Beshara ran her over, accomplice testifies

YOUNGSTOWN — Benjamin Beshara ran over Marilyn Guthrie of Niles with her own car on the morning of her death, an admitted accomplice told the jury in Beshara’s trial.

Anthony D. Johnson, 18, of Steel Street, testified Monday in the trial before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. If convicted in the kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated murder of Guthrie, Beshara, 33, faces 26 years in prison to life without parole.

Guthrie died the morning of July 10, 2005, in St. Elizabeth Health Center, about an hour after being run over, and the coroner ruled her death a homicide due to injuries from a blunt impact to her head.

An autopsy found she also suffered multiple other injuries, including hip, leg and rib fractures.

Johnson pleaded guilty in November to kidnapping, aggravated robbery and the reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter, and the prosecution recommended a 10-year prison sentence for him.

In his plea agreement, Johnson, who awaits sentencing, agreed to testify against Beshara. Johnson was originally charged with aggravated murder.

Two other accomplices, Josiah Smith and Coryon Bertram, both 15, pleaded guilty to kidnapping in county juvenile court and agreed to cooperate with authorities and testify against Beshara.

They were sentenced to detention by the Ohio Department of Youth Services for a minimum of one year and a maximum of time remaining until their 21st birthdays.

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