A Franklin County grand jury on Friday, April 12, handed up a felony indictment for murder against Tyler J. Dunkle.
Dunkle, 22, is accused of killing his mother March 29 at their Hilliard townhome at 2596 Westham Way, in the Hilliard Summit apartment complex at the northeast corner of Roberts and Alton Darby Creek roads.
Dunkle was indicted for two counts of murder and one count of tampering with evidence in connection with the death of Terri L. Menendez, 44.
Dunkle is scheduled for arraignment at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 15, in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
Dunkle is being charged with two unclassified counts of murder, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said, because prosecutors are addressing two different methods Dunkle allegedly carried out to commit the murder.
If Dunkle is convicted, the murder charge would be either a first-degree or second-degree felony.
The charge of tampering with evidence prosecutors is a third-degree felony. Prosecutors allege Dunkle placed his mother’s body in a closet and drove to the Chillicothe area before returning April1 and attempting suicide.
“If convicted, Dunkle faces a potential sentence of 15 (years) to life on the (single) murder count and three years on the tampering count,” O’Brien said in a press release announcing the indictment.
Police arrested Dunkle April 2 at Doctors Hospital after he confessed that he strangled his mother, Hilliard police said.
Dunkle was found unconscious and unresponsive on a bed in the townhome April 1, police said. At the same time, officers discovered Menendez’s body.
At his arraignment April 3 in municipal court, Franklin County Prosecutor Assistant Marla Farbacher told the court that Dunkle strangled his mother Friday, March 29, hid her body in a closet and then took her car and drive to the Chillicothe area, where records indicate Menendez and Dunkle, a son from her first marriage, once resided.
Dunkle returned to Hilliard and apparently attempted suicide by taking pills and consuming alcohol, prosecutors said.
Dunkle hid his mother’s body in a closet following the slaying, prosecutors said. Police found Dunkle on a bed inside the townhouse.
For more on this story, check ThisWeekNEWS.com for updates or read the April 18 edition of the ThisWeek Hilliard Northwest News.