A 21-year-old Indiana man was sentenced to eight years in prison today for stabbing the father of his teenage girlfriend at the family’s Gahanna home in a failed murder plot.
Robert A. Best pleaded guilty to one of count of attempted conspiracy to commit murder and one count of felonious assault in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
Judge Julie M. Lynch imposed the sentence, which was recommended by prosecution and defense attorneys and endorsed by the victim and his wife.
“I’ve forgiven Robert for his attack,” Alan Dillman told the judge, mentioning his Christian faith throughout his statement. “While I’m convinced his intentions were evil, I also believe he’s simply a lost soul looking for some direction and meaning in his life.”
Best plotted with Dillman’s 16-year-old daughter, Grace, to kill her parents, who disapproved of her online relationship with an adult boyfriend, Assistant Prosecutor Laurie Arsenault said.
Grace Dillman lied to Best, telling him that she was sexually abused by her father and physically abused by her mother, Arsenault said.
On the morning of June13, 2012, the girl disabled the security alarm at the family’s Hamilton Court house and left a door unlocked for Best, who drove to the neighborhood from Indianapolis with a straight razor and a goal of killing her parents as they slept.
Arsenault said Best stood over the couple for a long time before stabbing Mr. Dillman repeatedly with a knife he had taken from the kitchen.
During the attack, Best told the couple that he was motivated by their abuse of their daughter. Mr. Dillman said those allegations were lies, prompting Best to ask the girl if she had been dishonest with him.
Arsenault said the girl replied, “Yes, I’ve been manipulating you.”
Best then administered first aid to Mr. Dillman and waited for police and medics to arrive.
Lynch told Best that his decision to stop the attack and help the victim shows “you have a conscience. When you have a conscience, you are redeemable.”
The case against Grace Dillman, charged with a delinquency count of attempted aggravated murder, is pending in Franklin County Juvenile Court.
By John Futty - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)
Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services