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Bethany Broseus

 
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:33 pm    Post subject: Bethany Broseus Reply with quote

Boyfriend charged in murder
Family identifies teen girl's body, which was found Friday near river

By MARK SZAKONYI
Newark Advoctae
Sunday April 1, 2007


NEWARK -- A 25-year-old Newark man with a criminal record has admitted to killing his 16-year-old girlfriend, Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp said.

Bethany D. Broseus, of Newark, whose body was found Friday in Madison Township, apparently was strangled by John G. Cline sometime between late Wednesday and Friday, Thorp said.

Her body was found at about 2 p.m. Friday in a wooded area about a quarter mile east of the Staddens Bridge Road bridge over the Licking River, Thorp said.

Cline was charged Saturday with her murder and is expected to be indicted by a grand jury Thursday, Thorp said.
He said he thinks Broseus' family knew of Cline but never had met him.

"I think they were aware he was older," Thorp said. "I don't know if they were aware of his exact age."

Thorp said he didn't know whether the relationship was sexual, and he declined to say whether there was any evidence of sexual assault.

He said Newark police contacted the sheriff's office at about 10 p.m. Friday to report a missing person matching the description of the body that had been found earlier in the day.

Thorp said the family said Broseus, who was not enrolled at school, had been missing since she left to go to the store Wednesday afternoon.

Thorp said Broseus' red tattoo written in script that read "V.L.R." was how her father was able to identify her.

"It is my understanding that her tattoo was the initials of her mother, who was recently deceased," Thorp said.

Cline was found at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday at the Hill Street home of an acquaintance. He was arrested without a struggle on a felony parole violation warrant out of Perry County, Thorp said.

He said Cline, who is being detained in the Licking County jail, attempted to hide in the back part of his acquaintance's house.

Thorp said Cline's criminal record includes arrests on attempted burglary, abduction, hit-skip, theft, falsification and operating a vehicle while intoxicated charges.

He said there is some indication Cline was using illegal drugs.

Cline had been employed by Kokosing Construction in 2004, according to sheriff's office records.

He couldn't say when the Licking County coroner's autopsy report would be released because the investigation is pending.

Thorp said several people have come forward to provide information about individuals seen in the area where Broseus' body was found, which is popular for 4-wheeling.

The body was found by a man who was four-wheeling, the sheriff said.

He commended investigators for their thorough and continued efforts through Friday night.

Many investigators didn't call it a day until 3:30 p.m. Saturday and were "struggling through fatigue," Thorp said.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:34 pm    Post subject: Suspect says slaying was an accident Reply with quote

Suspect says slaying was an accident

By LIZA MARTIN
Newark Advocate
April 1, 2007

NEWARK — The man who confessed to the murder of 16-year-old Bethany D. Broseus claims it was an accident.

“It was rough sex gone bad,” John G. Cline told NBC4 in an interview Sunday.

The 25-year-old ex-convict admitted Saturday to strangling the Newark teenager, police said. Her body was found Friday afternoon in Madison Township in a wooded area about a quarter mile east of the Staddens Bridge Road bridge over the Licking River, according to Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp.

Cline said he and Broseus were engaging in sexual intercourse Wednesday night near the area where her body was found.

Cline was charged Saturday with Broseus’ murder, and his homicide charges will be tacked on to a lengthy list of arrests on attempted burglary, abduction, hit-skip, theft, falsification and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He also served jail time for arson, theft and criminal damaging, NBC4 reported.

Although initial reports indicated that Cline and Broseus were in a relationship, both Cline and Broseus’ family deny that the two were involved and that they knew one another through mutual acquaintances.

“He was not her boyfriend,” said her uncle, Tim Broseus. “Everyone keeps saying they were boyfriend and girlfriend, and that’s just not true. He already had a girlfriend.”

Many of Broseus’ family members echoed that sentiment.

“First of all, my brother (Jerry Broseus) would never, ever had let her date somebody that much older,” said John Broseus, the teen’s uncle. “Secondly, he would never, ever let her date an ex-convict.”

However, Broseus’ cousin and best friend Mara Broseus, said Broseus and Cline did date for a short period of time last year, but that Cline ended the relationship when he found out Broseus was younger than 18.

