Teen murder suspect sent to adult jail to await outcome of Butler County case

A Cincinnati teen charged with a fatal shooting that happened when he was 14 will wait out his case in adult jail due to his behavior in the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center.

On Sept. 6, Fairfield Twp. police arrested 18-year-old Jordan A. Spain of Milford for his involvement in the 2018 homicide of Sydney Garcia-Tovar, who was 16 when she was killed in the 7500 block of Wildbranch Road in Tyler’s Creek Townhomes.

Garcia-Tovar was fatally shot on July 23, 2018 while behind the wheel of a car in the parking lot outside the apartment complex. She was pronounced dead the next day. A second gunshot victim survived.

According to juvenile court documents, police believe Spain is the person who fired the shot that killed Garcia-Tovar.

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Spain “did shoot and kill Sydney Garcia-Tovar. Victim was shot in the head,” according to the court offense document signed by Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Brandon McCroskey. The court document also accuses Spain of firing a 45-caliber handgun into Garcia-Tovar’s occupied car.

At the time of Garcia-Tovar’s death, Spain lived on Wildbranch Road, where the shooting occurred. The case has been filed in the juvenile court system because of his age at the time of the offense.

Markeylnd Townsend, 23, was arrested two weeks after the homicide on an unrelated aggravated robbery charge in Hamilton and sentenced in April 2019 to three years in prison. While in prison, Townsend was indicted in April 2021 for murder with a gun specification and felonious assault. Townsend is accused of firing a weapon into a car full of people driven by Garcia-Tovar. He is still awaiting trial.

Spain was arraigned initially by a magistrate and ordered to remain in the county juvenile detention center. During a hearing Monday, Butler County Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen Romans ordered Spain be transferred to the county jail “because he is a threat to the safety and security of the facility.”

Specifically, the judge found evidence that Spain had displayed aggressive and violent behavior toward a staff member.

The case is not an automatic bind over to adult court. Romans will have to determine if Spain should be tried as an adult and send the case to common pleas court for grand jury consideration. A probable cause hearing is set for Oct. 14 in juvenile court.

On Monday, prosecutors also filed a motion requesting Romans send the case to adult court after the probable cause hearing.

The Journal-News does not typically name juvenile suspects unless they are tried as an adult, but it is happening in this case because Spain is now an adult.

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

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