Oct. 14 Trial Set In Park Murder

CADIZ – A trial date is set for Eve Kelley, 33, of Wintersville, one of two people accused in the murder of Joseph Strother, a 45-year-old Cadiz man. Strother was found dead in Sally Buffalo Park on March 28.

After a week spent panhandling and attempting to flee, Kelley was caught and arrested in Florida, along with her co-defendant Matthew Dowdel, 24, of Hopedale.

In Florida, they faced charges of resisting arrest, theft of a vehicle under $100,000 and, for Dowdel, driving under a suspended license. However, those charges were dropped so that Harrison County sheriff’s deputies could bring the two back to Ohio to stand trial.

On April 18, both suspects were indicted on charges of murder, felonious assault, complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit felonious assault.

According to Julie Horton, victim assistance coordinator for the prosecutor’s office, Kelley’s next court appearance will be at a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 22. Unless she makes any changes to her previously entered plea of innocent, the trial will begin Oct. 14.

Her trial was originally set for late July, but was pushed back when her attorney requested more time to review evidence, and the deadline to file motions was pushed back to July 8.

Kelley is being held in the Jefferson County Jail, with a cash bond set at $2 million.

Dowdel recently returned from a Columbus facility where he underwent an evaluation to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

His pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Dowdel is also housed in the Jefferson County Jail with a cash bond set at $5 million.