OTTAWA — Michael Aaron Fay pleaded not guilty Thursday morning during his arraignment in Putnam County Common Pleas Court. He is charged in the murders of brothers Blaine and Blake Romes, with whom he shared a home.
Fay, 17, was indicted on two counts of aggravated murder; two counts abuse of a corpse, fifth-degree felonies; one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony; and one count of grand theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony. He waived his right to a speedy trial during Thursday’s arraignment, his first appearance in adult court.
Common Pleas Judge Randall Basinger said a pretrial will be set in the next 30 days.
Bail for Fay remained at the $5 million level set in juvenile court. Basinger ordered Fay to remain at the Wood County Juvenile Detention Facility in Bowling Green instead of moving him to the Putnam County Jail, where adult defendants in Putnam County generally stay.
Fay spoke softly, only giving brief answers when questioned by the judge. His mother and the Romes brothers' mother were present in the courtroom.
Thursday was the first time Fay has entered and left the courtroom without a black hood to conceal his face. No restrictions were given by the Judge Basinger on taking pictures of Fay from the front. During prior proceedings, Fay always had a hood that covered his face except for his eyes when entering and leaving the courtroom.
The indictments stem from the May 9 deaths of Blake Romes, 17, and Blaine Romes, 14. The two were found dead, and Fay was found in Columbus. Fay told authorities where to find their bodies.
On July 2, Judge Michael Borer of Putnam County Juvenile Court ordered Fay to be tried as an adult. He could spend the rest of his life in prison.
The brothers were living with Fay in an Ottawa trailer with their mothers, Michelle Grothause and Vicki Fay. The families recently had moved in together.
During the July 2 hearing, Fay waived his right to challenge the prosecution at a hearing that required enough evidence be put before a judge to link Fay to the crime. It also required the prosecution prove Fay was competent to move forward. Fay agreed he was.