Man accused of murdering Yellow Springs man arraigned

Local News
Zyrian Atha-Arnett

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio (WDTN) – The man who is accused of murdering another man in January and leaving his body near John Bryant State Park was arraigned Thursday.

Zryian Atha-Arnett was arraigned in Greene County Common Pleas Court on two counts of murder and one count of felonious assault in the murder of Leonid Clark. Detective say that Atha-Arnett stabbed Clark multiple times, killing, then leaving his body near the park, where it wasn’t found in months.

Clark and Atha-Arnett had been friends since grade school and had a “love-hate” relationship, according to Clark’s father. Friends described it as a “volatile” relationship.

Authorities allege Clark was murdered on January 13. In the preceding days, phone records show Atha-Arnett and Clark exchanged several text messages and calls. A few days after, coworkers noticed Atha-Arnett had cuts on his hands, bruising by his neck, scratches on his arms and chest, and complained of an injured ankle and knee.

A breakthrough helped fill in the blanks in between: a search warrant for additional phone records for the day of the alleged murder. Texts between Atha-Arnett and Clark stated that they would meet and hang out. But cell tower records show Atha-Arnett’s phone traveling to John Bryan State Park where Clark’s body was later found. Google location data puts the phone 200 feet from the exact spot.

That same data shows Atha-Arnett returned to the location where the body was found 37 times between January 14 and April 30.

Google search history data shows Zyrian Atha-Arnett searched “Yellow Springs news”, “Leonid Clark”, or related search terms more than 300 times in the weeks after the murder. Not once did he search for “Yellow Springs news” before the murder date.

Atha-Arnett is next expected to appear in court on Dec. 13 for pretrial, followed by a jury trial expected to start on Jan 27, 2020.

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