The man accused of murdering a Reynoldsburg resident with a hammer is scheduled to be arraigned on eight charges July 10 in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

The charges against Joel Smalls, 51, 4673 Refugee Road, Apt. 3G, include felony counts of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and two counts of murder – all of which include repeat violent offender specifications. Smalls is also charged with three felony counts of tampering with evidence.

He is accused in the death of David A. Vollette, 46, whose body was found by Reynoldsburg police doing a well-being check at 12:36 p.m. June 27 at his residence at 7783 Pembrook Drive.

Vollette’s car, a 2005 Mercury Grand Prix, was missing from his driveway and was found June 28 on East Livingston Avenue near Champion Avenue in Columbus.

A complaint filed in Franklin County Municipal Court indicates that police think Vollette was killed June 26. Additional documentation says the handle of a hammer found in the home was swabbed for DNA that was later matched to Smalls' DNA.

When Reynoldsburg police and Columbus SWAT officers executed a search warrant June 29 at Smalls’ Southeast Columbus home, they found him in possession of Vollette’s driver’s license, Social Security card and benefits card.

Smalls admitted to stealing the items, but told Reynoldsburg police he had found Vollette already dead in his home, according to court documents.

Vollette was found lying face up in his bed with a massive head wound, according to court records.

Smalls told Reynoldsburg police June 29 he found Vollette dead in his home, handled the hammer and stole Vollette's vehicle and other belongings, according to court documents.

A witness told Columbus police June 29 that Smalls had said he killed a man named Dave by striking him on the head with a hammer, the documents say. 

Columbus Dispatch reporter JoAnne Viviano contributed to this story.

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