Third accomplice arrested in attempted murder case

Girlfriend of "main perpetrator" in a crowbar attack now faces felony charges.
Cary Ashby
May 22, 2013


A third attempted murder accomplice accused of hiding her boyfriend -- one of her co-defendants -- in her apartment was arrested Monday.

A Huron County sheriff's deputy placed Brianna M. Boonie, 18, of 154 Hamilton St., Apt. 212, Bellevue, in handcuffs just outside the main courtroom in Huron County Common Pleas Court. The woman cried quietly after having been served with a secret indictment, which was issued by a grand jury Friday.

Boonie, who had been sitting in the courtroom before her arrest, is charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder or murder, a first-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a third-degree felony, both in connection with an April 21 incident.

"This is a very serious incident in which a young man was beaten -- almost to death. He presently is in a rehab facility in Dayton," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said.

Boonie looked for the weapon for the attack and hid "the main perpetrator in her apartment," he said.

John Allton, who has been appointed to represent the suspect, said he knows very little about the case, but said that Boonie, mother of an 8-month-old child, had minimal involvement.

"The incident took place a month ago and she's been in the area," Allton said.

Boonie entered "not guilty" pleas to each of her charges. Judge Jim Conway followed Leffler's recommendation and set her bond at $75,000 bond.

Also arraigned Monday was Boonie's boyfriend, Connor C.D. Holbrook, 19, of 840 Kilbourne St., Bellevue. He is charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder or murder, attempted murder and obstructing justice. He also faces two charges of felonious assault.

"Boonie is Mr. Holbrook's girlfriend. She was present at the time of the beating," Leffler said.

"They both were cooperative with police," said Holbrook's defense attorney, Ed Rhode.

"He never held the weapon. He didn't know about the weapon," he told the judge.

Rhode, when arguing about a lower bond than the state's request of $100,000, referred to Holbrook as a "peaceful, law-abiding child." The defense attorney said Holbrook has "behaved himself well" since he's been in jail for the last 29 days.

"He's not some kind of criminal mastermind," said Rhode, who denied his client was the driver of the Ford Ranger.

Leffler disagreed with Rhode's assessment of the case.

"He (Holbrook) did drive the vehicle to the crime scene," said Leffler, who further accused Holbrook of knowing about the crowbar used to attack the victim. "He was involved from the get-go."

The victim, Austin D. Thornton, 19, of St. Paris, was hit over the head with a crowbar.

"I've heard many stories about the victim. He got hit twice -- once in the head and once in the leg," Rhode said.

He first went 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. Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff said Friday the victim is "out of the woods" and is expected to live.

Also arraigned Monday was Tyler G. Smith, 19, of 223 Hamilton St., Bellevue. He is charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder or murder, attempted murder and tampering with evidence, plus two charges of felonious assault.

The judge set Smith's bond at $500,000. Huron County Public Defender David Longo, who presided over the defendant's arraignment on behalf of Tom Nicholson, said a bond of $100,000 or $150,000 would be more appropriate since Thornton hasn't died and this was a "crime of passion."

Leffler said the three cases can't be tried together because of the "different statements" given by the defendants.

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

The three suspected accomplices have trials set for July 16.



(timing on how long it takes for somebody to say they would "hit that")

yogi bear

with what??


a pikinic basket.


LOL! Now THAT, was funny!

SeƱor Clown

I was waiting on someone to say "A crowbar"


NO...this is more of a "she is a good kid, I have known her all her life." "She would never do this" kinda story. You know..the "do not judge her, she has made mistakes"


Her smile lights up a room, she is a great mother and a great girl. She would NEVER do something like this. You people need to not make judgements on her. She would give you the shirt off her back.... (Like this right)? Or you could go ghetto/ trailer trash like this --> ya'll needz to be taken her name out yo mouf! She my gurl and she be inocent. How about you all beez sayin dis to my face!


I'd hit it.....with my crowbar !


yeah boy!


Mikey Sit !

Sitting In The ...

hit it and quit it ! hahaha


was she the one busted for soliciting door to door?


soliciting what? >:)


don't know the blotter didn't say.. but it was in that area.


