Steve Stephens, the man who brutally killed a defenseless elderly man on Easter Sunday and then posted video of the murder on Facebook, has admitted to having a gambling problem and was reportedly recently thrown out of a Cleveland casino.
The 37-year-old suspect is now the target of a multi-state manhunt by local, state, and federal law enforcement for the cold-blooded homicide of a senior citizen he did not know and apparently selected at random.
Stephens, in his own videos, cited an ex-girlfriend, as well as major gambling losses, as some of the motives for the slaying.
Stephens apparently had a serious gambling addiction. He posted on his Facebook page that, “ I lost everything I ever had due to gambling. I do not go into details but I’m [at] my breaking point.”
He filed for bankruptcy in 2015, claiming assets of $12,430 against liabilities of $35,466. The debt was reorganized and paid a year later and the case was closed.
His trouble at the casinos, however, did not end. He was reportedly a frequent visitor to the JACK Cleveland Casino and one casino worker who did not want to be named posted on social media that Stephens was thrown out of the casino a few weeks ago for allegedly stealing money from another player. Another employee who also wished to go unnamed said he didn’t know much about him, but that he played mostly craps and was “there like every day.”
A third anonymous worker, who also did not want to speak publicly said, “I honestly can’t believe this is happening. It’s so hard to believe someone who has always been so kind and sweet could do something so cold and heartless.”
On the video of the shooting, the mental health worker came upon 74-year-old grandfather Robert Goodwin, Sr. and pulled over his car.
“I’m about to kill this guy right here,” Stephens said. “He’s an old dude.”
He then asked the stranger to say the name “Joy Lane,” his former girlfriend’s moniker. When Goodwin repeated the name, Stephens said, “She’s the reason why this is about to happen to you.” He then shot the man point-blank in the face, while filming the incident on his own phone. He subsequently uploaded the killing to his own Facebook page.
The video was taken down about three hours later by social media, but has been reposted on several websites.
As of this writing, the search for Stephens across several states continues.