“He was never mean or physical or violent,” the 18-year-old said. “I don’t know why he did what he did. She was a good person and she didn’t deserve it.”
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:36 pm    Post subject: Teenage girl remembered as friendly, fun Reply with quote

Teenage girl remembered as friendly, fun

By LIZA MARTIN
Newark Advocate
4/2/07

NEWARK -- She loved animals and delighted in playing cards. She enjoyed walking through the mall and on the bike trails. She had hopes of re-enrolling in high school, fueled by a dream of becoming an elementary school teacher.

All that was taken away when Bethany D. Broseus, 16, was found murdered last week in Madison Township.

"The big thing is she had her life taken away from her," said her uncle, John Broseus. "And all those dreams were taken, too. She'll never have a family of her own: children, grandchildren. She'll never be able to have that."

John G. Cline, a 25-year-old ex-convict, admitted Saturday to strangling the Newark teenager, Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp said. Broseus' body was found Friday afternoon in Madison Township.
Cline was charged Saturday with Broseus' murder and is expected to appear today for a bond hearing.

His criminal record includes arrests on attempted burglary, abduction, hit-skip, theft, falsification and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, Thorp said.

He also served jail time for arson, theft and criminal damaging, said Steve Brock of NBC4.

"(Cline) has just taken something precious from the family that can never be replaced," John Broseus said.

He said Bethany Broseus had dropped out of school a few months ago but planned to return to earn her high school diploma and then attend college.

"She wanted to go back to school," he said. "She had some trouble, and like any teenager, decided she didn't want to go anymore."

He recalled an amicable girl who "never knew a stranger."

"She was friendly toward everybody," he said. "She always had friends."

Broseus' best friend, however, was her cousin, Mara Broseus.

"She was like my sister," 18-year-old Mara Broseus said. "We were closer than anyone could ever get."

She said the two enjoyed taking walks, playing Rummy and biking together but said she especially will miss the times when they would just sit around the house, listening to music, talking and laughing.

"I'm going to miss all that stuff," Mara Broseus said. "She was a good person, and she didn't deserve it."

The family said Broseus, a former Newark High School student, had been missing since she left to go to the store Wednesday afternoon. A missing person report for the girl was filed Friday, Thorp said.

A man who was four-wheeling found Broseus' body at about 2 p.m. Friday in a wooded area about a quarter mile east of the Staddens Bridge Road bridge over the Licking River, Thorp said.

Police found Cline at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday at the Hill Street home of an acquaintance. He was arrested without a struggle on a felony parole violation warrant out of Perry County, Thorp said.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:37 pm    Post subject: Cline's bond set at $1 million Reply with quote

Cline's bond set at $1 million

By KIMBERLY DICK
Newark Advocate
4/2/07

NEWARK — Judge David Branstool set a $1 million bond for the man accused of killing a teenage girl last week.

John G. Cline, 25, of Newark, is charged with unclassified felony murder, a charge which carries a 15-year-to-life sentence if convicted.

The complaint alleges Cline killed Bethany Broseus, 16, of Newark, Thursday. Her body was discovered Friday afternoon by a 4-wheeler rider near Staddens Bridge Road in Madison Township.

Initial autopsy reports conclude that Broseus’s cause of death was asphyxiation, according to the Licking County Coroner’s office.

Branstool set Cline’s bond as recommended by Licking County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chris Slayman. The affidavit claims Cline has been threatened by Broseus’ family.

Assistant Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said it’s too early to say what the indicted charges will be. The prosecutor’s office hasn’t reviewed all possible statements and evidence to be able to recommend additional charges.

Cline, last known address 461 Tuscarwas Road, Newark, was arrested Saturday on an outstanding warrant for a probation violation from a Perry County conviction for motor vehicle theft.

Cline said at his bond hearing Monday he was still on probation from Perry County.
In Licking County, Cline has served minor county jail sentences for a misdemeanor theft, falsification, underage purchase/consumption and obstructing charges.

Felony abduction and misdemeanor attempt charges against Cline have been dismissed.

Cline told Branstool he is divorced and has partial custody of his children. Licking County court records indicate he has fathered at least three children by different mothers.

Protection orders and failure to pay child support plague Cline’s domestic relations court records.

A woman who identified herself as the mother of one of Cline’s children but declined to give her name said that the two don’t live together.

“He is a good father,” she said.

Cline has a 10th grade education and has spent the past three years working for the Roof Doctor.

Cline’s case will be heard this or next week by a grand jury for possible indictment.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:38 pm    Post subject: Strangled girl 'wanted a good life' Reply with quote

Strangled girl 'wanted a good life'

By Tom Sheehan and Randy Ludlow
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Tuesday, April 3, 2007


NEWARK, Ohio -- Bethany Danielle Broseus realized she wasn't headed where she wanted to go.

