Five capital murder charges in the death of a 79-year-old victim were among multiple felony counts handed down against Jeffrey Ryan Holsinger by a Ross County Grand Jury recently in connection with a summer crime spree that left two dead and another critically wounded near Greenfield on the Fourth of July.
According to the secret indictment, which was made public on Monday, Holsinger was indicted on: five counts of aggravated murder, capital violations punishable by the death penalty; one count of attempted murder, one count of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated burglary, all first degree felonies; as well as one count of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony.
According to the indictment, all five of the murder charges relate to the death of Paul O. Robertson, a 79-year-old man who was shot and killed in Ross County near Greenfield on the Fourth of July. The five separate charges were filed due to multiple specifications contained within each charge related to other acts or violations allegedly undertaken in the course of the alleged murder.
Earlier that evening, Holsinger shot and killed Steven Mottie Jr., 35, in a Higginsville home — a crime to which he pled guilty in September in Highland County Common Pleas Court.
As reported by The Times-Gazette, the violent encounters on the Fourth occurred the day after the funeral of Holsinger’s father, Jeffrey Calhoun, who was killed in a freak accident near Greenfield after a wheel broke away from a home-made trailer, bounced off a car and flew through the windshield of a vehicle in which Calhoun was a passenger.
Calhoun died at the hospital a short time later.
It is not apparent why Holsinger shot Mottie Jr. on the Fourth.
According to court documents, Holsinger assaulted Mottie Jr.’s father, Mottie Sr., then took his money and debit card, and left the home with a woman who had been with him for part of the evening.
Holsinger and the woman then went across the street and hitched a ride with Jesse Lytle, one of Holsinger’s accqaintances, bought drinks at Rite Aid, then withdrew money from Mottie Sr.’s bank account before leaving Greenfield, according to court documents.
Ross County Prosecutor Matthew Schmidt told The Times-Gazette that Holsinger and Lytle later stopped to obtain drugs, and afterward, Holsinger reportedly tricked Lytle into getting out of the vehicle by asking him if he wanted to shoot Holsinger’s pistol.
“It was absolutely a ruse to get him out of the car so (Holsinger) could shoot him and take the car,” Schmidt said.
Holsinger allegedly shot Lytle six times, and Lytle fled into the woods, Schmidt said.
“He’s lucky to be alive,” Schmidt said, adding that Lytle is recovering from his wounds.
Eventually, Holsinger ended up at Robertson’s home, where he allegedly shot and killed him before forcing Robertson’s fiance back into the house at gunpoint, according to Schmidt.
Schmidt said the gross sexual imposition charge was filed because Holsinger allegedly sexually assaulted the woman in the home.
Holsinger was later apprehended in Franklin County.
As reported by The Times-Gazette, Holsinger was sentenced to approximately 26 years to life in prison in September after pleading guilty to murder and aggravated robbery charges here.
He was incarcerated at the Lebanon Correctional Institution before being indicted in Ross County.
When asked about the potential for a plea agreement in the Ross County case, Schmidt said it’s “way too early to even consider that,” and a decision will be made after consulting with victims.
Holsinger will be arraigned once an attorney qualified to defend death-penalty cases is appointed, according to Schmidt.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.