Man accused of Butler Twp. quadruple homicide enters insanity plea

DAYTON — The man accused of killing four people in Butler Twp. earlier this year has changed his plea.

Attorneys for Stephen Marlow, 39, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity Monday afternoon, according to court records filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

During a November arraignment, Marlow stood mute and a judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Marlow is facing 12 counts of aggravated murder for the killings of Clyde and Eva Knox, and Sarah and Kayla Anderson. He was also indicted on eight counts of aggravated burglary and one count each of having weapons while under disability and tampering with evidence and remains booked in jail on a $10 million bond.

>> PHOTOS: 4 killed after shooting in Butler Twp. neighborhood

Records filed Monday also show that Marlow’s attorneys have requested a competency evaluation.

Sarah Anderson, 42, had just returned home on Hardwicke Place from grocery shopping when Marlow allegedly shot her in her garage on Aug. 5. He then went inside the house and shot 15-year-old Kayla Anderson while she was on the phone with a friend.

Marlow then went to the Knox residence, also on Hardwicke Place, and shot Eva “Sally” Knox, 79, in the doorway of a detached garage, and Cylde Knox, 82, as he sat in a lawn chair.

After a nationwide manhunt, he was taken into custody by police in Lawrence, Kansas just over 24 hours after the shooting.

During the search of Marlow’s property following the shooting, investigators found a computer and a document talking about conspiracy theories. Documents indicated that Marlow believed his neighbors were almost all “sleeper cell terrorists,” according to an affidavit and statement of facts.

In an amended complaint against Marlow, a detective revealed that Marlow owned a storage unit on North Dixie Drive.

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“Surveillance video showed Stephen entered the property on the day of the incident at 11:12 a.m.; he exited at 11:27 a.m.; just minutes before the murders,” according to the affidavit and statement of facts.

When detectives executed a search warrant on the storage unite and found an empty soft gun case that would normally hold an AR-15 style rifle, handgun and riffle ammunition and some writings on warfare.

The charges Marlow is facing, in addition to three Aggravating Circumstance Specifications attached to each aggravated murder count, makes him eligible for the death penalty, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck, Jr. said in a news conference on Nov. 10.

The death penalty is not something we ask for in many cases at all. The death penalty should be reserved for the most horrific and shocking crimes. This case certainly meets that criteria,” Heck previously said.

The last time that the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office sought the death penalty was in 2017.

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