Second evaluation planned for murder suspect

CADIZ – A second competency evaluation has been ordered for murder suspect Matthew Dowdel, 24, of Hopedale. Dowdel, along with co-defendant Eve Kelley, 33, of Wintersville, is accused in the death of 45-year-old Joseph Strother, a Cadiz man who was found at Sally Buffalo Park on March 28.

At a previous arraignment, Dowdel was granted a competency evaluation to determine whether he is fit to stand trial. He underwent that first evaluation at District 9 Forensic Center in Byesville, but it was incomplete, according to Harrison County Prosecutor Michael Washington. The findings from Dowdel’s first evaluation were dated May 23, and reviewed by Washington and public defender Adrian Pincola, who has been representing Dowdel.

“He was required and ordered to go to a facility in Columbus to be able to complete it,” said Washington, adding information regarding his case already has been sent. Assistant Prosecutor Jack Felgenhauer said it was his understanding that Dowdel was “uncooperative” at the Forensics Center in Byesville.

Dowdel will be taken to the Timothy B. Moritz Center, part of Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare. The facility is for inpatients under maximum security.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Shawn Hervey handed down the order after a recommendation from Andrew D. Reisner, a clinical psychologist and executive director of the District 9 Forensic Center.

After his second evaluation is completed, Dowdel will remain in the Jefferson County jail on a $5 million bond. Kelley remains there on a $2 million bond. Her trial recently was pushed back after her attorney was granted a motion for more time to review evidence. Both suspects are facing charges of murder, felonious assault, complicity to commit murder and complicity to commit felonious assault.