|By Phil Trexler, The Akron Beacon
Journal, OhioMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 23, 2008 - For 25 years, she toiled for hotel guests in Richfield.
Bonnie Nevener was hard-working and she was kind, friends say.
In the early morning hours of Friday, the 59-year-old front desk clerk was stabbed to death in a robbery that police say was committed by Dannis Lindsey, an ex-con and co-worker at the Holiday Inn Express on Brecksville Road.
In a matter of hours, police say, they compiled a myriad of evidence, from the stolen money to bloody shoes to a video showing an arm plunging a knife.
Lindsey, 46, is accused of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, which could bring a death sentence if he is convicted. He was being held in the Summit County Jail pending a court appearance this morning in Akron Municipal Court.
Lindsey called 911 about 3:30 a.m. Friday to report finding Nevener's body in a laundry room off the main lobby where she worked.
Lindsey told the dispatcher that he went to the front desk after being unable to get into a room and found Nevener's bloodied body.
"No, there's nothing there," he said to the operator, who asked whether Nevener was still alive. "I checked her pulse and I didn't find one. There's blood everywhere. . . . I touched her and I got blood on me and I walked out."
After initially talking to police at the scene, Lindsey was taken into custody. He has since requested an attorney.
"He's saying he ain't talking," Richfield police Lt. Joe Davis said. "He has lawyered up."
Lindsey has a crime and prison record in Summit and Cuyahoga counties that dates back to the early 1990s. His convictions include aggravated burglary, receiving stolen property, drug abuse and drug possession.
Richfield Police Chief Dale Canter said Nevener was working the third-shift desk shift when she was attacked in the lobby. There were no witnesses.
Surveillance cameras, however, appear to have captured the assault on video. A police source said the tape shows an arm moving in a stabbing motion.
The images are being reviewed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
Canter said the attack occurred between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m., when Lindsey contacted police. An autopsy performed Friday showed Nevener suffered multiple stabs wounds.
Lindsey, a maintenance worker at the hotel, lived in a second-story room at an adjacent Howard Johnson hotel, police said. A search warrant was used for his room and the roof tops of both hotels. Police said bloody shoes and money were recovered during the searches.
Canter said the slaying is the first in the village in at least 15 years.
Nevener had worked for the Shah family, owners of several hotels in the turnpike area of Richfield, for years. News of her death stunned co-workers and her two sisters.
"She was a very nice person," said Minesh Shah, one of the owners. "She was always very helpful, a sweet person who looked out for other people's needs."
Davis said Nevener's sisters are devastated by the death. They could not be reached by the Beacon Journal for comment.
Davis said Nevener was well-known in the community after working at several hotels in the area for so many years. A widow, she lived in Richfield and had no children.
"She was just a regular person, well-liked by everybody she knew," Davis said.Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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