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Conspirator gets three years



Published: Fri, September 21, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



LISBON -- A Hanoverton man will serve three years in prison for conspiring in a murder plot with former teacher, Thomas Kelm, 35, of Leetonia.

David Wilson, 19, of 11422 Canal St., Hanoverton, was sentenced Thursday by Judge David Tobin of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.

Wilson's sentencing follows his August guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

The first-degree felony bears a maximum 10-year sentence. But prosecutors recommended Wilson get the minimum three-year sentence in exchange for his guilty plea. They also noted he cooperated with investigators probing the murder plot.

Judge Tobin agreed and ordered the sentence be served consecutive to the 18-month sentence Wilson received last week for arson and breaking-and-entering charges, all unrelated to the murder plot.

In all, Wilson faces about four and a half years in prison.

Bad influences: During Thursday's sentencing hearing, Wilson's mother, Doreen Wilson of Salem, said her son's criminal conduct was largely attributable to a drinking problem and the influence of his co-conspirator in the murder plot, Thomas Kelm, 35, of Leetonia.

Wilson was once one of Kelm's students and later became friends with his instructor. Kelm taught at the Columbiana County Career Center.

Kelm resigned after pleading guilty in August to conspiring with Wilson to kill April Frantz, 21, of Lisbon.

Kelm will be sentenced Oct. 18. Prosecutors are recommending a six-year sentence.

Prosecutors say Kelm and Wilson plotted Frantz's death as part of a plan to rid Kelm of paying child support for the 2-year-old daughter authorities said Kelm and Frantz had together.




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