Nichole Hannahs

Culberson Pleads in Fronsman Murder

by Nichole Hannahs on September 26, 2012 at 7:55 am

A suspect in the murder of Celeste Fronsman stood before a judge to enter a plea.

It’s been exactly a month since 29-year-old Celeste Fronsman was found burned and beaten on State Route 208 near Adamsville. Wednesday, a suspect in the case 21-year-old Katrina Culberson went before Judge Kelly Cottrill to change her plea to guilty to charges of aggravated murder, kidnapping and arson.

In exchange for her guilty pleas the death specifications in the murder charge were dropped. Muskingum County Prosecutor Mike Haddox said she also most provide truthful testimony and cooperate with the state in preparing for the trials of her co-defendants, Monica Washington and Lafonse Dixon.

"In return for the defendant’s pleas the State of Ohio will recommend that the defendant receive a sentence of on count 1 of life in prison without the possibility of parole. On count two a term of 11 years and on count 3 a term of 11 years to be served consecutively," said Haddox.

Before ordering a presentence investigation Judge Cottrill questioned Culberson.

"Miss Culberson," said Judge Cotrill. "Do you have any questions about what happened or what’s going on?"

"I’m just confused," replied Culberson.

"You plead guilty to 3 very serious offenses there’s no confusion about that is there," said Cottrill.

I’m just scared. I guess I’m not confused," replied Culberson.

"When the day comes for sentencing we hope to have the opportunity to present to this court the sad tale that can be told about the life she’s been forced to live that brings her to this courtroom two days after she turned 21," said Culberson’s defense attorney.

Two friends of Celeste Fronsman’s were in court for Wednesday’s proceedings. While they aren’t fully accepting of the plea agreement they understand the reason for it.

"Celeste got the last word," said Frank Vaughns. "They didn’t control her not even in death and that’s a good thing."

Culberson’s bond was revoked after the guilty’s pleas. She remains in custody of the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office.