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Two charged, one sought following murder of Northfield Center man

by Eric Marotta | Editor Published: August 30, 2016 12:00 AM
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Cleveland -- Two men are in jail and police on Aug. 29 were looking for one more suspect following the Aug. 10 fatal shooting of 26-year-old Northfield Center resident Stephen J. Menter in Cleveland.

Christopher Roy Hill, 40, who Cleveland Municipal Court records say is from Independence, is in Cuyahoga County Jail on a first-degree felony charge of aggravated murder in relation to Menter's death.

Hill was arrested at a Garfield Heights residence Aug. 19 by Garfield Heights police. Hill was ordered held without bond Aug. 22 and is scheduled for a felony arraignment in the court Aug. 30 at 9 a.m.

Also charged with aggravated murder is Deon Bulger, 27, of Maple Heights, according to police. He was arrested Aug. 26 in Cleveland, charged Aug. 28 and is also in the Cuyahoga County Jail.

According to the Aug. 17 warrant for his arrest, Hill allegedly arranged to meet Menter at a Tarkington Avenue residence in the Lee-Miles neighborhood of Cleveland the day Menter was shot. The warrant states Menter and three other males arrived in a vehicle around 6:20 p.m. and parked in the driveway. At that time, two black males approached the vehicle with guns drawn, the warrant states.

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Cleveland Police Det. Tim Entenok told the News Leader Aug. 29 that Bulger was one of the two men who approached the vehicle. He said police are working to identify the other man the warrant says approached the vehicle with Bulger.

One of the suspects pointed his gun at Menter and told Menter to "give him everything he had," the warrant states.

"Menter drove off and the suspect fired several gunshots at Menter and his vehicle," the warrant states.

Menter's mother, Amy Menter, told the News Leader Aug. 24 that her son -- the father of a 6-year-old boy named Ayden -- was with her two other sons Johnathan, 23, and Jeffrey, 20, and a 22-year-old friend. She said her sons told her they were going to a concert that night and had gone to pick someone else up.

Entenok said that Menter had been parked in the driveway facing the street and had slammed on the gas after being approached. He said the car went through a garage that had been converted into a bedroom in a home directly across the street and eventually came to a stop against a tree.

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Menter was pronounced dead at the MetroHealth Medical Center Emergency Room.

Christopher Harris, spokesperson for the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office, said the death has been ruled a homicide. He said Menter died of multiple gunshot wounds in the left upper arm and trunk.

The 22-year-old in the vehicle suffered a grazing bullet wound to one of his legs, and one of the brothers suffered bruises caused by the vehicle's collision with the building and tree, Entenok said.

Amy Menter told the News Leader that she grew up in Northfield Center, but lived in Garfield Heights for many years before moving back to Nordonia Hills in 2009 -- the year after Stephen graduated from Garfield Heights High School.

She said her son had worked at Automated Packaging Systems in Bedford, about 2 miles west of Tarkington Avenue.

She said her son was "always on the lookout" for his little brothers and saved them that night by driving away.

"That's just what he did ... he looked out for his brothers, his friends, his family more so than himself," she said. "After he was shot, he accelerated the car -- that's why he drove through a garage and several yards, because they were still shooting at the car."

She said the calling hours before the Aug. 16 funeral took place over two days and were filled with friends going back to elementary school.

"I talked to so many of his friends. I can't believe how many friends he had. Just how many people said he changed their lives for the better," Amy Menter said. "He helped them to overcome fears, helped them learn to love themselves. He was just a really awesome kid ... I didn't realize how many people he'd touched in his short life. Even my mother said that, 'He was only 26 -- how was he in contact with so many people?'"

Eric Marotta: 330-541-9433




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