Plea agreement reached in death penalty case

A Clayton man agreed to testify against his co-defendant in the death of Justin Back, a Waynesville High School graduate.Death penalty dropped in exchange

A Clayton man agreed on Wednesday to plead guilty as charged in the murder of a recent Waynesville High School graduate, in exchange for avoiding the death penalty in the case.

Timothy Mosley, 19, agreed to the plea agreement in which he also agrees to testify against Austin Myers, 19, the other defendant in the capital murder case.

No date has been set for Mosley to enter the plea or be sentenced.

Judge Donald Oda II told Mosley during a hearing Wednesday he would be expected to testify in the Myers trial as part of the plea agreement.

“We anticipate you are going to be called as a witness,” Oda said during the hearing in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

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Myers is scheduled to begin a two-week trial on Monday.

Mosley and Myers are accused of strangling and stabbing Justin Back, 18, of Wayne Twp., to death in January during a burglary at his home, east of Waynesville.

They are then accused of dumping Back’s body in woods in Preble County, after shooting it and dousing it with septic system enzymes designed to hasten the decomposition of the body. Back was about to enter the U.S. Navy.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Oda advised Mosley that the judge was not bound by the agreement between his lawyers and prosecutors, except he could no longer be sentenced to death.

Mosley answered,” Yes, your honor,” repeatedly as Oda briefed him on the agreement.

Oda told Mosley that the agreement, worked out between Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell and Mosley’s lawyer, Dennis Lieberman, calls for Mosley to be sentenced to life without parole.

Fornshell and Lieberman declined to comment after the hearing.

Myers’ lawyer said Mosley’s testimony would be tested on cross-examination.

“We’re prepared to cross-examine him,” lawyer Greg Howard said. “I have no idea how he’s going to testify. We’ll just see how it goes.”

During the hearing, Fornshell said Lieberman and Mosley “executed” the agreement on Sept. 12. After a final pretrial hearing on Tuesday in Oda’s court, Myers’s case was set for trial next Monday.

Mosley and Myers are charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, grand theft of a firearm, tampering with evidence, safecracking and abuse of a corpse.

Police found a handgun, a safe and other personal belongings and work identification of Back’s stepfather, a guard at a nearby prison, after tracking Mosley and Myers the next day to Mosley’s home in Clayton, west of Dayton.

Authorities said Myers, who knew Back from school in Waynesville, and Mosley planned and executed the crime over two days in late January.

“Mr. Myers is probably the only person who could tell us why Mr. Back was targeted,” Fornshell said after the capital cases were filed.”At least initially this was his plan.”

The agreement had not been filed in court Wednesday, and Oda declined to turn over the copy of the agreement he used during the hearing because it included his notes. Fornshell did not respond to requests for a copy of the agreement.

The case began when deputies were called to Back’s home, southeast of Waynesville, on Jan. 28 about a burglary. Detectives interviewed Myers and Mosley alternately over a 10-hour period at the police station in Clayton.

A memorial service was held for Back, a popular student and athlete, at Waynesville High School.

Myers and Mosley remained in the Warren County Jail Wednesday, held without bond.

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