Boonie pleads guilty

Prosecutors drop conspiracy to murder charge in exchange for teen's plea.
Cary Ashby
Dec 24, 2013


The third defendant in a crowbar assault case pleaded guilty Monday.

Brianna M. Boonie, 19, of 154 S. Hamilton St., Apt. 212, Bellevue, was convicted of obstructing justice. She faces nine months to three years in prison when she is sentenced Feb. 6.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dismissed one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder or murder.

"I think she is the least culpable of these very young and pathetic people," Boonie's defense attorney John Allton said after Monday's hearing.

"What a terrible chain of events for everybody -- just lose, lose, lose," he added.

In late November, a jury found Boonie's boyfriend, Connor C.D. Holbrook, 20, of 840 Kilbourne St., Bellevue, guilty of complicity to commit felonious assault, obstructing justice and complicity to tampering with evidence. After deliberating for about seven hours, jurors acquitted him of one count each of conspiracy to commit attempted murder and complicity to commit attempted murder.

Attempted murderer Tyler J. Smith, 19, of Bellevue, is serving nine years in prison for smashing Austin Thornton's skull with a crowbar. The Dayton-area victim required two brain surgeries before he was eventually released from a Dayton rehabilitation facility.

The assault occurred about 12:30 a.m. April 21 in the driveway of the rural Willard home where Smith's ex-girlfriend was living. Attorneys and witnesses have said a vulgar "Twitter war" led to the attempted murder.

Witnesses in Holbrook's trial have said Boonie was in the same truck Holbrook was driving as she and Smith road to the Peru Township home and Boonie encouraged Smith to leave after the attack.

After leaving the "terrible scene," Boonie helped hide Smith in her home for a matter of hours. When questioned by Huron County sheriff's deputies, she denied Smith was there, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said Monday.

When questioned at the station, Boonie "was the most forthright" about what happened, Leffler told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway.

Boonie posted a $75,000 bond May 23.

At Leffler's request, Conway added an additional condition that Boonie have no association with her co-defendants.

"Holbrook is on house arrest," Leffler told the judge. "Since Holbrook has been ordered to stay away from her, I see no reason for it not to be mutual."