Wednesday, April 28, 1999

Leads continue in Troutman deaths

Family had seen no friction between musician, brother

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DAYTON, Ohio — Police on Tuesday were continuing to receive potential leads about the circumstances surrounding the deaths of R&B recording artist Roger Troutman and his brother Larry, said Dayton Police homicide Sgt. Gary White.

        The Montgomery County coroner's office has ruled Larry Troutman killed his brother, then himself, with a .357-Magnum Sunday morning. The pair spent their childhoods in Hamilton and still have relatives in Hamilton and Middletown.

        Although the family's recording business had financial difficulties and was undergoing some restructuring, family members told police they detected no friction between the brothers, Sgt. White said Tuesday.

        Three relatives who talked to police “did not know of any motive for either Roger or Larry's death,” Sgt. White said. “And they had no reason to believe there was any problem between Roger and Larry Troutman, either business, family or personal.”

        Roger Troutman's body was found in an alley behind the recording studios his family owned. The 47-year-old singer, who was in the midst of a career comeback, had been shot twice in the back and twice in the chest. Larry Troutman, 54, was shot once in the head as he sat in his vehicle a few blocks away.

        Roger Troutman and his band, Zapp, are probably best known for their 1980 hit, “More Bounce to the Ounce.” He also scored a solo hit in 1987 withthe single “I Want to Be Your Man.”

        While Roger was the family's main musical artist, “Larry was a business partner, and Larry and his other brothers oversaw the business,” Sgt. White said.

        Following the coroner's homicide-suicide ruling, the police investigation was beginning to wind down, Sgt. White said.

        The coroner's office Tuesday said it could be several weeks before reports are available to show whether alcohol or drugs were involved.


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