Grand jury indicts teens on attempted murder charges in crowbar attack

Victim nearly died but is expected to live.
Aaron Krause
May 20, 2013


Two local teens accused of trying to kill another teen in a crowbar attack have been indicted.

They were two of 12 people indicted Friday by a Huron County grand jury.

Tyler G. Smith, 19, of 223 Hamilton St., Bellevue, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder or murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of felonious assault and one count of tampering with evidence.

Connor C.D. Holbrook, 19, of 840 Kilbourne St., Bellevue, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder or murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of felonious assault, one count of obstructing justice and one count of tampering with evidence.

The charges stem from an April incident during which the victim, Austin D. Thornton, was hit over the head with a crowbar.

Smith told investigators the assault "was precipitated by text, phone and electronic messages that exchanged between himself and others," according to a search warrant.

Thornton, 19, of St. Paris, which is near Dayson, was first taken to Willard Mercy Hospital, and then was transported to the neuro-intensive care unit of Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.

For a period of time, Thornton was in critical condition at the Toledo facility. A hospital spokeswoman on Friday said Thornton has been released, but she didn't know when.

"He's out of the woods. He's going to live," Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said Friday.

Woodruff said that's about the extent of information he has on Thornton's condition, since he hasn't spoken to any of his health care providers.

The victim reportedly has been transferred to a Dayton-area rehabilitation facility.

At the time of the assault, "he (Thornton) was in the area visiting friends," Huron County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Josh Querin has said.

When asked if the victim knew his suspected attackers, Querin said, "It's fair to say they knew each other, but not for a very long time."



Two pillars of the community. Good grief!

Brock Lee


Karma Watcher

Wonder if the girl stabbing her boyfriend and almost killing him will be attempted murder??


He is going to live. I wonder about the quality of the rest of his life. I do not want to infringe on the victim's or his families privacy, but from the reports of the attack and his medical condition immediately following the attack; sometimes there are things worse than death. I think there should be a special penalty for these cases.


I must say, I think the Willard Dispacher did a great job on that call. I doubt the attempted murder charges stick. I dont think they ment to kill him but they ment to cause bodly harm for sure!

Sitting In The ...

@Dusty They planned this attack in advance, went to the house with the sole purpose to seriously injure this guy, and even after seriously injuring this man they continued following them....but no I'm sure they didn't want to kill him. Give me a break.


Well I will admit, They didnt get a grand jury to go along with it. I still think they my end up with a lesser charge in the end. I just dont think murder was the plan. To many people could ID them. Then agian we dont know all the facts.


The Grand Jury indicted them on all charges filed. They weren't charged with murder, just attempted murder. I would bet there will be a plea bargain at some point but I think they will still end up with stiff penalties. Maybe murder wasn't the plan???? Whenever you take a crowbar to a fight, a black eye isn't the plan. I think these idiots were too stupid to think of anything beyond beating this kid.....


I've been following the victim's (Austin) progress on Facebook: Prayers for Austin Thornton. He was moved to a rehab facility last week. The 64 staples in his head (from having his skull replaced) are being removed today and he is going home tomorrow. Amazing recovery for the severity of his injuries. As for Smith and Holbrook, I hope they rot in jail.


And the family posted that a third person, Holbrook's girlfriend who was with these two jerks at the time of the attack, has now been arrested and being held on $75,000 bond. They didn't say what the charges against her are. Evidently Smith's girlfriend, who seems to have instigated this entire fiasco, will be a witness for the prosecution. From what I've heard, I think she should be charged with SOMEthing -- she played these young men against each other and set the whole thing up. The supposed pregnancy never was... If you listen carefully to the 911 call, at one point she says "why does this always happen to me??" GIVE ME A BREAK. She's thinking of HERSELF as her "boyfriend" is critically injured???? Selfish, self-centered, drama queen who took it too far this time. She should rot in jail along with the others.....