MANSFIELD -- Bond was set at $1 million Wednesday morning for Alec Blair, 21, who is charged with the murder of his estranged wife.
Blair, of Shelby, is accused of killing Gaberien Morgan Clevenger, 21, who went missing Monday around 12:30 p.m. from her temporary home in Shelby. Her body was found Tuesday around 4 a.m. by Shelby police and the Richland County Sheriff's Office near Bowman Street, south of Ohio 96.
Clevenger was last seen in a Jeep owned by Blair. Maj. Joe Masi of the Richland County Sheriff's Office said the two had been planning to divorce.
Blair originally pleaded guilty to the charges via video chat arraignments from the Richland County Jail. However, the presiding magistrate, John D. McCollister, told Blair the Municipal Court does not have jurisdiction for him to plead guilty.
"At this point in time, this court will enter a not-guilty plea on your behalf," McCollister said.
According to his Blair's Facebook page, the two were married on Aug. 17, 2019. The page also lists Blair as a former Crestview student who worked at Nanogate Jay Systems. Blair last updated his page on Feb. 7 at 12:41 a.m.
Richland County Prosecutor Gary Bishop recommended $1 million bond, electronic monitoring and an order of no contact with his family, due to circumstances in the case.
McCollister granted the bond request as well as electronic monitoring and pre-trial supervision. He also blocked any contact between Blair and his family.
"The facts in this case are rather strong," Bishop said. "The body has been located in a remote location. Mr. Blair assisted law enforcement in searching for the body. There is also blood and other evidence collected at the scene.
"However, the facts in this case are rather strong, and we hope the courts will see this man convicted of aggravated murder."
The Richland County Coroner's Office said Clevenger's body was undergoing an autopsy at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
McCollister said Blair would be set up with an attorney before a preliminary hearing, which has not been set yet.
Gaberien Morgan Clevenger's Facebook page includes a fundraiser for her funeral which had raised $360 by 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, with a goal of $5,000. Clevenger's biographical information on the page lists her as a resident of Greenwich who worked in kitchen prep at Bob Evans.