WARREN Bond was set at $250,000 for a Howland man accused in the beating death of his sister.
A not guilty plea was entered for Bradley Milligan, 48, charged with aggravated murder in the death of Laura Michael, 51, whose body was found in the corner of the basement of home she shared with her brother at 8762 Howland Springs Road.
Howland police discovered the body about 4 p.m. Wednesday after Michael's daughter called officers when she became concerned after not hearing from her mother for two days.
Milligan, who had a history of abusing Michael, answered the door when officers arrived and said he hadn't seen his sister.
She had been badly beaten and also suffered other wounds from a sharp object.
Trumbull County Coroner Humphrey Germaniuk on Friday ruled the death a homicide by "multiple sharp force and blunt force traumatic injuries."
Warren Municipal Judge Thomas Gysegem scheduled a preliminary hearing in the case for Thursday morning. But it's likely the case could be presented to a Trumbull County grand jury in the meantime.
Milligan appeared with defense attorney Matt Pentz of the Public Defender's Office at the video arraignment that was staged in the jail.
Milligan was convicted of domestic violence last year, and reports state that on June 26, 2012, Michael told police he had assaulted and threatened to kill her.
In that complaint, Michael told police Milligan had asked her to buy him beer, but she decided not to. When she returned home, he became irate and threatened to stab the tires of her car with an iron garden rake, according to a Howland police report. The report states Michael fled in her vehicle.
When she returned to the home a second time, Milligan "was still irate, swearing at her and telling her she needed to abide by his rules," the report states. Michael called police when she became "tired of hours of verbal abuse" by Milligan.
The report states that Milligan then grabbed Michael's left arm, ripped the phone out of her hand and threw the phone on the kitchen floor, breaking it as he threatened to kill her.
Milligan had locked himself in his bedroom and officers were forced to break the door down to arrest him.