Trio accused in murder-for-hire plot indicted

Sarah Fryman is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

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Sarah Fryman is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

A Madison Twp. woman accused of arranging to have her estranged husband killed and two others who were allegedly involved in the murder-for-hire plot have been indicted by a Butler County grand jury.

Shelly Carter, 42, was indicted today on one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder. Casey Fryman, 32, and his wife Sarah Fryman, 21, of Riverview Avenue in Middletown, who police and prosecutors say were involved in the scheme, are each facing one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, all first-degree felonies.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Three people indicted on one count each of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

During a preliminary hearing last month in Middletown Municipal Court, police said Carter was in fear of losing her home and custody of her children when she arranged to have her estranged husband killed in a car crash.

A plan was hatched for a hit man to crash into Christian Carter’s car during the early morning hours of Sept. 17 near the couple’s Browns Run Road home, according to Middletown police Detective Tim Meehan.

MORE: Target of alleged murder-for-hire speaks out

The “accident” was timed to coincide for when Christian Carter would be dropping off the couple’s children, and Shelly Carter instructed the hit man to “do it even if the kids were in the car,” Meehan said during the preliminary hearing.

Shelly Carter allegedly offered to pay Donald Sandlin $1,000 — $500 up front and $500 after the job was completed — and give him an SUV as payment.

Instead, Sandlin told police about the alleged plot, Meehan said.

Police were conducting surveillance on Shelly Carter and the Frymans at the Browns Run Road home and at Carter’s dog grooming business on Vannest Avenue when they received an anonymous tip Sept. 22 that they were at the Madison Inn. Meehan said police, along with Butler County Sheriff’s deputies, went to the bar and arrested all three.

Also arrested at the bar was Shelly Carter’s boyfriend, Ryan Stark.

Stark was not involved in the murder-for-hire conspiracy but confirmed the alleged plot, according to Meehan.

Stark, 23, of Cincinnati, was also indicted by a grand jury today on two counts of carrying a concealed weapon and illegal possession of a firearm in a liquor permit premises, fourth and fifth-degree felonies.

Bond was set in municipal court at $750,000 for Carter, and $250,000 each for both Frymans. Stark’s bond was continued at $50,000.

Carter and the Frymans are scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 3 by Judge Keith Speath. Stark is schedueld to be arraiged Monday by Judge Michael Oster.

This article contains previous reporting by staff writer Rick McCrabb.

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