Chandler, 52, had died of blunt-force head trauma.

An autopsy performed the day after his death at the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort revealed Chandler’s death was caused by a blow to the head resulting in a subdural hematoma, or brain hemorrhage, Hammond said.

There were unconfirmed reports Chandler was involved in a fight at the motel the night before his body was discovered.

Chandler’s body was lying in the floor of the motel room, according to the APD. “Victim appeared to have been deceased for some period of time,” the police report states.

The APD began the investigation and turned it over to the Criminal Investigations Section. Detective Richard Bohanon obtained information and evidence resulting in the warrant for Bentley’s arrest.

However, Bentley’s current whereabouts is unknown and the APD is asking for the public’s assistance in locating him.

Bentley is entered as wanted in NCIC and extradition is authorized.

Anyone with information on Bentley’s location is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency, the APD or call The Silent Witness line (606-329-1771).

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

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