Defendant in stabbing case faces aggravated murder

LISBON -The man awaiting trial for stabbing a bouncer to death near a Salem bar last November pleaded innocent to an aggravated murder charged that was tacked on last week.

Robert L. Harmony, 45, East Fourth Street, Salem, was arraigned Thursday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court on an aggravated murder charge in the Nov. 13 death of Gerrod S. Lanzendorfer. The superceding indictment was handed down last week by the county grand jury, which is in addition to the original murder charge. The aggravated murder charge alleges that Harmony planned to murder Lanzendorfer.

Just as with the initial murder charge, Harmony pleaded not guilty to the aggravated murder charge. The case remains scheduled for trial June 24, although a status hearing is set for June 12 before Judge C. Ashley Pike.

The 23-year-old Lanzendorfer was found stabbed to death at 2:30 a.m. on South Broadway in Salem, just up the street from Side Door, where he worked as a bouncer. About the same time Harmony called 911 and reportedly told the police dispatcher he had just stabbed someone after leaving the Side Door. He was found with a knife and told investigators he acted after being harassed and followed.

An amended bill of particulars filed with the court on Thursday by the county prosecutor’s office provided more details about the alleged crime that served as the basis for the additional charge. It stated Harmony told some people he was going to kill Lanzendorfer and then flashed a knife, which he used to slice a tire on Lanzendorfer’s pickup truck. He then encountered Lanzendorfer while he was alone and allegedly stabbed him 15 times using a folding knife.

Harmony was sentenced on March 27 to one year in prison after pleading guilty to domestic violence for slapping his wife in the face at their home last July 4. The charge was a felony because he had a prior domestic violence conviction.

He is being held in the county jail on $1 million bond.