UPDATE: Man accused of killing family indicted

Arrested: Timothy Sturgel (Courtesy Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Arrested: Timothy Sturgel (Courtesy Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)


UPDATE: A man accused of fatally shooting his adoptive father, stepmother and stepsister has been indicted.

Timothy Sturgel, 26, was indicted Monday by a Hamilton County Grand Jury on three counts of murder, three counts of felonious assault and two counts of aggravated arson.

UPDATE: A judge in Cincinnati has set bond at $6 million for a man charged with fatally shooting his adoptive father, stepmother and stepsister.

A lawyer for 26-year-old Timothy Sturgel entered not guilty pleas Monday on behalf of his client to three charges of murder.

Sturgel surrendered to police outside the family's home in suburban Colerain Township on Saturday.

Sturgel is accused of fatally shooting 51-year-old Jerry Sturgel, 40-year-old Mary Sturgel and 13-year-old Emily Hurst early Saturday.

Emily Hurst called 911 saying her stepbrother had shot her stepfather. The girl yelled out for her mother before the line went silent.

A sheriff's report notes Sturgel has a "reported mental disorder."

Sturgel's lawyer, Rich Wendel, declined comment Monday.


A suburban Cincinnati man has been charged with fatally shooting his adoptive father and two others before surrendering to police who had responded to a 911 call from one of the victims, authorities said.

In the taped call from Saturday morning, 13-year-old Emily Hurst tells a dispatcher that her stepbrother, 26-year-old Timothy Sturgel, had shot her stepfather. By the time Sturgel surrendered to police outside the Colerain Township home, the girl and her mother also had been shot and the house had been set on fire.

Hurst made the call just before 9:30 a.m., gave the dispatcher her address and then screamed: "He's coming. My mom!" Then the line went dead.

Police said Sturgel was standing in the yard and ran into the house when they arrived. He stepped out once to point a rifle at the officers, went back inside and then came out moments later to surrender, unarmed.

Police noticed that the ranch-style house was on fire, and authorities suspect Sturgel set that blaze, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office spokesman Steve Barnett said.

Hurst was pulled from the home and later died at a hospital, authorities said. Her mother, 40-year-old Mary Sturgel, and her stepfather, 51-year-old Jerry Sturgel, also were found dead.

Timothy Sturgel is being held in the Hamilton County Justice Center and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on three charges of murder. The sheriff's office did not return a message left Sunday asking whether Sturgel has an attorney. No attorney was listed for him on the court's Web site.

Sturgel did not make a formal statement to investigators and did not indicate any motive for the shootings, according to the sheriff's office. Jerry Sturgel's cousin, Cindy Smith, told The Cincinnati Enquirer that Timothy was one of Jerry's three adopted children.

Timothy Sturgel had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had heard voices that told him to do bad things, she said. She also told the newspaper that Jerry Sturgel was losing patience with his son and was ready to kick him out.

Police and court records show that local officers had been called to the home for psychiatric emergencies, and that Timothy Sturgel had been ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment at least four times in recent years, the Enquirer reported.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)