Suspect in teen’s 2018 fatal shooting pleads guilty, prosecutor says

One of two men charged with murder in the 2018 shooting of a 16-year-old girl in Fairfield Township pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge.
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 11:40 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 5:31 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HAMILTON, Ohio (FOX19) - One of two men charged with murder in the 2018 shooting of a 16-year-old girl in Fairfield Township pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge, according to Butler County prosecutors.

Jordan Spain, 19, faces up to 14 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 1 on a charge of involuntary manslaughter with a three-year gun specification.

Spain and Markeylnd Townsend, 24, were both indicted on charges of murder and felonious assault.

Townsend is still facing the original charges and returns to court on Oct. 4.

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.

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.

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.

We reached out to Sydney’s family but they say they are not commenting at this time.

Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser says he will reserve comment until after Spain is sentenced.

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

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click here to report it. Please include title of story.

Copyright 2023 WXIX. All rights reserved.