MOUNT VERNON – The Knox County Grand Jury indicted Travis Bonham on two counts of aggravated murder for the killings of his mother, Sandra Stelk, and his girlfriend, Jaime Linn Barber. The Grand Jury also indicted Bonham for theft of a firearm, tampering with evidence, and having a weapon under disability. The Grand Jury also indicted Ashli Price, 29, of Mount Vernon, for Obstructing Justice, a third-degree felony, for knowingly harboring Bonham for several days following the murders. According to Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville, the Grand Jury met for about three and a half hours hearing evidence and deliberating on the cases.
The indictment alleges that Bonham purposely killed his mother and girlfriend while “under detention.” McConville explained that under Ohio law, a person who is on post-release control or parole supervision is considered to be under detention for the purposes of aggravated murder, even though they are not in custody. Each charge of aggravated murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole. “The Grand Jury did not indict this case with a death penalty specification,” McConville said. As previously reported, Bonham confessed to shooting both women with a pistol while high on bath salts. Each aggravated murder charge also has a firearm specification which carries a mandatory three-year prison term to be served prior to other terms.
Travis Bonham - Knox County jail photo
In addition to the murders, Bonham has been charged with theft of a firearm, a third degree felony, for removing the pistol, which belonged to Stelk, from the residence. He also faces a charge of having a weapon under disability, also a third-degree felony. Bonham has prior felony domestic violence convictions which prevent him from legally possessing a firearm. Finally, Bonham has been charged with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, for destroying a cell phone he was carrying after the murders. Law enforcement had been pinging the phone to attempt to find Bonham’s location.
Ashli Price - file photo
Ashli Price faces a prison term of up to 36 months on the Obstructing Justice charge. Arraignments will likely occur in the Knox County Court of Common Pleas later this week.