Expelled from Newark High School a few months ago, she planned to return yesterday with her father and ask to be let back in.

The 16-year-old wanted to finish high school, go to college and become a kindergarten teacher.

She never made it to Newark High. Instead, her body was at Brucker & Kishler Funeral Home yesterday.

She apparently was strangled Thursday, her body left in a wooded area near the Licking River east of Newark.

John G. Cline, a 25-year-old small-time criminal described by sheriff's investigators as her boyfriend, is charged with murder in Bethany's death.

A grief-stricken Jerry Broseus spoke of his daughter lovingly yesterday.

"She was a really good kid," he said. "She had her ups and downs ... I just basically want to get the truth out about Bethany. She had a real rough time ever since her mom died. She wanted a good life."

Bethany's mother, Vicky L. Romine, died several years ago. The girl's tattoo tribute -- the initials VLR in red script on her right shoulder -- led to the identification of her body.

Bethany left the family's home on Newark's west side about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, saying she was going to a store with a girlfriend.

"I told her I loved her and she said, 'I love you, Dad.' That's the last time I ever saw her," her father said.

"People are slamming me that I'm a bad father because I didn't know where she was," he said.

Mr. Broseus thought she was staying with her cousin and best friend, Mara Broseus. He said she often stayed with Mara, his brother's daughter.

Mr. Broseus said he never would have allowed his daughter to date someone Cline's age.

"I don't know that guy from Adam," he said. "If I saw that guy, I would have known he was a lot older than 18, and it would have been over."

Another uncle, John Broseus of Newark, said, "Something very valuable has been taken from our family."

He described Bethany as outgoing and kind, a girl who easily made friends. She loved animals and had a special way with children, he said.

John Broseus urged prosecutors to pursue the ultimate punishment. "We're not going to be able to see her again until we get to the other side, in heaven. I hope they seek the death penalty."

Licking County Municipal Court Judge David Branstool set Cline's bond at $1 million yesterday. A grand jury might hear evidence in the case this week or next week.

During questioning by Branstool, Cline told him he is a high-school dropout and has worked as a roofer for the past three years. Cline said he was divorced. Records show he has fathered at least three children with three women. His arrest record includes theft, burglary and assault charges.

Sheriff Randy Thorp discounted statements Cline made in a television interview from jail that Bethany's death was an accidental byproduct of rough sex.

"He obviously has the right to say whatever he wants," Thorp said. "Our findings from the investigation obviously are that he committed murder."

Investigators are trying to find out where Bethany spent Wednesday night and Thursday, Thorp said.

Authorities think she was killed Thursday in the wooded area where the rider of an all-terrain vehicle found her body. Cline was familiar with that area, the sheriff said.

Bethany's funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at Brucker & Kishler Funeral Home in Newark. Visitation is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:40 pm    Post subject: Slain teen's father wants answers Reply with quote

Slain teen's father wants answers

By KIMBERLY DICK
Newark Advocate
4/3/07

NEWARK - The last time Jerry Broseus saw his daughter Bethany, he said she was going to the store with a friend.

It was around 10:15 p.m. on Wednesday. He told his daughter he loved her, and she said it back.

Jerry said he saw her leave to get into a car in front of the house, and he went to sleep.

His son stayed up until 1 a.m., but told Jerry in the morning he didn't see when Bethany came home.
Bethany is very close with her cousin, Mara Broseus, and Jerry said she often spends a lot of time with her. When he didn't see Bethany on Thursday or Friday, he assumed she was with her cousin.

About 10 minutes after Mara said she hadn't seen Bethany for days, Jerry said he and other family members heard identifying information about a body found near Staddens Bridge Road.

"My middle son fell to the floor when the news told of what the body was wearing," Jerry said. "The tattoo is her mom's initials. She passed away."

Now, Jerry wants answers and to clear up some of the misconceptions of his daughter's death.

"He said it was a sex thing, but why'd he leave her lay there, and why was she fully clothed?" Jerry asked. "I have so many questions I needed answered."

Bethany wasn't dating John Cline, the man accused of killing her, Jerry said.

"If I knew, I would have put a stop to it," he said. "I trusted my daughter."

Mara's mom, Vicki Broseus, said Bethany spent three to four nights a week at her house on Channel Street in Newark.

