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Defendant Found Fit To Stand Trial In Murder Of Ohio Woman Near Cochranton

August 7, 2013

One of two Cochranton-area women charged in the murder of an Ohio woman has been found mentally competent to stand trial in a hearing in which her attorneys sought to prove she suffers from several disorders.

20 year-old Ashley Barber, from Wayne Township, was ruled to be fit for trial on Tuesday by Crawford County Judge Mark Stevens.

Barber and 19 year-old Jade Olmstead are charged in the murder of 19 year-old Brandy Stevens (no relation to the judge), from Beaver Township, Ohio in May, 2012.  The victim’s body was found in a shallow grave in Wayne Township.  Investigators believe Stevens had been beaten and was still alive when she was buried.

Barber and Olmstead were to have faced trial next month, but the trial was postponed until November pending the results of the defendants’ competency hearings.  A pretrial hearing is now set for August 29.

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