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Cops and Courts

Plea deal in charges connected to 2016 Elyria killing

  • Schafer-jpg

    Jasmine Schafer

    PHOTO PROVIDED

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ELYRIA — At third person has pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the 2016 killing of Jimmie Holland Jr. during a burglary, but as with the previous two, she won’t be sentenced until she cooperates with prosecutors against Elliot Kirkland, who faces the death penalty.

Jasmine Schafer, 29, of Lorain, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, burglary and obstructing justice Friday before Judge James Miraldi.

Schafer had been indicted on the charges in November 2016, but two weeks later she was indicted on a supplemental count of murder. With the plea agreement reached Friday, the count of murder Schafer faced was dismissed, according to court documents.

If Schafer abides by the terms and conditions in the plea agreement, the state will recommend an “aggregate sentence of 11 years,” court documents said.

Last month, two other people — Mark Sanchez, 26 and Latrice Thomas, 37, both of Lorain — pleaded guilty to charges in connection to the case.

Sanchez pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, felonious assault, burglary and obstructing justice. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss Sanchez’s charges of aggravated murder and murder and recommend an aggregate sentence of 14 years if he cooperates with prosecutors.

Thomas pleaded guilty to obstructing justice with the promise the state would recommend a community control sentence rather than prison if she cooperates.

A sentencing date for Schafer has not been set and most likely won’t be until after Kirkland’s trial.

Kirkland faces capital murder charges in Holland’s death.

Lorain police were called to Holland’s Lexington Avenue apartment Aug. 29, 2016, by Schafer, who told officers she had gone to the apartment to braid his hair. She said when she arrived, she grabbed two cans of root beer out of the fridge before she found Holland’s body.

She told police she tried to give Holland CPR before she ran outside and called 911. Police have said the relationship between Holland and Schafer is unclear.

Police have said Schafer was initially cooperative, but said their investigation revealed she was lying about key parts of her story and that she was involved in stealing from Holland’s ransacked apartment.

Police recovered several missing items, including electronics and two cans of A&W root beer, from the borrowed Jeep Liberty that Schafer and a second woman, Thomas, were driving that night.

When officers confronted Schafer, she blamed Kirkland and Sanchez for the robbery. A witness reported seeing Kirkland, who told police he had been with his girlfriend the entire night, enter the apartment armed with a handgun.

Will has said because the robbery was planned, it elevated the killing to the level where prosecutors could seek the death penalty.

A trial for Kirkland is scheduled to begin Jan. 7.

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.


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