"She was over here all the time. I don't think she liked to be at home," Vicki said. "She was like a daughter to me."

Bethany probably lied to her father about where she was going because he was very strict about her hanging out with boys, Vicki said.

"He didn't want her to have anything to do with boys," she said. "He would get very mad about that, so she wouldn't tell him when she was with boys."

Bethany was expelled from Newark High School, but Jerry said she had plans to go back to school. He said they had scheduled to go talk to the school Monday.

"She made the decision to make a good life and not to rely on others," Jerry said. "I was proud of her. None of my other kids ever said they wanted to go to college - but Bethany wanted to be a kindergarten teacher."

Bethany was a loving, kind person to everyone she knew, Jerry said. But he said finding her mother almost dead in a bathtub two days before she died in 2001 was traumatic for Bethany.

"She always had to be with her mom," Jerry said. "After her death, Bethany was stuck in the age when she found her mom."

Jerry said he wants to inform students about the importance of telling their parents the truth.

"They may ground them or take away their cars or cell phones, but at least they'll be alive," Jerry said. "I'm never going to see my daughter again."

Jerry admits that he didn't know what his daughter was doing at all times, but he thought he did.

"I'm not the greatest dad, but I'm not a bad dad. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I thought I knew where she was."

The court system needs to make stricter laws and enforce harsher punishments to prevent something like this from happening again, he said.

"If he was still in prison for something he had done in the past, this never would have happened," Jerry said.

Bethany's sister, Jerrica Guevara, said she wants Cline to suffer for what he allegedly did.

"There's a lot of hate inside me," Guevara said. "There's no words that can help him. I just hope he dies and suffers like she did."

Jerry said he thinks Cline, if convicted, should get the death penalty.

"I don't feel he should be eating and breathing because my daughter's not," Jerry said. "I want to be here through this whole trial process. I've got to make sure justice is done for my daughter. He said it was an accident, but you don't kill someone on accident."

Jerry said it is hard for him to deal with his daughter's death, but he said he feels she is with him.

"It's hard for me to sleep at night, it's hard for me to eat. Every time I close my eyes I hear my daughter screaming for me, and there's nothing I can do."
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:41 pm    Post subject: Man held in teen's death has long record Reply with quote

Man held in teen's death has long record
Cline has offenses in Muskingum, Perry and Licking counties

By KATHY THOMPSON
Zanesville Times Recorder
4/3/07


ZANESVILLE — A Newark man arrested in connection to the death of a teenage girl has an extensive criminal record from not only Licking, but Muskingum and Perry counties too.

John Cline, 25, who has numerous addresses throughout Newark, is sitting in the Licking County Jail on a $1 million bond waiting to be indicted by a grand jury for the death of Bethany Broseus, 16.

Broseus was found in East Licking County in a wooded area around 2 p.m. on Friday about a quarter of a mile from the East Stadden Bridge Road over the Licking River by a man riding an ATV.

Cline told NBC4 in Columbus that he and the young girl were having sexual intercourse when things turned violent and he strangled her.

Cline was arrested Saturday by Newark Police officers at a home on Hill Street in Newark for a probation violation originating out of Perry County.

According to court records in Perry County, Cline was arrested in January 2005 and then indicted on one count of arson to a motor vehicle, one count of stealing a car and one count of criminal damaging.

Cline was placed on five years community control and sentenced to 30 days in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail and 60 days house arrest with an electronic monitor.

Cline was also ordered to pay $1,970.24 in restitution to the victim whose truck Cline stole, wrecked in Crooksville and then set on fire.

Cline violated that probation several times, court records show.

On Jan. 5, 2005, he was ordered to serve the 60 days with the monitoring device, but failed to show. He was again ordered into court this past February and again in March, but failed to show either time.

The Perry County Adult Probation Department then asked for a warrant on March 15 for Cline’s arrest and listed three last known addresses for him in Newark: 51 S. Williams Ave., 233 Elmwood Ave. and 744 Russell Avenue.

Cline also had a charge of delinquency to a minor in Muskingum County in December 2004, but court records show that case was dismissed in January 2005.

Cline also has an extensive arrest record from Licking County.

Records show Cline has been arrested on charges including two theft charges, two charges of driving with a suspended license, an abduction charge, two charges of driving while under the influence of alcohol and one falsification charge.

Licking County records also show Cline had a civil protection order filed against him in 2006 that is valid until November 2008, and a parentage suit filed against him in 2006.

