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Audrain jail inmate’s murder was premeditated, documents allege

First-degree murder charges were filed Thursday against Ryan Blair, 27, the Mexico man accused of killing fellow Audrain County jail inmate Michael Eisenhauer, 42, of Centralia.

A probable cause statement said Blair struck Eisenhauer on the head and beat him to death with his hands and feet.

During an interview with investigators, the statement said Blair admitted to planning and carrying out the murder, and that he had “specifically targeted” Eisenhauer.

Other than Blair’s confession, no details or evidence were provided in court documents.

If found guilty of first-degree murder, Blair faces life in prison or the death penalty.

The Audrain County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that Eisenhauer was pronounced dead at SSM Hospital in Mexico after the assault, which happened at about 9 a.m.

Blair has been jailed in Audrain County since December on warrants for third-degree assault. Eisenhauer had been jailed since March on charges of first-degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident at Audrain County’s request.

“We will be conducting a full, wide-ranging investigation into the incident at the Audrain County Jail,” said Boone County Det. Tom O’Sullivan.

When asked if the BCSD will be looking into whether all established safety protocols were followed by Audrain County Jail workers, O’Sullivan declined to comment on specifics of the investigation.

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