In February, the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men in connection with a murder that occurred in the Corinth Community. According to the HCSO, 80-year-old Ophir Thompson of 7921 Hwy. 120, Buchanan, was discovered dead in his home around 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, when Deputy Reggie Lee conducted a welfare check at Thompson’s home at the request of his brother-in-law.
According to reports, upon making entry into the home, Lee found several live bullet rounds on the floor. According to Haralson County Sheriff Eddie Mixon, the deputy then found Thompson’s body lying on the floor, still bound by duct tape. The death of the victim was reportedly caused by blunt-force trauma to the left side of the head.
HCSO Investigators Steve Moore and Bobby Thompson, who is not related to the victim, took up the case and determined robbery as the likely motive based on the fact that a variety of fire arms and a large sum of cash were taken from inside a safe in the bedroom.
Upon speaking with Thompson’s brother-in-law in Florida, investigators learned that Ronnie Duane Lewis had lived with the victim previously. Lewis was identified as a person of interest based on an item of clothing discovered at the scene of the crime. Investigators believe that after tying Mr. Thompson with duct tape, Lewis beat his elderly victim to force Thompson to reveal the combination to his safe. Police also gained information about the stolen items from Thompson’s home from two of Lewis’ associates.
According to Investigator Moore, Lewis faces charges of murder, armed robbery, false imprisonment, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and theft by taking fire arms, as well as, felony theft by taking.
During the investigation, deputies also arrested an alleged accomplice of Lewis, Mickey Ray Mulder, 26, at his home in Tallapoosa. Mulder was charged with theft by receiving and being a party to a crime.
Haralson County Sheriff Eddie Mixon had praise for Judge Murphy after he set the significant bond amount yesterday.
“Throughout my 29-year law enforcement career, cases involving crimes against children and the elderly have impacted me deeply,” Mixon said. “The very young and the very old are the most vulnerable among us, and they deserve our protection. The older people of our county educated us, cared for us and should be able to enjoy peace and safety in the last years of their life.”
According to District Attorney Bobby Brooks, should Lewis meet the $1 million bond imposed by the court, he would be also required to wear an ankle monitor and report daily to the bail bonding company that may ultimately sign the bond.