Beshara sentenced to life in prison for Guthrie murder

YOUNGSTOWN — Benjamin Beshara of Niles will spend the rest of his life in prison for the robbery, kidnapping and murder of his neighbor, Marilyn Guthrie last summer.

Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas court sentenced Beshara, 31, today to life imprisonment without parole plus 10 years each for the kidnapping and robbery charges.

“This is just pure, unadulterated, cold-blooded murder,” Judge Krichbaum said before pronouncing sentence.

Beshara was convicted Tuesday of kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated murder by a jury of six men and six women.

The trial included testimony from 20 prosecution witnesses, including co-defendant Anthony D. Johnson, 18, of Steel Street, who faces sentencing in the case on Monday.

He pleaded guilty in November to kidnapping, aggravated robbery and involuntary manslaughter.

Two juvenile boys involved in the case pleaded guilty to kidnapping in juvenile court and were sentenced to detention for a minimum of one year and a maximum of time remaining until they reach their 21st birthdays.

Testimony presented at Beshara’s trial showed that he lured Guthrie, 61, from her apartment early on July 10, 2005, on the ruse that he needed a ride to a pharmacy to get medicine for his father.

Once outside, he forced her into the trunk of her own car, then got behind the wheel and drove off with three accomplices inside.

Testimony showed that he stopped once, opened the trunk and spoke with Guthrie and then drove to Parkcliff Avenue where he took her from the trunk, threw her to the pavement and then got back into the car and ran over her twice.

Authorities said Guthrie died of a blunt impact to the head and suffered numerous other injuries. Her body was identified two days later through dental records.

Beshara’s attorney, Thomas E. Zena, has indicated that an appeal will be filed in the case.

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