LIMA — A Lima man charged Friday with the murder of his live-in girlfriend was known for his violent past.
A felony complaint filed in Lima Municipal Court alleges Leo Stapleton, 48, purposely caused the death of 40-year-old Kimberly Clark. Clark was found dead inside her apartment at 118 S. Metcalf St. on Tuesday.
The murder charge carries a penalty of 15 years to life in prison, a $15,000 fine and up to five years of post-release control.
Based on the seriousness of the allegation and Stapleton’s record of failing to appear in court, Judge Tammie Hursh set his bond at $1 million. He will remain in Allen County Jail until his next preliminary hearing, scheduled for 10:15 a.m. Wednesday. If Stapleton is able to post bond, he must remain in Allen County.
On the evening Clark was found dead, police said they there were signs of foul play, which led them to believe her death was a homicide. Police located Stapleton and, after speaking with him, took him into custody over Clark’s death.
Lima Police Det. Steve Stechschulte said Clark was strangled.
The recent incident was not the first involving the couple. Stapleton was charged with domestic violence and intoxication over a Nov. 2 incident Stechschulte said involved the two. Lima Municipal Court records show the case was dismissed after Clark failed to pursue the case against Stapleton.
Clark’s body was sent to the Lucas County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy. Stechschulte said the autopsy will determine how long Clark had been dead.
Stapleton had lived in Indiana until about a year ago and has a criminal record in that state. He lived in Lima nearly 20 years ago before laeving for Indiana, Stechschulte said.
Indiana prison records showed Stapleton served sentences out of Fort Wayne for rape, resisting law enforcement, possession of paraphernalia, criminal recklessness, carrying a gun without a license and mischief. He spent the majority of the last 20 years locked up in prison, according to records.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima