Katrina Culberson Breaks Down In Tears During Testimony

by Mackenzie Stasko on October 9, 2013 at 11:45 am

After making a plea deal to avoid the death penalty, 22-year-old Canton prostitute Katrina Culberson agreed to cooperate and testify against LaFonse Dixon, her former boyfriend and drug dealer who is charged with aggrevated murder, kidnapping and aggrevated arson in the death a 29-year-old Canton woman named Celeste Fronsman.

Culberson took the stand just after 9 a.m. And she stayed there for hours. In her own words she explained to the jury the weeks leading up to Aug. 26, 2012, where she, Dixon and Monica Washington beat, strangled and burned Fronsman alive.

Culberson explained, "I made comments about how I knew a place down here in Zanesville, he made comments about beating her up. We kind of talked about killing her."

Culberson said they killed Fronsman because they thought she was behind a raid at Dixon’s drug house in Canton. She said she and Washington drove around Canton smoking crack, and that’s when they spotted Fronsman.

"(Monica) says look Katrina, there’s Celeste. Um, she was aware that me and Fonse (LaFonse) was looking for her so we chased her up Tuscarawas Street," said Culberson.

After tracking down Fronsman, Culberson said Washington put the child locks on in the Chevy Tahoe they were driving and lured Fronsman into the SUV by telling Fronsman they we’re going on a "date," which is a term for prostituting. She continued to say they picked up Dixon and decided it was time to dispose of Fronsman.

Culberson said, "Things started getting crazy. Fonse had his seat reclined to the backseat. Monica was back there, they were both hitting Celeste and then I sprayed pepper spray on them. And then I rolled down the window and we got on the highway to head towards Zanesville."

That’s when all three continued to beat Fronsman until she turned blue and carried her to a secluded spot in Muskingum County.

"At that point, Fonse shoved some napkins in Celeste’s’ mouth, Monica had a brown shirt that you saw earlier tied around her mouth. She couldn’t talk. Fonse had then grabbed a tow strap from the back of the truck and wrapped it around her neck," said Culberson.

Fronsman was then burned alive. During cross-examination, Culberson broke down in tears.

Defense: "So let me make sure I’m clear. Who got the gas can out of the truck?"
Culberson: "I did."
Defense: "Who put the gas can back in the truck?"
Culberson: "I did."
Defense: "Who poured the gas?"
Culberson: "I did."
Defense: "Who lit the gas?"
Culberson: "I did."

Two other witnesses took the stand on Wednesday including a neighbor who says Fronsman ran into his house after being chased. Also on the stand was Culberson’s mother-like figure who said she saw Dixon in the SUV before they took off to Muskingum County. The trial continues tomorrow morning. WHIZ will have coverage through the duration of the trial.