Spain was 14 when he allegedly committed the crime.
On Wednesday, Spain was back in Butler County Common Pleas Court for a final pretrial hearing in Judge Greg Howard’s courtroom. Spain has pleaded not guilty, and there was no change of plea, so his trial is set to begin Oct. 2.
In September 2022, Fairfield Twp. Police arrested Spain for murder, and the case was heard in Butler County Juvenile Court because of his age at the time of the alleged offense. The case was bound over to adult court by a juvenile judge in October, 2022 for grand jury consideration, and an indictment was returned. He is being held in lieu or $1.5 million bond.
Howard has been presiding over co-defendant Markeylnd Townsend’s case since his indictment in 2021. Townsend, 24, was arrested two weeks after the homicide on an unrelated aggravated robbery charge in Hamilton and was 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. He is accused of firing a weapon into a car full of people driven by Garcia-Tovar. He is being held on a $500,000 bond.
A trial date has not been set for Townsend. He is scheduled to be back in court Oct. 4 for a hearing.
Garcia-Tovar of Hamilton was fatally shot 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 court documents, police believe Spain is the person who fired the shot that killed Garcia-Tovar.
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.