The last time Bethany was seen was a week ago when her father said she left the home around 10:15 p.m. to go to the store with a friend.

The family then learned of her death when they heard her tattoos mentioned on media broadcasts after her body was discovered.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:19 pm    Post subject: Cline arraigned on death penalty murder charge Reply with quote

Cline arraigned on death penalty murder charge

By Kimberly Dick
Newark Advocate
4/16/07

NEWARK — Family members of a teenage girl who was killed last month cried as Magistrate Dave Mallett explained rights to the man accused of slaying her.

John G. Cline, 25, of Newark, appeared without an attorney this morning in the Licking County Justice Center courtroom for a bond hearing.

Cline was indicted Friday on aggravated murder charges with a death penalty specification. He is accused of raping and giving marijuana to 16-year-old Bethany Broseus before killing her March 29.

Her body was discovered March 30 near Staddens Bridge Road.

Mallett set Cline’s bond at $1 million, the same amount Judge David Branstool set after Cline’s arrest.

Cline also was indicted on an unclassified felony murder charge, a first-degree felony count of rape, a third-degree felony count of tampering with evidence and a fourth-degree felony count of corrupting another with drugs.

Jerry Broseus, her father, wore a shirt with his daughter’s name written in a heart.

He declined to comment.
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Joined: 03 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bethany was a beautiful girl with so much love to give. She will forever be remembered by all who knew her. We miss you, Bethy girl.


aVoiceForBethany
BETHANY CAN NO LONGER BE HEARD
WE ARE HER VOICE NOW
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:39 pm    Post subject: Trial date scheduled in murder-rape case Reply with quote

Trial date scheduled in murder-rape case

The Newark Advocate
September 19, 2007


NEWARK -- A man accused of killing a local teenager earlier this year won't face trial until May 2008.

John G. Cline, 25, of Newark, stands accused of raping and killing BethanyBroseus , 16, on March 29 and leaving her body in a wooded area in Madison Township. He has been charged with aggravated murder, murder, rape and corruption and could face the death penalty.

During a pretrial hearing Tuesday, it was determined Cline's trial won't begin until May 13, 2008. Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said the trial was scheduled well into the future to ensure that once a beginning date was selected, it would be kept.

"My interest is to make sure a date is set for the trial that's as realistic as possible," he said after the hearing.

Several factors, including that the case could carry capital punishment, dictate the timing.

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks, Licking County Common Pleas Court Judge Jon Spahr said Tuesday.

The defense has filed 40 motions, and an oral hearing for arguments on those motions has been set for Nov. 8.

After that comes the holiday season, when many people take vacations, and then previous commitments made by Cline's attorneys must be respected, Oswalt said.

In May, Cline waived his right to a speedy trial.

The family of the victim would rather see due process sooner than later.

"We want it to be done and over with so there's closure," Bethany 's uncle, John Broseus , said Tuesday.

He added he understands the gears of justice sometimes turn slowly.

"I have nothing against the judicial system," he said. "I believe in it. I feel it's fair. ... It does upset me a little bit because of the fact it's so far away."

Cline is being detained at the Licking County jail on $1 million bond.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:41 pm    Post subject: Memorial unveiled Reply with quote

Memorial unveiled

Tiffany Edwards
The Newark Advocate
October 27, 2007


NEWARK -- Activists and family members with heavy hearts gathered Friday at the Licking County Courthouse to unveil a memorial to Ohioans who have suffered from the horror of sexual crimes.

The stone plaque, featuring a poem and slumbering cherub, is nestled in the ground on the northeast side of the courthouse. Its placement is part of Project Dedicate by Coshocton-based Citizens Against Sexually Oriented Offenders.

"We want to make awareness of this crime to bring about stronger laws and tougher penalties," CASOO's L. Wilson said. "We are asking for the death penalty in sexual crimes that involve our children."

Wilson said the memorial is the third one the organization has installed, coming after markers in Coshocton and Muskingum counties. The group's goal is to place them in all 88 counties.

Mayor Bruce Bain and chief probation officer Kelly Miller unveiled Newark's memorial. During the ceremony, those in attendance prayed, recognized the names of victims of sexual crimes and released helium balloons.

Among those visiting the memorial were friends and family of BethanyBroseus , a Newark teen who was strangled in March and found near Staddens Bridge Road. John Cline, an acquaintance of Broseus , is charged with her murder, rape and corruption. He is expected to stand trial in May 2008. He could face the death penalty.

