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Slain Beaver Twp. woman was buried alive, DA says

Published: Thu, July 26, 2012 @ 12:10 a.m.

2 held in Beaver Twp. resident’s death could face death penalty after Nov. trial





By Ashley Luthern



A preliminary hearing against two women charged with killing 20-year-old Brandy Stevens of Beaver Township revealed a chilling detail.

“The opinion of the forensic pathologist is that she died as a result as suffocation. ... There was a rope tied around her neck. Unfortunately, it appears she was buried while still breathing,” said Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz.

Stevens, of South Avenue, was found May 23 buried in a shallow grave a few hundred yards away from a Cochranton, Pa., residence. Ashley Marie Barber, 20, and Jade Nichole Olmstead, 18, both of Cochranton, are charged with criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, and tampering with evidence.

Barber and Olmstead made their first court appearance Wednesday for a preliminary hearing, also known as a probable-cause hearing.

The hearing determined the case should proceed to the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas for trial. The trial is scheduled for the November term of criminal court, and if convicted, the women could face the death penalty, Schultz said.

Schultz said he has until Aug. 24 to file a motion seeking the death penalty.

The district attorney said much of Wednesday’s hearing centered on the defendants’ statements given to police. The coroner’s final report and autopsy were released during the hearing, too.

The autopsy found that Stevens suffered from multiple blunt-force trauma and injuries, the district attorney said.

“She had 15 lacerations to the scalp, a skull fracture and abrasions, contusions and lacerations all over her trunk,” Schultz said.

Stevens, a Youngstown State University student and Boardman High School alumna, had left her Beaver Township home May 17, and her grandparents reported her missing two days later. An investigation by Beaver Township police and Pennsylvania State Police led to the discovery of her body at 29558 Drake Hill Road in Cochranton, where Olmstead and Barber resided.

Police have said that Olmstead was friends with Stevens at one point, and The Vindicator’s broadcast partner, WFMJ-TV21, reports the motive was unresolved grudges from the relationship.

Pennsylvania state troopers said Barber and Olmstead have admitted their role in the killing.


1doowoptokidrock(325 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Give those 2 freaks the death penalty.

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2DAWABBIT(30 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

In the northern reaches of Crawford County lies Sugar Lake, formed by glaciers during the ice age. Farms and hills surround the lake. This is a peaceful area and a good place to live. Lake Creek Road circles the lake and then follows the outflow down the valley. Hill Road cuts south from Lake Creek Road on the eastern end of the lake. Drake Hill Road intersects with Hill Road and the girls lived at that intersection. The residents of the area may be on the jury that decides the fate of Jade Olmstead and Ashley Barber. Most are sayimg that slayings like this just don't happen here. It did and they will have to decide how to deal with it.

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3kensgirl(609 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

If ever two people needed the death penalty these two do. I say wrap them in a burlap bag and let the rats have at them.

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4Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

If this isn't a death penalty case, then what is? These 2 are not human.

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5DwightK(1256 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I kind of like life without parole. They're 18 and 20. Let them rot for the next 50 or 60 years in a tiny little cell.

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6whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

I'll go with Dwight, but I would have them strapped to a gurney, only fed food through a tube,and release body fluids through a tube. No Visits , No Zoom , Zoom's or wham whams.

Just a picture of the slain victim.

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7fattynskinny(195 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

sorry to say but i think we'll be seeing more of this disgusting behavior. the kids in our society are just so selfish and stupid. tats, piercings, they just dont care that this marks them as who they are. they have no morals whatsoever. i see it everywhere. rest in peace brandy, you did not deserve this.

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8captainpeewee(66 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

sending the bulldigers to prison would be like sending a 10 year old kid to disneyland, cut off there ears and make them eat them, put them to death.

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9mrblue(989 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

What a horrible death. These two animals should suffer the same type of death. An eye for an eye.

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10Crimson1012(65 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

These two handsome losers should adapt to prison life fairly quicky... So they got that going for them...

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11Empathetic(11 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

What the hell is wrong with some people that they could do this to ANYONE, let alone someone they used to have a connection with? I just dont understand this mentality at all.

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12WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

More horror from those that choose homosexual behavior.

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