Bush pleads not guilty in death of 14-year-old Teddy Foltz

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Atty. Louis DeFabio, left, appears in court with Zaryl G. Bush in January. Bush pleaded not guilty Wednesday to several charges, including a murder charge in the death of 14-year-old Teddy Foltz.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



The Struthers man accused of beating a 14-year-old boy to death pleaded not guilty in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and received future court dates.

Zaryl G. Bush, 43, of 533 Creed St., faces charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, six counts of endangering children, two counts of intimidation and one count of tampering with evidence in the death of Teddy Foltz and endangering his younger brothers.

Bush entered his plea Wednesday.

A grand jury last week indicted his ex-girlfriend, Shain Widdersheim, 32, of 28 Creed St., Struthers, the mother of Teddy and the younger boys, on charges of involuntary manslaughter, four counts of child endangering and one count of obstructing justice.

Bush’s case has been assigned to Judge R. Scott Krichbaum. He will appear before the judge Friday for a status hearing.

Bush, according to county records, is tentatively set for trial early next month.

Widdersheim has not been arraigned in common pleas court.

Charges against the two are in relation to the killing of Teddy, who by all accounts was described as a short, slight 14-year-old boy who often visited Bush’s home. He dutifully did chores there with his 10-year-old twin brothers and sometimes did favors for an elderly couple nearby.

County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains said it is believed that Bush beat Teddy sometime in January, leading to his death, and that his mother failed to protect him from the physical abuse.

Widdersheim brought her son to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley in Boardman on Jan. 21 with head injuries so severe the boy immediately was transferred to St. Elizabeth Health Center. He died in the hospital Jan. 26.

Police charged Bush on Jan. 29, and Widdersheim was arrested and charged the next day.

Bush is in the county jail on a $1 million bond, and Widdersheim is jailed on a $100,000 bond.

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