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Man accused of assisting suicide of 17-year-old pleads not guilty to murder charge

Posted at 9:45 AM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 10:48:06-04

A man facing charges for allegedly assisting the suicide of a teen in a Cuyahoga County metropark this summer pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday morning.

Duncan R. McElroy is charged with murder, assisting suicide, improperly furnishing firearms to a minor, pandering obscenity involving a minor and falsification.

McElroy is being held in lieu of a $50,000 bond. He was also ordered to not use a cell phone, social media or computers. He must wear a GPS bracelet for location monitoring and was placed on house arrest at the group home he is residing at.
McElroy is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial conference on Sept. 17 at 9 a.m.

The incident happened on July 12 at the Brecksville reservation.

Brecksville police and Cleveland Metroparks rangers responded to the scene after McElroy called 911 and said that his friend had died, according to a Cleveland Metroparks report.

When officers arrived, they found the 17-year-old victim deceased, the report stated. The teen was later identified as Ace Stenger, of Parma.

McElroy told responding officers that the 17-year-old stole a rifle from his car while he was stopped on the side of the road. He also told officers that he had just purchased the rifle the day before.

Later, the 19-year-old told investigators that he purchased the weapon and ammunition from a store in Broadview Heights and gave the items to the teen.

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, Stenger met McElroy about two weeks before he died. On July 8, McElroy allegedly tried to kill Stenger but was unsuccessful.

On the day of the homicide and just an hour before McElroy called 911, the two went to a store together and McElroy bought a gun and ammunition, prosecutors said. Afterwards, they both drove to the Brecksville Reservation where Stenger was fatally shot.

RELATED: Man charged with murder, assisting suicide of teen found dead at Cuyahoga County Metropark in July