Steve Stephens gambled at W.Va. casino 48 hours before Facebook murder
NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) - Facebook murder suspect Steve Stephens gambled at a West Virginia casino two days before police say he killed a stranger on the streets of Cleveland and then posted the video to social media, according to a detective with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office.
Detectives with the agency say they contacted the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort on Monday, a day after the murder, and confirmed that Stephens spent time there on Friday.
Detectives say they retrieved surveillance video and pictures of Stephens in the facility, as well as his car in the parking lot. Stephens used his player's card while at the facility and appears to be wearing the same blue striped shirt that he wore in his Facebook videos.
In one of Stephens' Facebook videos, he proclaimed he had "lost everything" due to gambling.
"This past year has been really ****** up for me, you know, being with Joy, she drove me crazy, started making me gamble. I lost everything," he said in one of the videos on his Facebook page on Sunday. "I lost everything I had, man. I don't have ****. I'm out of options. And now I'm just on some murder type ****," he went on to say. Joy has been reported to be Stephens' ex-girlfriend, whom he also blamed for his actions.
The casino is located just across the Ohio River, about 120 miles away from Stephens' home in Cleveland.
Five states were put on high alert after the shooting but West Virginia was not included on the list, even though police had evidence he had spent time in the state just prior to the murder.
It's not clear if Stephens was a regular at the Hancock County casino but investigators did say it's not unusual for patrons to travel two hours from the Cleveland area to gamble there.
The West Virginia Fusion Center disseminated the information to law enforcement agencies across the state that Stephens had been in West Virginia the Friday before the murder but the agency had not responded to request for comment as of Wednesday evening.