Dean found guilty in 2005 murder of youth counselor

Jury returns verdict after deliberating since Tuesday.

Courts Murder trial

SPRINGFIELD — Jason Dean winked and blew kisses at family and friends Thursday as he was found guilty of killing a youth counselor and the attempted murder of a pregnant woman and a child.

Dean, 37, was found guilty of aggravated murder for his role in the 2005 death of Titus Arnold, a youth counselor who was shot in the head and robbed of $6. He was also convicted of 13 other charges including six counts of attempted murder in which a 1-year-old and a pregnant Shanta Chilton were “centimeters close” to being shot, according to witnesses.

The jury of eight women and four men returned the convictions in Clark County Common Pleas Court on Thursday afternoon after deliberating since Tuesday.

The capital murder trial now moves to the penalty phase. Jurors will hear arguments on Monday. Because of the aggravated murder charges, Dean is eligible for the death penalty.

The charges stem from a four-day crime spree involving Dean and Joshua Wade, then 16, whom prosecutors described as Dean’s “sidekick.”

The “crime team,” prosecutors said, murdered Arnold and days earlier committed an armed robbery and terrorized Dibert Avenue residents in a drive-by shooting.

Wade, who fired the shot that killed Arnold and was identified as the gunman in the drive-by shooting, was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 for his role in the crimes.

That same year, Dean was convicted and sentenced to death.

The Ohio Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2010, determining Clark County Judge Douglas Rastatter made rulings and statements during the trial that “demonstrated bias against Dean and his attorneys that prevented Dean from receiving a fair trial.”

Prosecutors and Dean’s attorney declined to comment about the verdict. Arnold’s family members also declined to comment.

But Arnold’s mother, Vickie, said in 2010 that Rastatter was more than fair in the first trial.

“I think he got a fair trial the first time,” Arnold said then. “It isn’t fair to our family to put us through that again.”

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