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Suspect in Ashland murder jailed

 Posted: 11:05 AM October 15, 2013

A Medford man has been arrested on charges he murdered an Ashland resident and took property from him last week, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department reported.

Merlin Elmo Bound, 34, of the 500 block of Boardman Street, is being held without bail in the Jackson County Jail on charges of murder, first-degree assault and first-degree robbery, jail records show.

Bound is suspected of killing Frank Ronald Damiano, 62, also known as Tony Della Penna. Damiano was found dead in his home in the Bear Creek Mobile Home Park on Corral Lane in Ashland at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The mobile home park is located between Interstate 5 and South Pacific Highway outside Ashland. Detectives had been performing a welfare check at the home and found his body inside.

Sheriff's detectives aren't yet revealing how Bound and Damiano knew each other, how the homicide was carried out, or what property was taken from Damiano's home.

"The investigation is still ongoing," said Detective Julie Denney, adding more information will be released soon. "We're very confident that Mr. Bound was involved in the victim's murder. We're still following up on some of the information related to the crime itself."

The Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit, a multi-agency team of investigators from the sheriff's office, Oregon State Police and Medford, Ashland and Central Point police, is conducting the investigation. Following seizure of evidence, detectives flocked to Bound's home and arrested him early today.

Court records indicate Bound has no prior criminal history in Jackson County. Detectives said he will be arraigned Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court.

— Ryan Pfeil

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