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COLUMBIANA CO. Former student charged in plot



Published: Tue, June 5, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



No more arrests in the case are expected, officials said.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- A Columbiana County Career Center teacher and one of his former students are charged in a plot to kill a village woman.

David Wilson, 19, of 11422 Canal St., Hanoverton, appeared Monday before Judge David Tobin in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court, after being arrested Friday on one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

A grand jury indicted Wilson on Thursday. The target was April Frantz, 21, of Lisbon, authorities said.

Wilson was a student this year in Thomas Kelm's agriculture and career development class at the career center, Superintendent Edna Anderson said Monday.

Kelm, 35, of 4099 Lisbon Road, Leetonia, was indicted last week on four counts of the same charge.

Also targeted: Besides April Frantz, authorities say Kelm's other potential victims were Catelynn Frantz, 2, and Joe and Cora Frantz, April's grandparents. The four share a home in Lisbon.

Authorities have identified Catelynn as April and Kelm's daughter.

April was not one of Kelm's students.

Kelm's personnel record at the career center shows he was ordered by a court in November 1999 to pay $438 per month in child support for Catelynn and that the amount was to be withheld from his paycheck.

Atty. John Gamble, an assistant county prosecutor, said without elaborating that Kelm and Wilson, who is unemployed, knew one another "for quite some time."

Wilson and April Frantz were acquainted, Gamble said, refusing to say more. No additional arrests are expected, he said.

Authorities have refused to discuss the plot or a possible motive.

The indictments against the two men state the conspiracy occurred from about May 17 to May 25, the date Kelm was arrested.

Court appearances: Kelm and Wilson appeared at different times Monday before Judge Tobin.

Kelm pleaded innocent. Judge Tobin refused a request from his attorney, Lawrence Stacey II of Columbiana, to reduce his bond from $500,000 to $100,000. Kelm remains in the county jail.

Wilson made an initial appearance and has yet to enter a plea. He is being held on $250,000 bond.

Judge Tobin set Aug. 20 as Kelm's trial date. Wilson is to be tried Aug. 27. Gamble said he and Prosecutor Robert Herron will discuss having the two men tried together.

Anderson said students and staff at the career center are shocked by the case. She called it mind boggling.

Kelm has been teaching at the career center for nearly 10 years.

"He's done a very good job for us," Anderson said. "He always responded when you needed something."

The school district will review Kelm's employment status before school resumes in late August.




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