Hilliard Northwest News

Hilliard man charged with murdering livery driver

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The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on March 11 charged a 41-year-old Hilliard man with the Feb. 4 murder of a livery driver whose body was found in the parking lot of the Hayden Heights mobile-home park in Washington Township.

Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott said Brian Lee Jones, 41, of Hilliard, is charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery in connection with the murder of Paul D. Devitt, 49.

Jones initially was charged with a fourth-degree felony count of theft and a third-degree felony count of tampering with evidence after police found him in possession of Devitt’s missing 2007 Chevrolet Suburban.

Columbus police were searching for the vehicle and discovered Devitt’s Suburban about 1 a.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in the parking lot of America’s Best Value Inn, 1313 St. James Lutheran Way, near the Hilliard-Rome Road and Interstate 70 interchange, according to Columbus Sgt. Richard Weiner.

After an extensive investigation, detectives gathered sufficient evidence to charge Jones, according to a press release announcing the arrest.

The sheriff’s office received multiple 911 calls about 7:40 p.m. Feb. 4, reporting a body outside and under a trailer at the Hayden Heights mobile-home park, 5501 Cosgray Road, in Washington Township. The body later was determined to be Devitt’s.

Devitt operated his own car service, Black Car of Columbus.

Devitt’s vehicle, keys and a cellphone were stolen. The vehicle was found more than 48 hours later at the West Side hotel, and Jones was arrested but was not charged with Devitt’s murder until March 11.

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