Beshara guilty on all charges in Guthrie death

YOUNGSTOWN — A jury found Benjamin Beshara guilty of the kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated murder of Marilyn Guthrie, 61, of Niles, who died after being run over by her own car on Youngstown’s South Side on July 10, 2005.

As part of a planned robbery, prosecutors said Guthrie was abducted from outside her apartment by Beshara, who was her neighbor, and three teenaged accomplices, thrown into the trunk of her car, and driven to Parkcliff Avenue, where Beshara, 33, removed her from the trunk, threw her to the pavement and ran over her twice.

The six-man, six-woman jury rendered its verdict today after seven hours of deliberations at the end of a trial that began Wednesday and included a view of the crime scenes and 20 prosecution witnesses. Sentencing will be at 11 a.m. Friday.

The defense rested without calling any witnesses. Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court presided over the trial.

The three co-defendants agreed to cooperate with authorities and testify against Beshara. Anthony D. Johnson, 18, of Steel Street, 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. Johnson, who awaits sentencing, was originally charged with aggravated murder.

Josiah Smith and Coryon Bertram, both 15, both of Youngstown, pleaded guilty to kidnapping in county juvenile court. 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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