This speaks volumnes: "placed Brianna M. Boonie, 18, of 154 Hamilton St., Apt. 212, Bellevue....but said that Boonie, mother of an 8-month-old child,"


...what's with the ninja turtles next to her...


if they would have just been cooking a little meth in the trunk... all would have been lesser charges.


Is this the same girl that made the 911 call?


No! This girl rode along with Smith and Holbrook to/from the assault and hid both when the police came looking for them. The girl who made the call, Alexis, is/was Smith's girlfriend who set this whole thing up. She evidently wanted Smith and the victim to fight over her. She's a self-centered, manipulative little drama queen who took things a bit too far this time. If you listen carefully to her 911 call, at one point she said "Why does this always happen to me?" So.... her "boyfriend" is critically injured and she's thinking of herself???.... SHE SET IT UP. SHE WANTED THEM TO FIGHT. SHE SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR SOMETHING but she is a witness for the prosecution and will not be charged with anything.


They almost killed someone and possibly have crippled him mentally or physically for life. "Crime of passion" means what?? - that you're old enough to have a child (whether mother or father), drive a car, "make my own decisions" but NOT old enough to be held responsible for your choices and actions?? "My passions took over"..but not before I lured someone into danger or not enough to stop me once I saw blood and heard pleas for help?

If she was there and did nothing to stop the assault, she's got almost as much responsibility as whoever swung the tire iron. If she instigated the situation in any way, she has even more responsibility.

I DON'T CARE if they were "good children" (oh, puhleeeez) up to now.. I DON'T CARE that she has an 8 month old child - where was the passion for her child's future? Whoever was taking care of the baby when this incident took place can keep doing it until she's out of jail.

Let's have some compassion for the victim. Let's remember that as long as irresponsible, out of control people are given the edge, WE ARE ALL AT RISK of becoming the next victim. We all have passions and aggravations and problems and tempers - but it is NOT an "entitlement" for ANYONE to use these as excuses for extreme violence.

...let the replies begin, but not liking what I said or how I said it, disagreeing with me...doesn't change this situation.


NO, mammamia, I agree WITH you. She is part of it. Kids these days have no idea what responsibility is. They have been given everything. Everyone makes excuses for them and the choices they make. Parents do not discipline, there are no consequences and they have no remorse. She deserves just as much punishment as the others. If she did premeditate it she deserves everything and then some. You said it well and I agree with it!


I totally agree with you, mammamia! I don't know anything about this Bri or the Holbrook kid, but I can tell you from personal experience that Tyler Smith is trouble. He's skated away practically scott free from his previous arrests and HE NEEDS TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HE DID TO AUSTIN THORNTON. Since Smith is the one who actually swung the crowbar, I don't understand how the Holbrook kid is facing more charges. But nonetheless, I hope they all spend a long time in prison. They are all adults who made some pretty stupid choices but they must pay for what they did. The victim seems to be doing amazingly well. He went home today after a week in rehab. He needs supervision 100% of the time (per the family's posts on Facebook) but he's able to walk with a cane (drags his right side) and can speak. These idiots are extremely lucky that the victim is a fighter and didn't die. The girl who evidently instigated the entire situation, Alexis, is a witness for the prosecution and, per the family of the victim, will not be charged. Too bad....she should be held responsible, too, for her part in this.

Cliff Cannon

@mammamia: Thank-you for these well written words of wisdom


It would be very appropriate if the site started playing the opening to DUELING BANJOS when you click on the pictures of those inbreds


My question is how do the 2 get 75 and 100 thousand dollar bonds and the other gets half million bond? They are all just as guilty as the other. Also, The one that set the whole thing up to have this poor kid beaten almost to death and the family don't want her charged? Where and how does this make sense. There should be four in jail with half million dollar bonds. This is our JUSTICE system for you.


First, none of these have been found guilty of anything so bond is set to secure their appearance at court hearings.
Second, the highest bond has been set for the one who is alleged to have struck the victim, probably on the basis that he is more likely to flee than the others.
Third, unless and until the newspaper starts printing the discovery in a case I think it would be appropriate to refrain from a conclusion that they are each just as guilty as the others. This is for the jury to sort out if the matter goes to trial.