Ashley Biggs worked as a Domino delivery driver when she stopped at a Ohio business one summer night in 2012. Biggs had no idea the company would be shut down. Or that the caller who ordered the big half-mushroom used a half-pepper cake, a pseudonym.
The midnight birth was just a trick to lure 25-year-old Biggs to death. At the time, Biggs was in the midst of a fierce pre-trial arrest battle with Chad Cobb, his ex-boyfriend, and the father of his 7-year-old child. When Biggs arrived, he waited in the parking lot with Cobb Taser and a 4-meter zipped tie to strangle him.
Cobb dumped Biggs ‘body in the trunk of his car and left the vehicle on a cornfield in Wayne County near his parents’ home. The 30-year-old father, who had charges of hospital violence against Biggs, emerges from the court records – pleaded guilty in 2013 to abducting and murdering him to avoid the death penalty.
It wasn’t until November 2019 that New Franklin cops announced that Cobb had a partner in the sick crime: his ex-wife, Erica Stefanko, who walked past Erica Lyon before divorcing Cobb and marrying one of her childhood friends.
Detective Michael Hitchings watched Stefanko for seven years. The break in the case came in a secretly recorded phone call between Stefanko and Cobb’s mother, Cindee, who testified that Stefanko admitted he ordered the pizza and tried to cover up the murder.
“Every time I hear a siren, I think ‘they’re coming for me,'” Stefanko told Cobb Akron Beacon Journal.
“I’m done for myself. I did exactly what he said. Said Stefanko, who admitted that the murder prevented Biggs from taking Cobb’s daughter into custody. At one point in the recording, Stefanko claimed that Cobb had told him he wanted to save Biggs’ skull as a “trophy.”
Prosecutors said Stefanko was with Cobb when he made the pizza order and then left him in the parking lot to do the evil deed alone. He later dragged Cobb to the cornfield and traveled home after Biggs’ car was parked.
On Wednesday, Stefanko was convicted of serious murder for his role in the murder act. The jury deliberated for more than 14 hours over three days at the county hearing of the summit, which was broadcast on Court TV. Beacon Journal reported.
“He would tell me if I told my dad what he was doing to me, it would be worse.“
The 37-year-old mother eventually decided not to testify in her own murder trial. Just before the verdict, the killer’s stepmother stared down at the protective table over COVID-19, her face partially covered by a mask. He leaned back and blinked, seemingly in disbelief, when the judge declared him guilty of a serious murder. Stefanko was not found guilty of other crimes, including kidnapping and grave robbery.
In January, following his verdict, Stefanko lives behind bars.
“Evidence and testimony show that he was involved from the beginning, middle and end,” Assistant Attorney Felicia Easter said during the closing speech, adding that Stefanko had given delivery instructions, waiting on the cornfield when Cobb laid down Biggs ’body and Cobb a gave a circle. at home to shed blood from his body and returned to the crime scene to help him clean up the evidence.
“It’s all because of the fighting struggle – retaliation – it’s all about the aversion to Ashley Biggs and gaining her supervision at GC,” Easter said, referring to her daughter.
Kerry O’Brien, Stefanko’s attorney, said Cobb denies Biggs’ murder despite his guilty charge; he said he just wanted to help Stefanko be convicted in exchange for a shot he got out of jail early. He said Cobb had another reason to testify against Stefanko: After the murder, he divorced him and married his best friend, who helps raise his children.
“Here’s a person who pleaded guilty.” He admitted to being beaten, admitted to strangling Ashley Biggs … and now he’s still trying to get out of it. How authentic is such a man? O’Brien said during the summer.
O’Brien also targeted Cindee Cobb, who admitted he hoped his son would be released from prison one day. Cindee made a long conversation with Stefanko with a digital recorder in March 2014, but only handed it over to police in 2018. “If everything had been told exactly as it happened, we would both be in jail. That’s absolutely the truth, ”Stefanko said during the three-hour conversation, parts of which were played in court.
“The conversation was probably recorded because Chad Cobb told him to do it,” O’Brien said of Cindee Stefanko’s secret recording. – He wanted to go out of jail. The appeal did not work. Okay, that was Plan A. Let’s go with Plan B. Let’s see if my mom can get her to make some statement on a recording.
