Cuyahoga County

Eric Register Plead and was Sentenced for the 1989 Slaying of Armond Earl

July 29, 2013

CLEVELAND- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced that Eric Register plead guilty to one count of Voluntary Manslaughter and was sentenced to a term of 10 to 25 years in prison for the 1989 slaying of Armond Earl. 

On July 19, 1989, a family member of Armond Earl contacted Maple Heights Police to report him missing. Maple Heights Police proceeded to the victim’s apartment in the 5300 block of Lee Road. After several attempts to see if someone was home, officials knocked down the apartment door and observed the victim’s nude body lying on the living room floor. The bloody crime scene demonstrated the vicious nature of the murder. It was determined that the crime had occurred several days earlier. Officers noticed four wounds: two in the forehead, and two in the chest. The Deputy Coroner determined the stab wounds had possibly been made by a screwdriver.

One of the items the police preserved from the crime scene was a bath tub drain. That bath tub drain was recently tested at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Regional Crime Lab and a DNA profile was developed. The profile was later matched to blood found on a screwdriver left at the scene. That profile then matched Eric Register.

Register’s DNA was also found to have comingled with the blood of the victim. The assailant had left a bloody fingerprint on a fan found next to the victim. For over 20 years, police attempted to determine whose bloody fingerprint was left at the scene. The Cold Case Unit submitted a request to BCI to compare the fingerprints of suspect Register to this bloody print found at the scene of the murder. This bloody fingerprint was made by Register.  

Working with the Maple Heights Police Detectives, the Cold Case Unit reopened the Armond Earl murder case in February 2010. Register was subsequently indicted in November 2012. The Cold Case Unit was formed in 2005 with a Grant from the Department of Justice.  Prosecutor McGinty has continued the Cold Case Unit which consists of a Director (Criminal Investigations Division Chief), an assistant major trial unit prosecutor, a paralegal, the Chief Investigator of the Prosecutor’s Office, and two retired Homicide Detectives.

The Cold Case Unit works with local police departments from the Homicide and Sex Crimes Division Detectives, BCI and the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Assistant County Prosecutors Richard A. Bell and Gregory J. Mussman prosecuted this case.

Contact: Joseph Frolik, Director of Communication and Public Policy or Maria (Pinzone) Russo, Public Information Officer, Phone: (216) 698-2819   

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