April 24, 2014

Medina
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Man accused in fatal stabbing could face life in prison

MEDINA — A 30-year-old York Township man was indicted on one count of aggravated murder Friday in the slaying of a Medina man earlier this month.

In addition to the count of aggravated murder, Aaron A. Furin, of 3701 Stone Road, is charged with two counts of murder. all are first-degree felonies and refer to the same incident, so he could be sentenced on only one, if convicted.

Aaron Furin

Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman said Furin could face life in prison, with possibility for parole at 20, 25 or 30 years if he is convicted of aggravated murder. For the murder charges, Furin faces 15 to life.

Holman said he’s not seeking the death penalty for Furin.

A person can be charged with aggravated murder when a prosecutor believes the defendant acted with “prior calculation and design,” according to Ohio Revised Code. Murder charges accuse defendants of purposely killing another person, but not necessarily planning to do so.

Furin is accused of stabbing James D. Carney, 37, of Medina, with a hunting knife during a party Oct. 16 at 381 Longview Road, where Furin used to live, according to court records.

Witnesses told police Furin and Carney got into a brawl after someone smashed a bottle of liquor. Furin left the fight with a bloody nose, and then retrieved the knife from the house. He attacked Carney in the driveway, police said.

Carney got into his car and attempted to drive away after he was stabbed, police said, but he lost control and crashed a short distance away. Carney was transported by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where he later died.

Furin was arrested that evening and is being held at the county jail on $1 million bond.

Carney’s family and friends have set up a memorial fund in his name to help his mother with bills. Community members can donate to the fund at any U.S. Bank branch.

The charges against Furin make it the first murder case in county common pleas court in more than four years.

“It’s a serious case,” the prosecutor said. “A person lost his life. That makes it a very serious case.”

The last person charged with murder in Medina County was Steven Cepec, who in June 2010 killed 73-year-old Chatham Township historian Frank Munz during a home invasion. A jury convicted Cepec of aggravated murder following a long-delayed trial, and he was sentenced to death in April.

A year earlier, Tracy Jewel Salter Johnson, 34, was charged in May 2009 with aggravated murder, accused of fatally stabbing her uncle, Gary Barnett, 60, at his Branch Road apartment. She pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated burglary and assault on an EMS worker and is serving a 15-year prison sentence.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.