Two Jailed in Ridgeway Homicide

Dwayne Maurice Green

Tonya Lavonne Harris

RIDGEWAY – A Ridgeway man was found dead in his son’s home Jan. 29 and the victim’s son and daughter-in-law are behind bars, both facing criminal charges in the incident.

Dwayne Maurice Green, 43, and his wife, Tonya Harris, 48, were arrested by the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office Jan. 31 on charges related to the death of 63-year-old Thomas Green, Dwayne Green’s father.

According to the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfield County EMS responded to the home on Bellfield Road in Ridgeway on the evening of Jan. 29. There they found Thomas Green unresponsive and pronounced him dead at the scene. At first glance, the death appeared to have been from natural causes. However, a preliminary examination by the Fairfield County Coroner’s Office found bruises, some recent, on Green’s body and Barkley Ramsey, Fairfield County Coroner, ordered an autopsy.

Thomas Green had suffered a stroke in 1998, Ramsey said, and had health issues related to his heart as well. While Green required a wheelchair for complete mobility, he could, with assistance, stand and walk short distances. Green was unable to care for himself, the Sheriff’s Office said, and had been living in the care of his son and daughter-in-law since the summer of 2012. Prior to coming to live with them on Bellfield Road, Green had been in a nursing home.

Ramsey said the autopsy revealed that Thomas Green had been beaten prior to his death Jan. 29, and that the beating placed significant, and ultimately fatal, stress on Green’s heart. The number and ages of the bruises indicate that this was not the first beating Green had endured in recent months.

Dwayne Green has been charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult resulting in death and could face as much as 30 years in prison, while Harris has been charged with neglect of a vulnerable adult, which carries a maximum sentence of five years. Both Harris and Dwayne Green were being held at the Fairfield County Detention Center as of press time.