LIMA — A man with a violent past who was released from jail Friday after his acquittal on rape charges is back in custody as the chief suspect in the city’s first murder of the year over the weekend.
Ross McWay, 37, was arrested just after 4 p.m. Wednesday. He was the live-in boyfriend of 39-year-old Wendy Jeffers, whose body was found inside her home at 1112 N. Main St. on Sunday, Lima Police Department officials reported.
McWay, who previously killed a man in 2001 and served 13 years in prison for that, was acquitted by a jury Jan. 6 of two counts of rape. The jury could not reach a verdict on the charge of kidnapping, which the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office then dropped.
McWay was released Friday. By Sunday, his girlfriend, Jeffers, was found dead in her home.
Police officers were called to Jeffers’ home after she did not report to her job as a nurse at a hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. An officer checked her home and found her dead inside.
An autopsy was performed Wednesday at the Lucas County Coroner’s Office in Toledo but investigators were not releasing a cause of death or a motive.
In 2001, McWay and another man killed 21-year-old Jimmy Bunley. They shot at the car Bunley was driving causing him to crash. McWay and the other man then ran up to the car and shot Bunley six times. Bunley died from his wounds.
The rape case happened March 23. McWay met a woman with a history of drug abuse at a local bar. They went to an apartment where they had sex after the woman was unable to pay him for crack cocaine. The woman asked McWay to stop in the middle of sex, to which he agreed. McWay kept after the woman for sex as payment for crack cocaine but the woman kept refusing and asked McWay to drive her home.
McWay, instead, drove the woman around and then to a dead-end street where the woman said she was raped. She said she did not want to have sex with McWay and told him no. A jury acquitted him of raping her.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.