Vinton Co. Man Changes Plea In Murder Case

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A McArthur man accused in the 2012 killing of a woman changed his plea to a murder charge in Vinton County Common Pleas Court on Friday.

Richard Puckett, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of murder with a firearm specification, according to court records.

Puckett was named as a person of interest in the death of Robin Waldren in 2012, but was not formally charged with the murder until 2013.

Waldren’s body was found on March 1, 2012 at a Richland Twp. residence in Vinton County. The home was owned by Puckett’s ex-wife, who found bloody bed sheets in the home and called 911. Waldren was a friend of Tina Puckett’s, and was reported missing the same day the bloody sheets were found, according to media reports.

Waldren’s body was found on the property after investigators began their search for the woman.

Puckett is currently incarcerated in Athens County on an unrelated case. It was after Puckett was incarcerated in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail that he was transported to Athens for a lie detector test related to the murder case, Vinton County Sheriff Shawn Justice said.

Puckett attempted to escape from the transport vehicle on the way back to the jail, leading to a nine-year sentence for attempted escape.

Justice said Puckett’s incarceration gave them more time to continue their investigation into Richard Puckett. The sheriff posted his thanks on his Facebook page to investigators and members of the Vinton County Prosecutor’s Office.

“(Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation) Agent Larry McCoy and I put a lot of hard work into solving this case, as well as all the members of the sheriff’s office and BCI Crime Scene Agents,” Justice wrote.

Sentencing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 10.