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Erica Stefanko sentenced to life in prison for 2012 murder of Army veteran in Summit County

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 12:53 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2021 at 2:21 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The woman who was found guilty by a jury in the 2012 murder of an Army veteran faced a judge for sentencing on Tuesday afternoon.

Erica Stefanko, 38, was sentenced to life in prison for her role in the murder of Ashley Biggs. She will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years.

Stefanko, along with several family members of the victim and the convicted, spoke during the sentencing. “If it is helpful to put the blame on me, I can accept that,” Stefanko said. “All I can do now is pray for God’s peace and comfort for them.”

Stefanko, a mother of four children, was convicted in November 2020 of killing the 25-year-old Biggs in 2012.

At the time of the murder, Stefanko was married to Chad Cobb, who was in a custody battle with Biggs over their daughter.

Biggs worked then as a pizza delivery driver. She was lured to a closed business in New Franklin in June 2012 where she was assaulted and strangled to death, investigators said.

Ashley Biggs
Ashley Biggs(WOIO)

Stefanko and Cobb then dumped Biggs’ body in a Wayne County field before they returned home and washed off evidence of the crime, according to Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.

Biggs’ body was found the following day. Law enforcement officers located Cobb hiding in a nearby wooded area and arrested him shortly after.

In court today, Biggs’ mother, Kimberly, said Stefanko would be guilty forever: “Blood is on your hands, and you can never wash it off.”

Summit County Jail: Chad Cobb
Summit County Jail: Chad Cobb

Ashley Biggs’ daughter also made her voice heard; her scathing remarks brought Stefanko to tears.

“You don’t deserve to be called a mother,” she said.

Stefanko’s family also shared words of support, including her own mother.

“Erica is my beloved daughter,” she said. “The things said about Erica today are not true.”

Cobb pleaded guilty in the case in 2013 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole.

Stefanko was arrested in November 2019 for her involvement in Biggs’ murder and indicted on numerous charges, which initially included aggravated murder, murder, kidnapping, and aggravated robbery.

Relatives of both the victim and Cobb spoke emotionally during Stenfanko’s sentencing. One of Biggs’ daughters claimed that Stefanko made her eat dog feces because of jealousy that stems from the relationship she had with her father.

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