After hours of deliberation, a jury found LaFonse Dixon guilty on all charges in the death of Celeste Fronsman.
With no family present in the courtroom, Dixon stood unfazed and unemotional as clerk of courts Todd Bickle read off the charges and verdicts to the court just before 10 a.m. on Thursday. The jury of 5 men and 7 women deliberated for over 5 hours on Wednesday after the prosecution and defense gave strong closing arguments. The jurors returned Thursday morning at 9 a.m. and deliberated for about half an hour before reaching a unanimous decision.
Bickle read to the courtroom, "Verdict, count 1, we the jury hereby find the defendant LaFonse D. Dixon Jr. guilty of aggravated murder.. We the jury hereby find the defendant LaFonse D. Dixon Jr. guilty of kidnapping.. We the jury hereby find the defendant LaFonse D. Dixon Jr. guilty of aggravated arson."
Fronsman was found burned alive in Muskingum County on Aug. 26, 2012. Katrina Culberson and Monica Washington were codefendants in the case but pleaded guilty and testified against Dixon. For their testimony and cooperation, they will receive life in prison. The prosecution and defense were asked by Common Pleas Court Judge Kelly Cottrill to not talk about the case until after sentencing, which begins on Tuesday. Dixon could face the death penalty.