By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Minutes before a Knox Township man was to go on trial on charges of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder, he pleaded guilty to the crimes.
Gregory Doak, 45, of Knox School Road, received the maximum life sentence on the murder charge and the maximum 10-year sentence on the attempted murder charge.
The sentence was handed down shortly after Doak entered his plea Monday before Judge David Tobin of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.
Both the prison terms will be served at the same time. But they will begin after Doak serves a three-year sentence for using a gun in the April 7 crime, county Prosecutor Robert Herron said.
Doak will be eligible for parole in 23 years, Herron said.
In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop an aggravated burglary charge, which bears a 10-year maximum sentence, and a violation of a civil protection order charge, which is a misdemeanor bearing a maximum six-month jail term.
Herron explained that even if a trial had been held and Doak had been convicted of the burglary and protection order violation, he would have served those sentences at the same time as the life sentence for murder.
Prosecutor describes scene
It was Doak's rage over his failing marriage that led him to go to the trailer park along U.S. Route 62 in Knox Township where his estranged wife, Angela, 39, lived last spring.
Doak went there armed with a rifle, intending to kill his wife, and her friend and neighbor, Teresa Stoffer, 42, Herron said.
Doak believed that Stoffer was responsible for his marriage's failure, but that wasn't so, Herron said.
Upon arriving at the trailer park, Doak first encountered Stoffer outside her trailer and fatally shot her.
He then shot his way into his wife's trailer, an action that prompted prosecutors to charge him with burglary.
He was charged with violating a civil protection order because he previously had been ordered by the court not to go near his wife.
As Doak stormed into the trailer, his wife fled out another door. Doak went through the park searching for her. When he couldn't find her, he returned to her trailer and shot himself three times.
After entering his guilty plea Monday, Doak told Stoffer's family he was sorry for killing her.
Neither Stoffer's family nor Angela Doak made any comment in the courtroom after the guilty plea was entered.
Herron said he discussed the plea deal with the families involved and they agreed to it.