Wearing buttons with Bethany 's photograph, her loved ones fought back tears.

"Until we do something to get these laws changed, this is going to continue to happen," said Jerry Broseus , Bethany 's father. "They (predators) do this stuff because they know if they get caught it's no big deal. People think the death penalty is harsh. What he did to my daughter was harsh and cruel.

"She was a good person ...16 years old and starting her life, and someone takes that away from her."
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:42 pm    Post subject: Guilty plea expected in killing of girlfriend Reply with quote

Guilty plea expected in killing of girlfriend

Josh Jarman
Columbus Dispatch
April 15, 2008


A man accused of rape and murder in the death of his 16-year-old girlfriend is expected to plead guilty today to all the charges against him.

John G. Cline, 26, is accused of raping and strangling Bethany Danielle Broseus in woods east of Newark a year ago. He faces five counts, including aggravated murder, murder and rape. He is eligible for the death penalty.

A change of plea and sentencing hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today in the case. Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said a joint sentencing recommendation, which has been agreed to by the victim's family and law-enforcement officials, will be presented to the court during the hearing.

Oswalt would not release details of the recommendation.

A man riding an all-

terrain vehicle found the girl's partially clothed body on March 30, 2007, in woods near the Licking River. She had been killed the day before. Authorities found and arrested Cline hiding in a Newark house the day after her body was found.

He is being held in the Licking County jail in lieu of a $1 million bail. Cline also faces a charge of tampering with evidence because some of Broseus ' belongings and Cline's clothing were disposed of, Oswalt said previously.

Sheriff Randy Thorp has discounted statements that Cline made in a television interview from jail asserting that Broseus died during rough sex.

Cline has a criminal history that includes theft, burglary and assault charges. He has fathered at least three children with three women, according to Licking County court records.

Broseus ' father said last year that she was trying to turn her life around after being expelled from Newark High School. She carried a tattoo tribute to her mother, Vicky L. Romine, who died several years earlier, on her right shoulder. The tattoo led to the identification of her body.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject: Cline set to admit role in teen's 2007 killing Reply with quote

Cline set to admit role in teen's 2007 killing

The Newark Advocate
April 15, 2008


NEWARK -- Facing a capital murder case in May, John Cline has agreed to admit today to his involvement in the murder of 16-year-old girl more than one year ago.

Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt confirmed a change of plea and a sentencing hearing has been scheduled for this afternoon after an agreement on a joint recommendation had been reached between him and the defense.

BethanyBroseus ' body was found March 30, 2007, in a wooded area near Staddens Bridge Road, Madison Township, and Cline, 26, was arrested for the death the next day.

He told a Columbus TV station in an interview that the death was unintentional and the result of "rough sex gone bad."

Oswalt declined to state what the sentence recommendation was but did say it had been approved by law enforcement and the victim's family.

Cline was scheduled to go to trial May 20. He is facing charges of aggravated murder, murder, rape, tampering with evidence and corrupting another with drugs. A death penalty specification was attached to the aggravated murder count.

Oswalt said the decision to proceed to the hearing so soon after the arrangement was made to avoid having to send out about 300 summons for potential jurors, the timing was amenable to Common Pleas Judge Jon Spahr's schedule and to avoid having to reschedule a three-week trial if Cline backs out.

"Once the defendant is committed to plead, get them in and get it done before they have second thoughts," Oswalt said.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:44 pm    Post subject: Man pleads guilty to strangling, raping 16-year-old girl Reply with quote

Man pleads guilty to strangling, raping 16-year-old Newark girl

Josh Jarman
The Columbus Dispatch
April 16, 2008


For the father of 16-year-old Bethany Danielle Broseus , her murderer's conviction brings closure, but no end to the guilt he feels.

"I should have made her stay home and not let her go out that night," said Bethany 's father, Jerry Broseus . "I have nightmares of her crying out for me to help and I can't help her."

John G. Cline, 26, pleaded guilty yesterday to raping and strangling Bethany in a wooded area east of Newark a year ago. He was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 46 1/2 years, following the recommendation of Prosecutor Ken Oswalt.

Oswalt said the recommendation had been approved by Cline's attorneys, the victim's family and local law enforcement.

Cline, who could have faced the death penalty, was set to start a jury trial next month. He was charged with aggravated murder, murder, rape, corrupting another with drugs and tampering with evidence.

As part of the plea agreement, the death penalty specification was dropped.

