New details released in 2018 fatal shooting of 16-year-old girl in Fairfield Township

Jordan Spain arraigned in Sydney Garcia-Tovar 2018 murder case
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 5:52 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:53 AM EDT
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HAMILTON, Ohio (FOX19) - New details were released Wednesday in the 2018 fatal shooting of a 16-year-old girl in Fairfield Township.

Police have said Sydney Garcia Tovar of Hamilton was shot in the head as she sat behind the wheel of a car just before 10:30 p.m. on July 23, 2018, after driving three people to Tyler’s Creek apartments on Wildbranch Road.

She had driven a few people there, and a confrontation between other people became heated, police have said.

Sydney died the following day.

Two men, Jordan Spain, 19, and Markeylnd Townsend, 24, were both indicted on charges of murder and felonious assault. They pleaded not guilty and are being held at the Butler County jail.

They did not change their pleas during a brief hearing on Wednesday, so the case will proceed to another court hearing on Oct 2.

After, Butler County court officials released a June 8 court filing in response to a FOX19 NOW public records request that shows prosecutors say Sydney was shot during " a drug deal/robbery.”

“These four individuals drove to that area for a drug deal/robbery of the individual(s) that drugs were being sold to,” Assistant Prosecutor Brad Burress wrote in the “Bill of Particulars.”

Once they arrived, Spain and “another individual approached the vehicle where words were exchanged. Money was shown, as well as an item purporting to (be) the drugs. Soon thereafter, the defendant, armed with a 9mm firearm, and the other individual, armed with a .45 caliber firearm, opened fire into the vehicle.”

Spain was 14 at the time and lived nearby on the same road, police have said.

Multiple shell casings were found at the homicide scene, police have said.

Spain was arrested on outstanding warrants in Clermont County’s Miami Township on Sept. 19, 2022, according to police. He was found with a loaded gun, they said at the time.

He initially was held at the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center following his arrest.

Spain’s case began in the juvenile court system but he was indicted in adult court in March and moved to the county jail.

Police requested the transfer to adult court because his punishment would be more severe if he is convicted.

Ohio’s mandatory sentencing laws require those convicted of murder to serve 15 years to life.

In Ohio’s juvenile court system, teens convicted of murder can only be held by the state’s Department of Youth Services until they reach the age of 21.

Townsend was moved to the Butler County Jail in February after he was indicted from a maximum security state prison in Mansfield, where he was serving a three-year sentence for an unrelated aggravated robbery conviction.

Fairfield Township police say they are continuing to investigate Sydney’s homicide.

Sydney’s mother dedicated a memorial bench at her daughter’s favorite park in Butler County and has promised to be at every court date for the suspects.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to police at 513-887-5841 or Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.

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