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Last updated: June 20. 2014 9:34PM - 5933 Views
By - gsowinski@civitasmedia.com



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LIMA — A lot of long hours for detectives and a few good tips led to an arrest Friday in the shooting death of a man three days earlier.


The Lima Police SWAT Team served a search warrant on Valdis Tristan Stapleton Jr. at his home at 903 1/2 Rice Ave. at about 3 p.m. Friday and took him into custody without incident. Stapleton lives at the home with at least one of his parents, said Lima Police Maj. Chip Protsman said.


Stapleton was charged with murder in the shooting death of 24-year-old Carlton Martin on Tuesday inside a home at 844 Oak St. Martin was shot at least once in the body, police said.


The house Stapleton lives in is a duplex that is a rental property.


The murder charge is Stapleton’s first criminal case as an adult in Allen County. Little additional information was available on Stapleton through public records other than his 3-month-old son, Valdis Tristan Stapleton III, died Nov. 2.


The arrest was made hours after police and officials from Crime Stoppers announced a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest in Martin’s death or in another homicide last week.


Protsman said it has not been determined whether enough information was provided by someone to earn the reward. He said it’s possible but also said the investigation is far from over and police need the public’s help to build a case and determine exactly what happened. He encouraged anyone with information on the homicide to call police.


Part of the investigation will try to determine a motive and the connection Stapleton had to Martin, Protsman said.


As of early Friday evening, Stapleton remained at the Lima Police Department. Protsman would not say if Stapleton made a statement to detectives.


While Stapleton is only charged with the slaying of Martin, it’s possible he could face additional charges for the shooting of Eric Irons, who was shot in the hip and survived. The shooting happened at 10:55 p.m.


A woman calling 911 said a light-skinned black man with a ponytail wearing a mask shot her brother in the leg.


Last week, 21-year-old Quantez Tennant was shot to death inside a home at 431 Hazel Ave. Police have not made an arrest in the case. Tennant’s death was the city’s first homicide of the year.


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