Suspect Pleads Innocent To Homicide

WAPAKONETA — A Celina man pleaded innocent Friday morning to an aggravated murder charge in connection with a decades old homicide.

Tracy W. Mabry, 51, 8673 U.S. 33, Celina, appeared in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court for his arraignment hearing — a little more than a week after his arrest on one count of aggravated murder in  connection with the 1981 death of Marcellus Reineke of St. Marys.

Visiting Judge Reginald Routson — a Common Pleas judge from Hancock County — was appointed to take over the case after Auglaize County Common Pleas Court Judge Frederick Pepple stepped down to avoid any possible conflict of interest. Pepple served as county prosecutor at the time of Reineke’s death.

Mabry, who appeared without counsel, indicated his desire to hire an attorney on his own. Routson said he would give him until May 22 to make arrangements. If Mabry is unable to secure representation at the time, Routson said he would appointment a public defender to serve as Mabry’s defense counsel in the case. Routson continued Mabry’s bond, which was set at  $1 million cash.

Mabry is the second person charged in Reineke’s death. Paul Hoover, 52, of Eustis, Fla., pleaded guilty last month to one count of involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony. Hoover was initially charged with aggravated murder but struck a plea deal in his case. He is scheduled to be sentenced at 2 p.m. May 28 in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court.

Reineke, 71, was a retired farmer when he was found dead inside his home at 229 S. West St., St. Marys, on Oct. 15, 1981.

According to previous reports published in The Evening Leader, Reineke reportedly died from stab wounds, including wounds to his heart, and there also reportedly was a fire at the residence.

Valuables also were taken from the residence.

The case remains under investigation and anyone with information is encouraged to call the St. Marys Police Department at 419-394-2325.