Authorities believe Erik Cunningham killed his wife four days before she was found and a day after he called police to their home, according to his murder indictment filed Thursday.
The indictment says Lacie Cunningham, 33, died on Dec. 31.
Erik Cunningham, 31, was arrested for her alleged murder after he went to the Portage County Sheriff’s Office Jan. 3 and allegedly raised concerns for her welfare.
Brimfield Police found Lacie Cunningham in the garage that night, dead from an apparent gunshot wound, at their home 2464 Hazelnut Drive in Brimfield.
Erik Cunningham was mostly silent during his video arraignment Friday in Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman’s courtroom in Ravenna.
He was represented by attorney Patricia Smith, who entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. Several dozen people present for other cases filled the courtroom during the brief proceeding.
Smith had asked Pittman to set a “reasonable bond” and pointed out her client had no previous serious criminal record. The Portage County Prosecutor’s Office asked to keep the bond at at least $1 million.
Pittman set bond at $2,000,500 and a March 26 trial date was set.
Pittman also ordered that Erik Cunningham complete a sanity evaluation.
“Sir, you will comply with the interview, do you understand?” Pittman asked after ordering the evaluation.
“Yeah,” he replied.
A Portage County grand jury on Thursday indicted Erik Cunningham on two counts of murder, each an unclassified felony, and felonious assault, a second-degree felony. Each count of the indictment has a firearms specification, meaning grand jurors believed he had a gun and used it during the incident.
On Dec. 30, officers were called to the home because Erik Cunningham believed he was being surveilled. According to a report, he told police he had disassembled a Dell laptop, a Chromebook, a Leappad, a Roomba and an Android cellphone to see the surveillance devices inside and to show police that the devices were fake.
He also told police that he believed that Lacie Cunningham was involved in the surveillance.
Lacie Cunningham told police that her husband had a history of mental illness and had stopped taking his medication, the report said.
According to the police report, the incident ended when Erik’s father, Paul Cunningham, transported him to Coleman Professional Services.
Erik and Lacie Cunningham were married in 2013. They have two children together, ages 3 and 7 years old. Police have said that the children are staying with family and were not home at the time they found the body.
The Portage County Sheriff’s Office has not released its report regarding Erik Cunningham’s visit to the office on Jan. 3. The Record-Courier has objected to that decision believing it violates Ohio law requiring the release of initial police reports.
Contact reporter Eileen McClory at email@example.com or @Eileen_McClory.