Testimony continues with end near in Kent murder case

John Fox

John Fox

Hilary Crisan

The motion to suppress evidence in the case of John Fox versus the state of Ohio continued Tuesday. The motion, if granted, will make evidence found in Fox’s apartment, cell phone and the car of victim Justin Earley unusable in Fox’s trial.

The case started when Alliance man Justin Earley went missing in January. Later that month, Earley’s body was found in Fox’s East Main Street apartment. The defense claimed a search by police prior to a granted search warrant happened in the apartment.

Detective Lieutenant Gregory Johnson, who previously testified Oct. 8, continued his testimony during the hearing Tuesday in Judge Laurie Pittman’s courtroom in the Portage County Court of Common Pleas. In Johnson’s past testimony, he said he went with Alliance police to interview Fox while he was working at SealMaster, a rubber parts manufacturer in Kent.

Johnson said Alliance police questioned Fox because of an advertisement he posted on Craigslist to sell Earley’s car and about Fox’s communication with Earley the day he disappeared.

Johnson said he and Alliance police also went to Fox’s apartment complex after the interview but did not authorize any officers to enter Fox’s apartment without a search warrant. Johnson also said he sent two deputies to Fox’s apartment to identify people who were coming in and out of the complex.

After writing an affidavit and obtaining a warrant, Johnson and Alliance police searched Fox’s apartment, cell phone and Earley’s car. The Earley’s body was found in the apartment.

The motion hearings will continue tomorrow, Oct. 15, at 8:30 a.m. After a discussion about the witnesses will appear in court tomorrow, the defense, prosecution and Judge Laurie Pittman concluded that there is a possibility the motion hearings may come to a close. However, no date has been set for a ruling on the motion. 

Contact Hilary Crisan at [email protected].