Holsinger pleads to murder in Ross County

No death penalty for Fourth of July killer

By David Wright - [email protected]



Jeffrey Ryan Holsinger pled guilty on Monday to aggravated murder and a laundry list of other charges related to a bloody Fourth of July crime spree in 2017 that left two people dead, and, as part of his plea agreement, the defendant will not face the death penalty for his crimes.

Holsinger, 33, shot three people, killing two, in Highland and Ross counties on Independence Day 2017, and after pleading guilty to murder and aggravated robbery here last September, capital murder charges were filed against him in Ross County.

Holsinger signed a nine-page plea agreement on Monday, in which the capital elements of his charges were dismissed as part of the arrangement. The charges included aggravated murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, aggravated burglary and gross sexual imposition.

Holsinger, already spending approximately 26 years to life in prison for the Highland County murder, faces another life sentence in Ross County. He will be sentenced on Monday, Dec. 10.

The Ross County case centered around the killing of Paul O. Robertson, 79, Clarksburg, who prosecutors say Holsinger shot and killed at his home in Clarksburg.

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

Earlier that evening, Holsinger shot and killed Steven Mottie Jr., 35, in a home near Greenfield. It is not clear why Holsinger shot Mottie Jr.

According to court documents, Holsinger assaulted Mottie Jr.’s father, Steven 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.

Schmidt said Holsinger and Jessie Lytle, an acquaintance, later stopped to obtain drugs in Lytle’s car, and afterward, Holsinger 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 shot Lytle six times, and Lytle fled into the woods, Schmidt said. He was later picked up by a passerby and taken to the hospital. He survived his injuries.

Eventually, Holsinger ended up at Robertson’s home, where he shot and killed Robertson before forcing Robertson’s fiance back into the house at gunpoint, according to Schmidt.

Holsinger was later apprehended in Franklin County after being cornered by a police helicopter, officials said at the time.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.

No death penalty for Fourth of July killer

By David Wright

[email protected]