Murder victim one of three women raped by South Side man

A 49-year-old Columbus man has pleaded guilty to rape and aggravated murder in the death of a woman whose body was found in a garage behind a South Side house early last year, as well as the rapes of two other women.

Troy L. Hairston, formerly of the South Side, could be sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for the murder, plus as many as 33 years for the rapes, when he appears Sept. 10 before Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Jenifer French.

The murder victim, 47-year-old Tonya L. Daniels, was found Feb. 24, 2019, in the 900 block of Seymour Avenue.

Hairston become a suspect in the murder as Columbus police detectives investigated rapes that occurred near his residence in the 900 block of Geers Avenue, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said in a news release Friday. Hairston was living one block west of the murder scene.

On March 9, 2019, Hairston contacted police and confessed to the murder and other sexual assaults, O’Brien said. He pleaded guilty Thursday.

His other guilty pleas were to the rape of a 70-year-old woman on Sept. 26, 2018, and the rape of a 57-year-old woman on the same day that Daniels was murdered.

Hairston was convicted of rape in 1994 and served time in prison. He was paroled as part of a series of hearings mandated after Ohio enacted truth-in-sentencing laws.

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