The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 20, 2009

Father, friend testify against Alan Dunford

Prosecution rests in Conneaut murder case

JEFFERSON — Alan Dunford confided to his father and a friend that he killed a man in Conneaut in November 2007, according to testimony Friday in Dunford’s murder trial.

Testimony from Carey Dunford, 46, and Shawn Curtin, 25, helped wrap up the prosecution’s case against the 24-year-old Edinboro, Pa., man, accused of stabbing and dismembering Cheyrone Kelley, 31, of Ashtabula.

After presenting 13 witnesses over three days, many of them police officers or medical personnel, the prosecution rested its case late Friday afternoon. The defense will call its first witness when proceedings resume Monday morning. It is believed Dunford will be called to the stand sometime during the day.

Dunford faces more than a dozen felony charges, including aggravated murder, in his jury trial under way in the court of Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey. If found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, officials have said.

Friday featured another explicit retelling of events that happened 16 months ago, when Kelley suffered 48 stab wounds in a vicious attack in a Conneaut apartment. Curtin, of Conneaut, provided the latest graphic details, saying he helped cut up Kelley’s body, dispose of the remains and masked some of the gore — but only because he feared for his life.

Under questioning by Harold Specht Jr., chief assistant county prosecutor, Curtin said his involvement began early on the morning of Nov. 4, when he received a phone call from Dunford, a high school classmate and friend. Dunford wanted Curtin at the upstairs apartment he shared with girlfriend Tiffany West and her small daughter at 989 1/2 Day St.

Upon arrival, Curtin was met by Dunford, West and Steven Anzells, a man Curtin barely knew, he said.

A short time later, after smoking some cocaine, Curtin said Dunford revealed he and Anzells had killed Kelley when they caught him raping West.

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