Ohio’s Erica Stefanko Faces Life Sentence in Retrial for 2012 Pizza Delivery Murder Case

In a dramatic turn of events, Erica Stefanko was once again convicted of murder for her involvement in the infamous pizza delivery murder case of 2012. The verdict was delivered in a packed courtroom in Summit County, marking a significant moment for the family of the victim, Ashley Biggs. The emotional response from Biggs’ mother, Kimberly Biggs, underscored the long-awaited justice that the family had been seeking for over a decade.

A Decade-Long Quest for Justice

The case dates back to June 2012, when Ashley Biggs, a 25-year-old pizza delivery driver, was brutally murdered in a parking lot of a closed business in New Franklin. The murder, characterized by a tasing, beating, and strangulation with a zip tie, was the tragic culmination of a heated custody dispute between Biggs and Chad Cobb, Stefanko’s ex-husband. Cobb, who has been serving a life sentence for his role in the murder, accepted a plea agreement in 2013 to avoid the death penalty.

Stefanko’s Role and Conviction

Stefanko, now 41, from Rittman, was implicated in the crime for her role in luring Biggs to the murder scene through a deceitful pizza delivery call. Despite Stefanko’s testimony in her second trial denying any knowledge or involvement in the murder, the jury found her guilty of aggravated murder and murder, echoing the verdict of her first trial in November 2020. This conviction brings Stefanko face-to-face with a life sentence, leaving the possibility of parole as the only remaining question, which will be determined during her sentencing by Summit County Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Towell.

The road to this second conviction has been fraught with legal battles and appeals. Stefanko’s first conviction was overturned in July 2022 after an appellate court ruled that Cobb’s testimony via video during the trial was impermissible. This led to a retrial that commenced on January 22 and concluded with the recent verdict. Despite the disappointment expressed by Stefanko’s attorney, Jeff Laybourne, the conviction stands as a testament to the persistence of the legal system in pursuing justice for Biggs.

The retrial and subsequent conviction of Erica Stefanko have reverberated through the community, highlighting the complexities and emotional toll of legal proceedings in such tragic cases. The involvement of new information that led to Stefanko’s arrest in November 2019, seven years after the murder, underscores the ongoing efforts of law enforcement to piece together the events that led to Biggs’ untimely death.

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As Stefanko prepares to appeal her conviction once again, the case remains a poignant reminder of the enduring impact of crime on families and communities. The final chapter of this long legal saga awaits Stefanko’s sentencing, where the full weight of her actions and their consequences will be addressed, offering a semblance of closure to all those affected by this tragic case.

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