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Man wanted in connection with Elyria handyman's death says cousin used his identity

Posted at 9:21 AM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 08:39:23-04

A man who said his cousin is using his identity turned himself in to police on Monday after a warrant was issued in his name in connection with the death of a handyman who was found shot behind a Convenient Mart on Friday.

Around 6:23 p.m. Friday, officers found Willie M. Fisher, 47, of Lakewood, lying on the ground with multiple gunshot woundsbehind the Convenient Food Mart, located at 1401 East Ave in Elyria.

Several hours later at 9:06 p.m., officers stopped a 2003 BMW traveling eastbound on I-480 for a speed violation. The driver, John Paul Sullivan, 29, of East Cleveland, was operating the vehicle with a suspended license and he also had a warrant from Maple Heights police, according to police.

He was taken into custody at the time of the stop. Officers also identified the passenger as an 18-year-old man from East Cleveland, who authorities now believe was using the identity of his cousin, the one who turned himself into police on Monday to clear his name. While officers searched the car, they found a handgun, with a loaded magazine and additional ammunition in the vehicle's glove box.

Sullivan, who is a convicted felon, was charged with Having Weapons Under Disability.

During the investigation of Fisher's death, police found that Bruce Arnoff, 56, of Solon, employed Fisher as a handyman. Police say Arnoff was upset with Fisher, who allegedly then contracted Sullivan and another man to cause serious harm to Fisher, which led to his death, according to police.

We are not releasing the name of the third man as he has yet to be properly identified and charged with any crimes.

Arnoff was arrested on July 7 by Elyria police on East Avenue and was charged with murder for his role in the death of Fisher, according to authorities. A $2 million bond set has been set for Arnoff who appeared in court for his preliminary hearing on Monday.

Sullivan has been charged with aggravated murder and is currently being held at the Brooklyn Police Department Jail until he is taken into custody by Elyria police.

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