Holsinger sentenced to life in Ross County after Greenfield, Clarksburg murders

Fourth of July killer will have no parole

By David Wright - [email protected]



Jeffrey Ryan Holsinger will not see the outside of a prison for the rest of his life.

Holsinger, who shot two people to death and nearly killed another in a bloody crime spree on the Fourth of July last year, was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole this week in Ross County Common Pleas Court.

The sentencing concluded more than one year of court proceedings, during which Holsinger faced the death penalty.

Holsinger pled guilty last week to aggravated murder and other charges, avoiding a death sentence, but at a disposition hearing in Ross County Monday, he said he deserved to die for what he did, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Kirk McVay of the Ohio Public Defender’s Office told The Times-Gazette that Holsinger, 33, has “resigned himself to the fact that he’s going to be in prison for the rest of his life.”

“He expressed, I thought, a very heartfelt remorse for… the things he did that day,” McVay said. “Some aspects of his life would not be the life we would choose for ourselves, but he did not use that as an excuse.”

Holsinger is already spending approximately 26 years to life in prison for the Highland County murder of Steven Mottie Jr., 35, whom he shot and killed in the bathroom of a Higginsville home near Greenfield on July 4, 2017.

According to court documents, Holsinger assaulted Mottie Jr.’s father, Steven Mottie Sr. — when the crime was first reported, law enforcement were told Mottie Sr. had been pistol whipped — 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 acquaintances, bought drinks at Rite Aid, then withdrew money from Mottie Sr.’s bank account before leaving Greenfield, according to court documents.

Ross County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Schmidt said Holsinger and Lytle 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. Holsinger continued on and Lytle was later picked up by a passerby. He was taken first to Adena Greenfield Medical Center, then to a hospital in Columbus. He survived his injuries.

The Ross County case centered around the killing of Paul O. Robertson, 79, Clarksburg, whom Holsinger shot and killed at a home on Browns Chapel Road in Ross County before forcing Robertson’s fiance back into the house at gunpoint.

Schmidt said Holsinger sexually assaulted Robertson’s fiance after killing Robertson.

Officials said Holsinger took Robertson’s black Cadillac, and was later apprehended in Hilliard, Ohio, after being cornered by a police helicopter.

Holsinger pled guilty to murder and aggravated robbery in Highland County last September and was sentenced, then capital murder charges were filed against him in Ross County.

Holsinger signed a nine-page plea agreement in the Ross County case last week, 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.

McVay said in addition to Holsinger’s life sentence, he was ordered to complete another six years for firearm specifications on two of the charges, as well as two 11-year sentences for his other charges that will run concurrent to his life sentence.

According to online prison records, Holsinger was previously incarcerated at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in January 2010 for receiving stolen property. He was booked again in April 2010 for aggravated robbery. In August 2010, Holsinger was charged with a third degree felony charge of escape.

Holsinger was released in August 2016, according to records. He was on five years’ post-release supervision when he killed Mottie Jr. and Robertson.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.

Fourth of July killer will have no parole

By David Wright

[email protected]