Meadville Tribune

November 14, 2013

UPDATE: Second and final accused in buried alive murder pleads guilty; gets setences of life without possibility of parole

By Keith Gushard
The Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — The second of two Cochranton-area women charged with killing an Ohio woman in May 2012 has entered a guilty plea in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas.

Ashley Barber, 21, entered the guilty plea this morning before Judge Mark Stevens to a charge of first-degree murder.

Barber was scheduled to go to trial in January on Pennsylvania State Police charges of criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide and tampering with physical evidence for the death of Brandy Stevens, 19, of Poland, Ohio.

Barber and co-defendant Jade Olmstead lured the Stevens woman from her home near Poland, Ohio, to the Wayne Township home Barber and Olmstead shared with Barber’s parents and then Barber and Olmstead killed Stevens. Testimony indicated that Stevens was beaten severely, waterboarded and buried alive.

Judge Stevens, who is scheduled to preside over Barber’s trial, is not related to the victim.

Olmstead pleaded guilty on Oct. 31 to first-degree murder and was sentenced to a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.