CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Franklin, Ohio man has pleaded guilty to the deadly beating of a Dayton, Ohio teen.
Michael Geldrich, 36, pled guilty to aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and tampering with evidence in relation to the December 1, 2013 death of 16 year-old Dione Payne of Dayton.
Geldrich admitted to beating Payne to death in the early morning hours of December 1, 2013. Officers say Geldrich allowed Payne to stay at his home in Franklin in order to sell drugs. Geldrich would receive drugs from Payne in return.
Dissatisfied with his share of the proceeds, Geldrich decided to rob Payne of his money and drugs, officials say. Geldrich admitted he tied up and beat severely Payne while robbing him. After the beating, Geldrich drove the unresponsive teen to Atrium Hospital and left him there without providing any identifying information to hospital personnel. Payne was later care-flighted to Miami Valley Hospital where he died from his injuries.
Police learned Geldrich's identity from hospital surveillance video and tips from the public after the video was published. Police conducted a search warrant of Geldrich's home finding both Geldrich and Michael Watson, 39, present.
Officers say they also found evidence of the crime including blood, duct tape and a pillow case that had been placed over Payne's head. Geldrich and Watson were both arrested.
Adam Patrick, 30, was also indicted for his complicity to the aggravated robbery.
Officials say that Geldrich will be sentenced at a later date. He is expected to cooperate with the prosecution of co-defendants Watson and Patrick.
In return for Geldrich's cooperation, Warren County Prosecutor David P. Fornshell said he will dismiss a parallel kidnapping count, and also a rape count. Geldrich is expected to receive an agreed sentence of 22-years to life in prison if he cooperates.
The family of Dione Payne issued the following statement through the Warren County Prosecutor's Office:
"We are grateful to the Franklin Police Department and the Warren County Prosecutor's Office for their work on this case, and are very satisfied with today's plea agreement. Because the case against the other defendants is still ongoing, we will not make any further statements at this time."
Watson is scheduled for trial on August 11, 2014. Patrick is expected to be tried at a later date.