Gas can presented as evidence in murder trial

Anthony Stargell on trial for murder in Montgomery County. (WDTN Photo/Kelley King)
Anthony Stargell on trial for murder in Montgomery County. (WDTN Photo/Kelley King)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Prosecutors are hoping new evidence will lead to a death sentence for the man accused of the brutal slaying of a Dayton businessman.

A gas can found at scene was presented to the jury as evidence in the trial for Anthony Stargell. Prosecutors say the gas can links Stargell to the crime and shows he tried to cover his tracks.

Stargell is accused of gunning down 54-year-old Tommy Nickels and his dog in April 2012. Officials say he then set fire to Nickels’ business.

Detectives say it may have been a case of a robbery gone wrong.

A Dayton police officer testified that a gas can and kerosene can were found at the scene. Investigators believe the fire was all an attempt to cover it up; but flames didn’t do the damage expected. Evidence collected from Nickels’ Quality One Electric on South Main Street pointed detectives to Stargell.

Investigators say three of the weapons used in Nickels’ death were also found at the home of one of Stargell’s relatives. Officers confiscated more than 30 weapons, some of which were stolen, as part of a nine-month-long gun and drug trafficking investigation from Dwight Stargell’s South Ardmore Avenue home in April 2012.

In court, investigators also showed the jury bullet fragments found at the scene. However, an investigator testified that while he was able to say the bullets came from the same type of gun used in the crime, he wasn’t able to say the bullets came from the exact firearm.

The trial is expected to last about two more weeks. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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