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Murder Trial Of William Abel To Begin Monday

Last updated on Friday, February 9, 2018

(BLOOMFIELD) - 24-year-old William Levi Abel, who is charged with killing a Bedford man earlier this year in Bloomfield, will face a jury of his peers beginning Monday with jury selection at 9 a.m. in Greene County Circuit Court.

Judge Erik Allen will preside over the trial.

Abel is facing charges of murder, obstruction of justice, theft of a firearm and false informing in the death of 21-year-old Chase Aliano of Bedford.

Abel's defense attorney is James Riester from Bloomfield. Jarrod Holtsclaw is the Greene County prosecutor. They filed for the charge of false informing to be dropped and that motion was granted on January 30th.

Abel is accused of shooting and killing Aliano and then attempted to cover up the crime by hiding Aliano's vehicle, burning Aliano's clothes and other possessions and burying his body.

The investigation started on February 3, 2017 when Chase's father, Steve Aliano, contacted the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office to report his son missing. He stated that Chase had last been seen on January 31, 2016 at Abel's residence in Bloomfield, where Chase possibly intended to sell firearms to Abel.

On February 4, a deputy from the Greene County Sheriff Office visited the Abel residence and, after receiving consent from Abel's father, searched the property. He found Chase Aliano's red Chevy Tracker and discovered that Able removed the license plate and then hid the vehicle about 200 feet from his home near the woods. The vehicle was parked near a small tree near the bottom of the ravine and was hidden behind an old mattress and pallet.

Abel told police the two had went to a cabin on Abel's family's property on Jan. 31, 2017 to fire pistols and to smoke meth. He claims Aliano pointed a gun at him as they left the cabin, firing and missing. Able told police he had a .44 magnum in his hand, turned and fired twice at Aliano. Alaino was face down on the ground with the gun still in his hand. Abel approached Aliano and fired again.

He then wrapped Aliano's body in a sheet and used the car to drag the body into the woods. He then removed all of the clothing, placed the body in a hole in a creek and then covered it with rocks and sticks. He then burned both Aliano's clothing and his own then returned the following day to bury the body more fully. He also reportedly shot at Aliano's cell phone and then threw it into the woods.

Abel kept the firearms, hand tools, money, wristwatch and items from Aliano's vehicle. He also allegedly tried to sell the firearms.

Preliminary findings from an autopsy conducted at Terre Haute Regional Hospital indicate that Aliano was shot six times, in a manner inconsistent with the narrative Abel provided to police.

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