Two Arrested after Lawrence County Murder

Updated 1 year ago Edited from a Press Release

Lawrence County Sheriff's deputies continue investigation of a murder in which the body of Larry Stephenson was found tied up in an abandoned house. Russell Adkins has been charged with felonious assault and murder. Brandy Miller, who lived wit Stephenson, has been charged with tampering with evidence and making a false police report. 

Miller on Saturday, Dec. 2 had called the sheriff's office to report Stephenson missing. 

Sheriff Jeff Lawless issued the following detailed report: 

On Saturday 12/02/2017 at about 1:10 AM the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office was called to the residence of Larry Scott Stephenson (54 years old) & Brandy Miller (34 years old) located at 172 TR 1079 Chesapeake, Ohio 45619. At that time, Miller advised Deputies that Stephenson was missing and that she wanted to file a missing person’s report. Miller advised that Stephenson had been consuming alcohol and that they had gotten into an argument so she went to bed around midnight. She got up at about 1:00 AM and could not find him so she then notified the Sheriff’s Office.


Deputies took the initial report and began to look for Stephenson. As the search intensified, over several hours, Miller’s story to Deputies began to change. She advised that their argument continued to escalate and during this time she called a co-worker, Russell Adkins (37 years old) of 197 CR 1 South Point, Ohio 45680. Adkins arrived and began to assault Stephenson inside the residence. Miller advised that Stephenson was incapacitated and that she and Adkins put him into Adkins’ pickup truck and the two men left leaving her at the residence.


Deputies did witness signs of a struggle inside the residence and what appeared to be traces of blood. At this point a search warrant was obtained for this residence and BCI&I was ask to send crime scene technicians to this residence to process and collect any evidence. A Felonious Assault warrant for the arrest of Russell Adkins was obtained from the Lawrence County Municipal Court.


Deputies and Detectives continued their search for Stephenson and Adkins throughout the afternoon and evening and located Adkins at about 7:30 PM at Taco Bell in South Point. He was placed under arrest by Detectives for the Warrant. Adkins told Detectives that he had assaulted Stephenson inside the residence located at 172 TR 1079 Chesapeake, Ohio. During this assault Stephenson began to bleed and became unconscious.


Adkins and Miller then put Stephenson in the bed of Adkins pickup truck. Adkins stated to Detectives that he drove in the fog to an unknown gravel road where he found an abandoned house. He then dragged Stephenson into this house and used a rope to bind his hands and feet together. Adkins rode with Detectives in an attempt to locate Stephenson because Adkins was not sure of the exact location of this abandoned house. The Lawrence County EMS also went along with the Detectives in the event that Stephenson was located and needed medical attention.

After several hours of an unsuccessful search, the decision was made to transport Adkins to the Lawrence County Jail on the felonious assault charge.

Deputies and Detectives along with the Fayette Township Fire Department and the EMS continued their search of all gravel roads from CR 120 to CR 15. At about 12:20 AM the body of Stephenson was located in an abandoned house just as Adkins had described to Detectives that it would be.

The Lawrence County Coroner’s Office, Dr. Kurt Hoffman was contacted and they will be requesting that an autopsy be performed. Detectives processed this residence where Stephenson’s body was located for evidence.

Russell Adkins has been arrested on one count of Felonious Assault a Felony of the Second Degree and one count of Murder, ORC 2903.02 a Felony of the First Degree and is housed in the Lawrence County Jail.

Miller has been arrested on one count of Tampering with Evidence, ORC 2921.12 a felony of the Third Degree, and one count of Making a False Report to a Law Enforcement Officer a Misdemeanor of the First Degree. She is also housed in the Lawrence County Jail.

This investigation is ongoing and additional charged could be filed against both suspects as this case proceeds.


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