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GUN BUFF INDICTED IN 2 SLAYINGS, SUSPECTED OF 3 OTHERS IN OHIO

SHARE GUN BUFF INDICTED IN 2 SLAYINGS, SUSPECTED OF 3 OTHERS IN OHIO

A gun collector who got the nickname "Killer" for boasting about shooting hundreds of animals has been indicted in the deaths of two of five outdoorsmen, investigators said Friday.

Prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty for Thomas Lee Dillon, a 42-year-old Canton Water Department draftsman who has been in custody since Nov. 27 on firearms charges.Dillon was charged with two counts of aggravated murder. More indictments could come later, the FBI's Dave Hanna told reporters.

Relatives of victims attended the news conference but showed no emotion.

Dillon's lawyer, Roger Syn-en-berg, issued a statement saying that Dillon denies any involvement with the slayings.

A task force of local, state and federal authorities has been investigating the shootings of at least five men who were hunting, fishing or jogging alone in eastern Ohio between April 1989 and April 1992.

Evidence was presented to a Noble County grand jury this week.

Dillon was indicted in the deaths of Gary Bradley, 44, and Claude Hawkins, 49. Both were killed while fishing last year.

Dillon emerged as a suspect after agents tailed a man they said spent his weekends drinking beer, cruising remote roads, shooting at utility poles and road signs, and killing more than 1,000 animals.

According to court documents, Dillon's fellow employees said he boasted of killing dogs, cats and cattle, earning him the nickname "Killer."

Dillon also told an informant that "it would be easy to shoot someone," and that slayings in several different counties would cause jurisdictional problems for investigators, according to court documents.

Authorities also have linked three other deaths to him.