CHARDON, Ohio (AP) — A northeastern Ohio man admitted his role in a seemingly random 2010 slaying of a 17-year-old boy, saying his friend struck the victim with a car door and then beat him with a pipe.
Matthew Boone, 23, pleaded guilty on Monday to complicity to murder and tampering with evidence and agreed to testify against his co-defendant in the slaying of Daniel Swan, whose body was found lying on a road in July 2010.
Boone and 26-year-old Dustin Plottke were arrested in July by Geauga County sheriff's deputies after three years of searching for those responsible for Swan's slaying. Authorities called it a "random act of violence."
Boone told Geauga County Common Pleas Judge Forrest W. Burt that he and Plottke were driving around the back roads and drinking that night when they came across Swan walking along a road, according to The (Willoughby) News-Herald (http://bit.ly/17CX1oj ).
Boone said he was driving when Plottke opened the passenger door and hit Swan with it, knocking him into a ditch. Boone said Plottke talked him into turning around and going back, then Plottke got out of the truck and hit Swan with a pipe.
Swan was found lying on the road at around 4:30 a.m. on July 25, 2010. He died three weeks later at a hospital from the head injuries.
The sheriff's office said it got a break in the case when one of the suspects was arrested recently for an unrelated crime. During the investigation, detectives found evidence that linked them to Swan's death.
Boone faces life in prison with a 15-year minimum when he is sentenced later.
Plottke is scheduled for trial Feb. 3 on charges of aggravated murder, murder and felonious assault. He has pleaded not guilty.
Information from: The News-Herald, http://www.news-herald.com/jrc-html/index/index_p33.html