Suspect arraigned in Marr murder case


September 19, 2012

GALLIPOLIS — Seven months have followed the death of Thomas Marr, and, during a hearing on Wednesday in the Common Pleas Court of Gallia County, a suspect was arraigned in this case and charged with the February murder of the 29-year-old.

Semaki G. Corfias, 52, Gallipolis, pleaded not guilty to purposely causing the death of Marr and a tampering with evidence charge — events that allegedly occurred on February 22, 2012.

His bond has been set at $500,000, 10 percent and public defender Barbara Wallen has been appointed to represent the defendant.

He is currently being held in the Gallia County Jail.

Marr was found unresponsive by emergency responders in his residence located in Addison Township near Kanauga just prior to 12 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22.

Reportedly, a female occupant of the residence contacted the Gallia County 911 Center that morning to report that Marr had been discovered in the residence and was having trouble breathing.

The victim later died of a stab wound — injuries that were sustained during an apparent altercation.

Marr was pronounced dead at the scene by Gallia County Coroner Dr. Dan Whiteley and his body was transported to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.

Officials with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and were assisted in their investigation by Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) agents.

In the following weeks and months, the “suspicious death” of Marr was deemed a homicide, but officials were reluctant to release any further information as the investigation continued. The names of any possible suspects were never released.

Earlier this month, in an unrelated case, Corfias was arrested in connection with a methamphetamine lab discovered at a residence located at 32 Springer Road in Addison Township.

Deputies reportedly responded to the residence on Saturday, September 8 after receiving tips that the residents of the household were manufacturing meth.

While investigating the complaint, deputies observed items commonly used during the manufacture of meth in plain view on the porch of the residence. A subsequent search of the residence led to the seizure of an active meth lab, as well as finished meth product.

Sheriff’s deputies, trained as methamphetamine technicians, were able to neutralize the lab with the assistance of the Gallipolis Fire Department and Gallia County EMS.

Also arrested at the scene were Ralph R. Kerwood, 28, and Michelle L. Atherton, 40, all of Gallipolis. Both are being charged in connection with the discovery of the lab.

On Wednesday, Corfias was also charged with the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine in relation to this newest case.

He pleaded not guilty to this charge and his bond was set at $20,000 own recognizance in this case.

Corfias is scheduled to appear for a jury trial in relation to the two cases on December 4 in the common pleas court. Negotiated pleas may be filed in both cases by November 19.