CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland Heights Police were quick to make an arrest in the case of a plumber's murder just before Christmas. But harder to understand
is why two of his former employees were arrested and now are charged with the death. What was the motivation?
Johnathan Purvis and Shannon Oehlstrom were charged with aggravated murder in the death of James Ruesch. He ran a plumbing business in Mayfield
Heights, and the pair who live together worked for him in 2015.
Both entered pleas of not guilty at a Monday arraignment.
Purvis has a long felony record with cases dating back to the time he turned 18; Stolen cars, burglary, assault and intimidating a witness.
He spent years in prison. His most recent convictions all involved drugs.
Shannon Oehlstrom's felony record here was clean.
They lived in a second-floor apartment, where downstairs neighbor Theresa Lynn Davis showed it to them for the landlord. She was suspicious from the very beginning saying, "I told Dan not to let 'em move in I had red flags from the get go." She added, "I wasn't surprised when she heard they had been arrested." At the apartment building she kept her distance.
Ruesch's body was discovered on Christmas Eve. He was expected at his mother's house. When he didn't show up she called police who found his body. He had been dead two days from a gunshot wound to the head.
Judge Nancy Margaret Russo ordered them held on $1 million bond each.
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