Updated: 9:27 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 | Posted: 9:04 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012

Death penalty trial next week for Xenia man


Death penalty trial next week for Xenia man photo
Ronald Christopher Fairchild (Photo courtesy Rowan County, Ky., Jail)
Death penalty trial next week for Xenia man photo
Ronald Christopher Fairchild (Photo courtesy Ledger Independent)

By Frazier Smith

A Xenia man will go on trial in Kentucky starting Monday in an attempt to avoid the death penalty for his role in a 2005 double homicide.

A Rowan County, Ky., jury on Tuesday night found Ronald Christopher Fairchild, 44, guilty on two counts of complicity to commit murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary in the deaths of Donald Walker and Marlane Mauk in May 2005.

Walker and Mauk were found in Walker’s home in Fleming County, Ky., on May 6, 2005, after not being seen in several days. Both were shot more than once and their bodies locked in Walker’s trailer from the outside.

Earlier this year, two co-defendants each pleaded guilty to two counts of complicity to commit murder in the case. Those co-defendants, Jason Jackson of Xenia and Rodney Dodson of West Carrollton, are to be sentenced Dec. 14.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office helped Kentucky State Police in the investigation that led to the arrests of all three men in May 2011, sheriff’s Capt. Eric Spicer said Wednesday. Fairchild agreed to a polygraph exam, administered by the sheriff’s office, and made incriminating statements indicating his involvement in the slayings, Spicer said.

“On May 10, 2011, Chris (Fairchild) made a life-altering decision of submitting to a polygraph test,” the Ledger Independent reported defense attorney Paul Cox as saying in closing statements to a jury on Tuesday. Cox tried to explain what he called faults with the interview process done by the Greene County detectives, insisting to the jury that Fairchild was pressured into taking the test and into making false statements incriminating himself in order to tell the polygraph administrator what he wanted to hear.

According to trial testimony, by the end of the test, Fairchild had admitted being in the Walker trailer in the eastern Kentucky county of Fleming when Walker and Mauk were killed, describing where everyone was in the room and pointing an accusatory finger at Jackson as the shooter.

During the trial, DNA evidence on the trailer lock put Jackson at the crime scene; other evidence linked the weapon to Jackson, including the bullet magazine from his gun, which was found in a Fleming County pond in 2010. Testimony from Jackson and Fairchild put Dodson on the couch next to Mauk when the shooting started and the gun in the hand of Jackson or Fairchild,

Under the guise of engaging Walker in a drug transaction, Jackson and Dodson entered the home and left Fairchild in the car, facts that did not appear to be disputed, based on video and testimony.

Testimony also revealed that Mauk was seated on a couch and Walker took a seat in a chair, with Dodson sitting next to Mauk on the couch.

A few minutes later, Fairchild testified that he entered the trailer and went to warm his hands on the wood stove.

Walker was shot at first, with a bullet grazing his face … before he was shot a second time. Mauk was shot where she sat and more shots were fired into Walker, according to testimony.

Cox, the attorney, contended Jackson did the shooting, to the surprise of Fairchild.

Jackson locked the trailer, left with the others, and went to his home, ordering his wife to drive Dodson and Fairchild back to Ohio and stay there until he moved their things to Ohio.

The bodies were found days later.

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