ZANESVILLE, Ohio -- The Canton man convicted last month in the gruesome murder of a woman found beaten and burned along a rural Muskingum County road learned his fate on Monday.
Common Pleas Court Judge Kelly Cottrill followed a jury's recommendation when she sentenced 34-year-old LaFonse Dixon Jr. to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Monday morning. Dixon was previously found guilty of aggravated murder, aggravated arson and kidnapping. He could have received the death penalty.
Prosecutors said that on August 26, 2012, Dixon and two women drove Fronsman from Canton to Muskingum County, where they beat her, choked her and set her on fire. She lived for two more days after a motorist found her on Route 208 near Adamsville, wailing in agony and burned over 70 percent of her body.
Investigators posited that the brutality was retaliation, stemming from Dixon's belief that Fronsman had snitched on his drug dealing.
Dixon's co-defendants - Katrina Culberson and Monica Washington - each entered negotiated guilty pleas to avoid the death penalty. Washington was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Culberson is expected to receive the same sentence on Wednesday.
ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A Canton man is due to be sentenced in the death of a severely burned 29-year-old woman who was found wailing along a rural Muskingum County road.
Sentencing was scheduled Monday in Zanesville for LaFonse Dixon Jr. The jury that convicted the 34-year-old Canton man recommended a sentence of life in prison without parole instead of the death penalty.
Dixon's attorneys argued the Canton man wasn't involved in the August 2012 attack on Celeste Fronsman, also of Canton.
Two women, Katrina Culberson and Monica Washington, pleaded guilty in the case to avoid the death penalty. They testified that the trio took Fronsman to rural Muskingum County, where she was set on fire and abandoned.
Dixon's attorneys argued his life should be spared and told jurors he had a troubled upbringing.