Belmont County

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Man faces death if convicted of killing elderly woman

Updated: Friday, September 27 2013, 01:56 PM EDT

By: NEWS9 and Crissy Clutter


One of the two men accused of raping and killing a 92-year-old Bellaire woman could face the death penalty if convicted.

Judge Frank Fregiato overturned Brandon Michael Phelps' motion to have the death penalty removed from the case.

Fregiato sent down that ruling Friday morning, overturning the Phelp's defense's argument that the death penalty is unconstitutional.

The judge's ruling stated, "Both of said motions are hereby overruled. Ohio's death penalty statuses and specifications are hereby ruled to be constitutional."

Phelps and Devin Wayne Fuller are charged with killing Lydia Ashworth in June 2012 at her home on Fourth Avenue in West Bellaire.

Both suspects are charged with four counts of aggravated murder, committed in the course of rape, aggravated burglary and trespassing.

The trial is set to start Jan. 2.

Stay with NEWS9 and for continuing coverage.

Man faces death if convicted of killing elderly woman

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