Three suspects in the case of an elderly rural Gibsonburg couple who were beaten and robbed in their home will likely face a special grand jury this week, according to the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Department.
Ronald Ruby, Jr., 32, Toledo; Paul Biddwell, 32, Fostoria, and Jimmy Houston, 33, Woodville, have each been charged with attempted aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, theft, and kidnapping during the commission of a felony.
Detective James Consolo said additional charges may be filed but no other arrests are anticipated.
The three were arrested July 22 in connection with the July 2 break-in of the State Route 600 home of James and Mary Kohler.
Detective Consolo said the Kohlers, both in their 70s, were beaten while they slept and were then tied up. Mr. Kohler was able to free himself and called police.
Thirty-one firearms he had in a collection were reported stolen.
Detective Consolo said investigators on July 12 received “credible information” that pointed to Houston, who he said had heard about the gun collection. He said Houston had previously visited Mr. Kohler at his home under the guise of selling a gun for the collection, using an alias for a last name during the visits.
Mr. Kohler was able to pick Houston’s image from a photo array as the person who came to the home to sell guns, the detective said.
“We’ve been building the case since July 12 and finally got enough to make arrests. Mr. Kohler was able to describe Houston to a ‘T’,” Detective Consolo said, adding he’s been aware of Houston for years.
Ruby was arrested in Bowling Green Municipal Court as he arrived for a hearing for unrelated traffic violations.
Houston and Bidwell were arrested in their homes.
Ruby had been arrested in 2007 by Oregon police on seven felony charges and a misdemeanor for receiving stolen property. Police said he was involved in the sale of stolen catalytic converters to scrap yards.
The felony charges were amended to misdemeanor status and he was placed on probation.
The Kohlers were transported to St. Vincent Medical Center after the break-in and are recovering from their injuries.
A letter to the editor in this week’s issue of The Press from the Kohler family says there has been an outpouring of support from the community for Mr. and Mrs. Kohler.