Life In Jail For Bellaire Murder

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Devin Wayne Fuller will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Fuller, 21, of 3567 Franklin St., Bellaire, was sentenced Thursday by Belmont County Common Pleas Court Judge John M. Solovan II after the jury reached a deadlock after two days of deliberation.

Solovan sentenced Fuller to life without the possibility of parole. He was given credit for 519 days.

Last week, Fuller was found guilty of one count of aggravated murder committed in the course of aggravated burglary, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of burglary for the June 30, 2012, murder of Lydia Ashworth, 92, inside her West Bellaire home.

“You certainly were provided a fair trial,” Solovan said.

Solovan said Fuller’s demeanor throughout the trial was indicative of his lack of remorse.

“This court cannot and will not ignore the fact that since you were arrested … not once have you expressed an ounce of remorse for Lydia Ashworth and the harm that you have caused her family,” he said. “Not once have you assumed any responsibility or accountability for your acts.”

Although Fuller’s attorneys asked for mitigation, Solovan said the deadlocked jury had already afforded Fuller the mitigation of sparing him the death penalty.

“You have no appreciation of the impact you have had on the lives of so many people of the county,” he said. “You are deserving of this sentence.”

Prosecutor Dan Fry said Ashworth’s family could gain some closure with the outcome of the trial.

“We believed at that time that death was a proper sentence given the crime,” Fry said. “However, we understand that is a jury question. The jury could not decide that. I respect the jury’s decision, but on behalf of the state I respectfully disagree with it.”

“The last two weeks have been very stressful for everyone involved in this trial,” said Bellaire Police Chief Michael Kovalyk. “In my 35 years as a police officer in Bellaire, I have never seen such a horrendous crime, and I hope I never see one again.”

He added that he had been a lifelong friend of Ashworth.

Fuller will have the option to appeal. His co-defendant, Brandon Phelps, is set to stand trial March 31.