UPDATE: Detective says Man Dead in Ashland Motel Hit 40 Times

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 7/15/14 @ 3:15 p.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Investigators say the man found dead in the Ashland motel was hit “no less than 40 times” before he died.

Ashland Police charged Joe Bentley, 52, with manslaughter in the death of Russell Chandler.

Russell Chandler, 52, was found dead at the Bluegrass Inn on June 21. Chandler lived at the motel.

A preliminary hearing for Bentley was held in Boyd County District Court Wednesday afternoon.

Detective Richard Bohanon of the Ashland Police Department testified that according to witness statements, that on the evening of June 20, the two men got into an argument after they had been drinking for awhile.

"The victim was sitting in a chair outside the room. Mr. Bentley was angry for some reason and he began assaulting the victim (Chandler) by punching him with both hands in the face and head area. He would hit him so hard that his head would hit against the brick wall. A witness said she could hear his head hit the wall,” testified Bohanon.

Bohanon also testified that Mr. Chandler tried to stand up once, but that made Bentley more angry and he knocked him (Chandler) back in the chair and continued to assault him.

The detective said a witness then helped Chandler to his room. Police and EMS were called but he refused treatment.

About 4 p.m. on June 21, police were called back to the motel where they found Chandler dead.

The judge found enough evidence from the testimony to send the case to a grand jury.

Bentley was also a resident of the motel.

UPDATE: 7/6/14 @ 11:05 p.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Ashland Police have arrested Joe Bentley, 52, in connection with the death of Russell Chandler.

Boyd County 9-1-1 tells WSAZ.com Bentley was arrested at a gas station after an anonymous call came into the station.

Chandler was found dead in his room at the Bluegrass Inn in Ashland, June 21. He was a resident there.

Bentley is being charged with first-degree manslaughter.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 7/3/14 @ 10:15 a.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Police say the man wanted in connection with the death of a resident at an Ashland motel, was also a resident of the motel.

Russell Chandler, 52, was found dead at the Bluegrass Inn on June 21.

Wednesday, Ashland Police said they plan to charge Joe Bentley, 52, with first-degree manslaughter in the case.

Police are still looking for Bentley. They say he is originally from Lawrence county, Ky. and that he still has family and friends there.

Investigators’ have not released a motive in the case.

The Boyd County Coroner says that Chandler died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Mark Hammond said last week that could mean several things.

"Right now, the manner of death is still undetermined," Hammond said. "It could have been from a fall. It could have been from several different things, but what we do know is that he did die from a blow to the head."

Police are still waiting on several tests, including a toxicology report from the medical examiner's office.

Anyone with information on Bentley’s location is asked to Call Ashland Police.

ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A man is wanted in connection with the death of a man whose body was found last month in a motel room in the 1800 block of Winchester Avenue, Ashland Police say.

Joe Bentley, 52, is wanted on a first-degree manslaughter charge in the death of Russell Chandler, who was also 52.

Chandler's body was found June 21 in a room at the Bluegrass Inn.

Ashland Police say Bentley is on the run. He is described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown hair.

If you have any information about where Bentley may be, you're asked to call your local 911 center.

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