The couple, 18-year-old Jade N. Olmstead and 20-year-old Ashley M. Barber, told police they lured Brandy M. Stevens—Olmstead’s former girlfriend—to their Cochrantan, Pennsylvania, home.
There they proceeded to punch 20-year-old Stevens, choke her with a rope, pound her head against a stump, and roll her into a shallow grave they had prepared, according to testimony by state police trooper Eric Mallory.
The Erie Times-News reports:
When they saw that she was still breathing, they threw a large rock onto her face and poured water into her mouth and nose.
“She said that her worst fear was being buried alive,” Mallory said of Barber. “She was trying to kill her.”
The results of an autopsy by Erie County forensic pathologist Eric Vey showed that Stevens suffocated on dirt, police Trooper Phillip Shaffer testified.
Stevens, a sociology student at Youngstown State University, was later found by a cadaver dog.
Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz said he will decide whether to seek the death penalty before the women’s arraignment on August 24.