Sentencing hearing postponed for Galion woman

By Kimberly Gasuras - [email protected]

Carla Willoughby

Carla Willoughby

A sentencing hearing for a Galion woman facing charges in connection with the death of Frederick Saunders Sr. was postponed again on Monday.

Carla R. Willoughby, 36, changed her plea to guilty in December in a plea agreement with prosecutors that includes her intent to testify against her twin sister, Marla Saunders, and brother-in-law, Frederick Saunders Jr. The couple is facing murder and kidnapping charges in the case that is set for a motions hearing on June 13.

Willoughby’s sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the motions hearing along with the jury trial dates for Marla and Frederick Saunders.

Willoughby pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and obstructing justice, both third-degree felonies. As part of her plea agreement, the state agreed to dismiss the two most serious charges of complicity to commit aggravated murder and kidnapping.

Marla and Frederick Saunders Jr., are accused of purposefully causing the death of Frederick Saunders, Sr., on Sept. 30.

According to authorities, Saunders Sr. was taken by family members to the emergency room of the Galion Community Hospital on the night of the incident with multiple injuries that are consistent with a beating and was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

Preliminary results from the Lucas County Coroner’s Office indicated that Saunders Sr. died as a result of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the skull.

Frederick has been held on a $5 million bond at the Crawford County Justice Center since his arrest in October while Marla was released on home monitoring until giving birth to twins. She is now being held in jail under a $2.5 million bond.

Carla Willoughby Willoughby

By Kimberly Gasuras

[email protected]

Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras

Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras