Former Greenfield man set for capital murder trial next year


Faces death penalty for Ross County murder

By David Wright - dwright@timesgazette.com



Jeffrey Ryan Holsinger sits in Highland County Common Pleas Court last year. Holsinger faces capital murder charges in Ross County.

Jeffrey Ryan Holsinger sits in Highland County Common Pleas Court last year. Holsinger faces capital murder charges in Ross County.


David Wright | The Times-Gazette

The fate of a former Greenfield-area man facing the death penalty for allegedly killing two people last July will be decided at a jury trial in Ross County Common Pleas Court beginning in April, according to court records.

Jeffrey Ryan Holsinger, 32, faces the death penalty for allegedly killing an elderly man near Clarksburg on the Fourth of July, following a lethal crime spree in the Greenfield area that left one man critically injured and another dead.

Online court records show a jury trial has been scheduled for April 17, 2019, and the court has been reserved for trial proceedings until May 10.

Holsinger was indicted near the end of last year in Ross County 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; and one count of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony.

All five murder charges relate to the death of Paul O. Robertson, 79, Clarksburg, who prosecutors say Holsinger shot and killed at a home near Clarksburg 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.

Ross County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Schmidt told The Times-Gazette last year that the gross sexual imposition charge was filed because Holsinger allegedly sexually assaulted Robertson’s fiance after killing Robertson.

More than 100 motions have been filed in the case since it was filed last December, including a motion by the defense to dismiss the capital aspects of the case, which was overruled by the judge.

Holsinger is represented by Kirk McVay, a death penalty certified attorney with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office, and attorney John R. Cornely, director of the Ross County branch of the Ohio Public Defender’s Office.

Holsinger is currently serving a prison sentence of approximately 26 years to life for killing Steven Mottie Jr., 35, in a home at Higginsville earlier in the evening on the Fourth. Holsinger pled guilty to that crime in September 2017 in Highland County Common Pleas Court.

Holsinger also allegedly shot another man, Jesse Lytle, after catching a ride with him out of Greenfield following Mottie’s death. The two later stopped to obtain drugs, according to Schmidt, and Holsinger tricked Lytle into getting out of the car, then shot him six times. Lytle fled into the woods, and Holsinger took Lytle’s car, according to Schmidt. He later ended up at Robertson’s home.

Lytle was still recovering from his wounds in December, Schmidt said.

Holsinger was eventually apprehended in Franklin County after leading authorities on an extensive pursuit that involved multiple law enforcement agencies.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.

Jeffrey Ryan Holsinger sits in Highland County Common Pleas Court last year. Holsinger faces capital murder charges in Ross County.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2018/07/web1_holsinger1-1.jpgJeffrey Ryan Holsinger sits in Highland County Common Pleas Court last year. Holsinger faces capital murder charges in Ross County. David Wright | The Times-Gazette
Faces death penalty for Ross County murder

By David Wright

dwright@timesgazette.com