A 20 year-old woman has been acquitted of murder in the botched armed robbery that ended in the shooting death of Julian Slaven.
A Butler County jury deliberated eight hours after a four-day trial before finding Christia Frymire not guilty of murder, but convicting her of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary. She faces 28 years in prison for the two felonies that include gun specifications. Common Pleas Judge Patricia Oney set sentencing for Nov. 18.
Frymire was the last of five people to be tried for the 2012 homicide.
The verdict, reached about 12:45 a.m. Saturday morning, comes nearly a year after Slaven’s death at the Judy Drive residence he shared with his mother, Tamera, and his sister, Taylor.
Prosecutors acknowledged Frymire did not pull the trigger on the night of Nov. 24 when the five conspired to rob Slaven of marijuana and money, but she was an “aider and abettor” in the crimes.
Frymire, who was co-defendant Jerry Eacholes’ girlfriend, was behind the wheel, driving the van to the Slaven residence on the night of the murder, said Butler County Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Heile during closing arguments.
Heile said testimony from Misty Williams, also a co-defendant and Frymire’s friend, along with text messages prove Frymire knew about the plot and about the gun.
But defense attorney, Melynda Cook said the state’s evidence was an attempt to infer guilt from “small, little things.”
Cook said Frymire was out of the loop in the plan to rob Slaven and was only the driver to the residence for what she thought was a drug purchase.
“She is the patsy, she is the one with the license,” Cook said during closing arguments.
Eacholes, 26, of Middletown, was found guilty Oct. 7 of murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, but the jury did not convict him on the gun specifications. His sentencing is set for Oct. 21. He faces up to 37 years to life in prison.
Joseph Goodin, 26, of Middletown, who fired the shot that killed 19-year-old Slaven, 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 said Goodin, Eacholes, Givens, Williams and Frymire “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.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.