Teen pleads guilty in girl's beating death
MEDINA, Ohio (AP) - A 17-year-old changed his plea to guilty in the beating death of a teenage girl despite the advice of his attorney.
Dustin Lynch offered no explanation for why he punched, stabbed and beat JoLynn Mishne (pictured, right) to death in her Montville Township home in November 2002.
When asked by Judge Christopher Collier on Monday whether he had anything to say before his sentencing, he whispered, "Nope."
Lynch's attorney, V. Lee Winchell said he was opposed to Lynch's plea. He said Lynch insisted that he wanted to plead guilty to a single count of aggravated murder, which carries life in prison with no chance of parole for 20 years, in exchange for other charges being dropped.
Lynch, who was 15 at the time of the murder, could not have faced the death penalty.
An hour before the abrupt change of plea, Winchell, was prepared to ask to be removed from the case because of Lynch's erratic behavior, which included mailing bloodstained, taunting confession letters from jail to the victim's family and prosecutors.
Mishne's mother, Lori, sat hunched over in the courtroom and sobbed loudly as her statement had to be read by someone else.
"I feel not one shred of compassion," she said. "I want (Lynch) to suffer."
She said it was the compassion that she taught her daughter that led to her death.
Lynch had been a guest at the Mishne home after JoLynn, 17, said the wayward teen had no other place to stay.
A week into his stay, JoLynn's father, Merle "Mickey" Mishne, found his daughter's body in the home.
Merle Mishne directed his anger at the court system and the prosecutor's office, which he called a joke.
Mishne complained that, because of Prosecutor Dean Holman's eagerness to cut a deal and avoid a trial, he will never know what motivated Lynch to kill his daughter.
Holman said the Mishnes agreed to the plea agreement.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)