A Butler County jury has found the fourth of five people accused in the botched armed robbery that turned fatal guilty of murder in the 2012 shooting death of Julian Slaven.
Nearly a year after Slaven’s death, Jerry Eacholes, 26, of Middletown, stood trial last week in Butler County Common Court on the charges of murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary. The jury deliberated briefly Friday afternoon and then continued Monday morning, deliberating a total of about nine hours before reaching a verdict.
Eacholes’ sentencing in set for Oct. 21. He faces up to 37 years to life in prison. The jury did not find Eacholes guilty of using a gun during the commissions of the three felony crimes, which would have added a possible nine years to his sentence.
On Tuesday, the trial of Christia Frymire, 20, of Fairfield, is scheduled to begin in the same courtroom.
Eacholes shook his head when the verdict was read at about 3:50 p.m. Slaven’s mother, Tamera, gave a quiet sigh.
“Justice was served,” Tamera Slaven said. “And I want to say to Christia, it is not too late to do the right thing and plead and end this.”
Eacholes and Frymire were scheduled to be tried together in July, but Oney severed the cases when attorneys for the defendants argued they should receive separate trials because some evidence, including a cellphone image of a man holding a gun, and statements presented at trial might be prejudicial toward one of the accused.
Joseph Goodin, 26, of Middletown, who fired the shot that killed 19-year-old Slaven on Nov. 24, pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison. His attorney said the fatal shot was fired by accident.
In June, Misty Williams, 19, of Hamilton also received an 18 years to life sentence after admitting guilt to the same charges.
Williams, a former Fairfield High School cheerleader, was addicted to heroin at the time of the incident, according to her family, who spoke on her behalf during sentencing.
Slaven and Williams were childhood friends and she was the person who placed the call setting up the robbery and shooting, according to prosecutors.
Anthony Givens, 21, of Hamilton, pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to 18 years to life for his part in the incident.
According to court documents, prosecutors say Goodin, Eacholes, Givens, Williams and Frymire “acting with the kind of culpability required for the commission of each charged offense were supporting, encouraging, conspiring with and cooperating with, advising, inciting and aiding or abetting each other in committing the murder of Julian Slaven.”
The five defendants, “planned and arranged a purchase of marijuana from Slaven, with Williams and Frymire acting as purchasers. Upon the two gaining entrance to the home by such deception, they planned that Goodin, Givens and Eacholes would enter the residence, Goodin and Givens with firearms,” according to court documents.
In the process of carrying out the plan, Slaven was shot, prosecutors say.
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