July 1, 2016

Partly cloudy

Nephew on 911: Neighbor fought with slain uncle

Listen to an excerpt of Paul Munz’s 911 call:


CHATHAM TWP. — Frank G. Munz’s nephew was locked inside a bedroom talking with a sheriff’s dispatcher when his uncle was attacked in their Richman Road home Thursday, according to a 911 tape.

Munz, 73, known for his work with the Chatham Historical Society, was killed during the apparent home invasion, authorities said.

County Coroner Neil Grabenstetter said the 73-year-old Munz died from two possible causes: “injuries from a blunt instrument to the back of his head” and there was “evidence of strangulation.”

“(Frank) was well known in the community. It’s a sad day for Chatham,” Grabenstetter said.

At 2:27 p.m. Thursday, the Medina County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Munz’s nephew, Paul Munz, who had locked himself in a back bedroom of the house at 5394 Richman Road after hearing an argument between his uncle and a neighbor he identified as Stephen Alvis Cepec, according to the 911 call.

Paul lived at the residence with his uncle, who moved to Chatham in 1971.

Paul Munz said he heard his uncle shouting and struggling with Cepec, and locked himself in the bedroom. Paul told the dispatcher Cepec had been “talking to his uncle” and may have borrowed money from Munz two days previously, according to the 911 tape.

After he locked himself in the bedroom, Paul Munz said he heard someone trying to get in and called police.

“I thought he was going to break (the door) down but he walked off,” Paul Munz told the dispatcher.

After a sheriff’s sergeant who was in the area following SWAT training arrived, Paul Munz said he heard someone rifling through the bedroom next door and walking in the hallway, according to the 911 tape.

The sergeant saw a man flee from the residence, and a police dog was released in pursuit. After a brief chase through the woods behind the house, authorities apprehended Cepec, 41, of 5500 Richman Road, a sheriff’s statement said.

Cepec was being held on a parole violation in the Medina County Jail, Chief Deputy Ken Baca said.

Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman said he could not comment on potential charges against Cepec.

“The sheriff’s office is working the case, they’re keeping me and my office informed,” Holman said Friday night. “The sheriff’s office is doing a great job. The public can have confidence in the investigation they’re doing.”

Cepec was released from the Mansfield Correctional Institution in 2003 after serving time burglary, theft and assault, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Besides being co-chairman of the Chatham Historical Society, Munz served on the township’s Zoning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals and the Medina County Planning Commission.

Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at (330) 721-4050 or kbushinski@medina-gazette.com.