Probable cause found in first-degree murder case

WHEELING — Ohio County Magistrate George Murphy found probable cause to transfer Crandall Senkbeil’s first-degree murder charge to circuit court Friday morning.

Senkbeil, 18, remains lodged at the Northern Regional Jail with no bail after his hearing in connection with the January killing of Caleb Smail, 19. The Ohio County Sheriff’s Office brought charges on May 28 against Senkbail after a four-month investigation. He was arrested the following day.

Senkbeil is accused of going to Smail’s house and going inside his room, before shooting Smail in the chest Jan. 23.

A lockbox containing $10,000 was missing from the room, and Senkbeil allegedly told a friend that he took the safe, but that the shooting was an accident.

The friend reported his conversation with Senkbeil on March 22, almost two months after the shooting.

According to a criminal complaint, Senkbeil’s phone was tracked on a route consistent with someone traveling between his Elm Grove residence and Smail’s residence near Clinton. The two were known friends and associates.

Senkbeil will remain jailed while he waits to face a grand jury, which is scheduled to meet next in September.

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