“Chad Cobb is not only the real culprit with whom the state agrees with me, but I would also argue that Chad Cobb didn’t just put together an act to sink him. [Stefanko] but the real reason here is that … it’s very simple: it’s revenge, ”O’Brien concluded.
In his refutation, LoPrinzi said, “Everyone has a motive, including the accused.”
“Please don’t let sympathy have a say, don’t worry about Ms. Stefanko,” LoPrinzi told jurors. – I know there are kids in it. GC has lost his mother and father and is here to testify against someone he called a mother. The children will survive. Don’t worry about Erica [Stefanko’s] feelings. As he put it, he didn’t feel bad about Ashley, not even in the moments he experienced before the end of his life.
“When you listen to his word, please believe them.”
Cobb refused to cooperate with police against Stefanko until 2017 when he claimed he was outraged that he could not see his children and wrote a letter to Hitchings saying he would eventually bring up his ex-wife. “Did Chad seem to want some revenge?” O’Brien asked Hitchings. “For me, he was trying to figure out the whole story, I think, about what happened that night,” Hitchings replied.
Biggs’ daughter is now 15 years old and Cobb testified against Stefanko.
She said she doesn’t remember Biggs, who returned to her life in 2011 after being raised mainly by Cobb. But she said she remembered Stefanko, who she described as mentally and physically abusive. “You’d tell me if I told my dad what he was doing to me would be worse,” she confessed.
“I remember being caught and hit on the ground and then eating dog feces in front of him,” she said. When the prosecution asked why, the girl replied, “Because she was jealous of my relationship with my father.” She said she still loves her father and wants to see her get out of jail.
According to the Beacon Journal, the teenager said he was in the back seat of a car, in a “pitch black place,” when he heard Stefanko, who was sitting in the passenger seat, also ordered pizza. He said he slept in the car and woke up the next morning at his grandparents’ house.
Cobb testified from prison via video. On the night of the murder, he “walked around” near a tree, disguised and waiting for Biggs after Stefanko called for pizza. When Assistant Prosecutor Brian LoPrinzi asked, “Is it true to say that Ashley didn’t leave the parking lot alive that night?” Cobb replied, “Yes, sir, that’s accurate.”
He said he met Biggs in a roller skate around 2003 after returning home from the military, where he was only six months after high school. “I guess that’s a complicated answer, but it just wasn’t for me,” Cobb confessed when asked when he left. He ran a cable company. He said they started with Biggess as friends and their romantic relationship developed over time.
According to Cobb, Biggs left him and their daughter in 2005, months after the girl was born. Biggs joined the Army and began other relationships, he said. “It just wasn’t nearby,” Cobb said in court. – I’m not saying it’s tough. He said he met Stefanko through MySpace in December 2006 and moved in with him not long after. Within a few years, they started their own family.
Meanwhile, Biggs had a three-year relationship with 30-year-old Brittany Dunson, who testified that Biggs said Cobb was violent and controlling. Dunson said Biggs received temporary custody of her daughter in 2011 after receiving a letter from the County Children’s Services Board launching an investigation into her daughter’s well-being. (Cobb and his family regained their visit with their daughter months later.)
Dunson said Cobb’s mother and grandmother arrived at Dunson’s mother’s home when the couple and girl showed up on a visit. “We just tried to walk inside. I just remember her grandmother trying to tell Ashley that [the daughter] he didn’t know who she was, and Ashley shouldn’t have done that, Dunson confessed. Since then, Biggs has been embroiled in a court battle with Cobb. Police appeared several times after Cobb’s complaints at welfare checks at the house’s home, but no neglect was found, Dunson said.
Cobb claimed to plead guilty in 2013 because a judge warned that his children would be adopted in the foster care system. He involved Stefanko after she refused to visit her with her children until she was imprisoned.
The killer father and Stefano had two children in common, while Cobb and Biggs had one daughter and Stefano had another relationship. According to Court TV, all four children, who were between 2.5 months and 6 years old, were sitting in a car while Stefanko was driving to the scene of the murder and the cornfield.
After the verdict, Biggs’ friends and family rejoiced.
“ACHIEVED. THEY WILL GET IT, ”Biggs’ mother wrote on Facebook. “FINALLY TRUTH.”