A man riding an all-terrain vehicle found the girl's partially clothed body on March 30, 2007, in woods near the Licking River. She had been killed the day before. Authorities found Cline hiding in a Newark house the day after her body was found.

Sheriff Randy Thorp has discounted statements that Cline made in a TV interview from jail asserting that Bethany died during rough sex.

Cline's attorney, Kirk McVay, said his client was remorseful about what happened and had changed his plea to spare the family the pain of a trial. Cline did not address the family before he was led from the packed courtroom wearing a bulletproof vest under his shirt.

Mr. Broseus had said last year that Bethany was trying to turn her life around after being expelled from Newark High School. She carried a tattoo tribute on her right shoulder to her mother, Vicky L. Romine, who died of health complications when Bethany was young. The tattoo led to the identification of her body.

Her father appeared in court yesterday in a sleeveless shirt bearing a tattoo portrait of Bethany on his left arm. Mr. Broseus said after the trial that he was satisfied with the sentence.

"He ain't going to get back out on the street."
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:45 pm    Post subject: Cline alters plea, gets life sentence Reply with quote

Cline alters plea, gets life sentence

Russ Zimmer
The Newark Advocate
April 16, 2008


NEWARK -- Jerry Broseus thinks the outside world has seen the last of the man responsible for strangling his daughter to death.

"He's got 46-and-a-half years before (he is) eligible for parole," Broseus said of 26-year-old John Cline's life-in-prison sentence. "He ain't going to make it to 72 years."

The family of teenager BethanyBroseus flocked to Common Pleas Judge Jon Spahr's courtroom Tuesday, where Cline entered guilty pleas to all five counts, including aggravated murder, and was sentenced in accordance with a joint recommendation.

"March 28, 2007, 10:15 p.m. My daughter walked out the door, and I never saw her again," an emotional Jerry Broseus told Spahr during victim impact statements.

The 16-year-old victim's father was followed by three uncles, who each asked how Cline could take the life of their niece.

Her body was found on the afternoon of March 30, 2007, in a wooded area about a quarter-mile east of the Staddens Bridge Road bridge over the Licking River.

Cline was arrested the next day and claimed the death was an accident that occurred during rough sex.

The family has disputed that claim, saying the two were not dating and the sex must have been rape.

Cline pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated murder, murder, rape, tampering with evidence and corrupting another with drugs. He could have faced the death penalty.

Cline was granted credit for 382 days already served, meaning the time before he stands in front of a parole board will be shortened by almost one year. If he ever emerges from incarceration, Cline would be on parole and registered as a Tier III sex offender for the rest of his life.

Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt told the judge the sentence recommendation was agreed upon by both sides and approved by law enforcement and the family, although he was careful to add that not everyone was in agreement.

Chip Miller, Bethany 's uncle, asked Spahr to exceed the recommendation all the way to life in prison without parole for the defendant he called "subhuman vermin."

"He doesn't want to die even though that's what he deserved," he said of Cline's plea agreement.

Jerry Broseus said after the hearing he was concerned a jury would not apply the death penalty or possibly even convict Cline on all counts.

He noted the structure of the aggravated murder charge required a conviction on the rape offense. Oswalt said he was confident that if the case would have proceeded to trial Cline would have been convicted of murder, but he added he was aware of a possible angle the defense might take to defeat the rape charge.

With an acquittal on the count of rape, Oswalt said the most Cline could have received was 21 years to life.

"I was worried that (Cline) would end up putting doubt into (the jury's) mind," Jerry Broseus said.

Cline declined to make any statement on his own behalf, a decision his attorney Kirk McVay attributed to "nerves."

"He didn't want to say anything that was going to be misinterpreted," he said. "Sometimes it's better not to make a statement."

During McVay's statement for his client, he lamented, but did not excuse, Cline's use of alcohol and drugs that day.

"I can't help but think things might have been different if he had not been drinking and abusing other substances," he said.

Cline's decision ultimately came down to wanting to spare the victim's family the burden of a three-week trial, McVay said, but he did add after the hearing that avoiding the death penalty was another factor.

Jerry Broseus said he didn't want to relive the loss of his daughter with a lengthy trial that might not have produced a punishment as stiff as the one handed down Tuesday. The arrangement allows him to think, on his own terms, about Bethany , who was preceded in death by her mother.

"Nobody can imagine," he said of the daily emotions. "And it's not just at that point. It's every day."
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