82-year-old James Xidas
A Clinton County grand jury Wednesday handed up an 11-count indictment containing death penalty specifications against Roger Allen Curtis, accusing him of murdering the well-liked owner of the Manhattan Lounge.
Curtis is charged in connection with a March 29 early-morning stabbing in or near the downtown Wilmington bar that 82-year-old James Xidas owned for more than 40 years.
The 11 counts include three counts of aggravated murder each carrying a specification, two counts of aggravated robbery, three counts of kidnapping, and one count each of breaking-and-entering, petty theft and theft.
The indictment document has at least two new specific allegations. The sixth count alleges that “on or about the 29th day of March, 2011,” Curtis trespassed in the Manhattan Lounge, “an unoccupied structure” with the purpose of committing theft or a felony there.
And the 11th and final count alleges that the 39-year-old Curtis “with prior calculation and design” purposely caused the death of Xidas.
Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney Richard W. Moyer said Wednesday evening that claiming premeditation does not entail claiming that a plan was devised days ahead of time.
Also included in the court document is a detail that alleges Curtis took cash and cigarettes for which the combined value is less than $500.
For the record, all three aggravated murder counts allege Curtis purposely caused the death of Xidas.
Curtis could be eligible for the death penalty if a jury finds him guilty of a death-penalty specification, Moyer said previously.
Xidas’s wife found him bleeding in his car at 5:39 a.m. March 29. He died later that day at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton from stab wounds.