Shawn Ford indicted in sledgehammer killings of New Franklin couple

AKRON, Ohio - An 18-year-old Ohio man was indicted Friday on aggravated murder and other charges in the April 2 killing of a prominent attorney and his wife with a sledgehammer.

Shawn Ford of Akron was indicted on five counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and one count each of aggravated burglary, grand theft and petty theft.

Further details were not released about the basis of the five murder charges, which include specifications that indicate prosecutors will seek the death penalty if Ford is convicted.

Ford is accused of killing attorney Jeffrey Schobert, 56, and his 59-year-old wife, Margaret, who were found dead in their home in New Franklin by construction workers doing remodeling work.

Ford also is charged with felonious assault in a nonfatal attack on the couple's teenage daughter, who was stabbed at a party on March 23 and suffered a skull fracture. Police have said Ford dated the girl, and there are indications a conflict about the relationship might have been a motive in the killings.

"The murders of Jeffrey and Margaret Schobert were particularly brutal," Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a statement. "Shawn Ford is accused of killing two people, both of whom were, by all accounts, kind and generous people who treated him with the utmost respect."

Ford's attorney, Jonathan Sinn, said he had not discussed the indictment with Ford and couldn't immediately comment.

Sinn said he planned to notify Ford's family about the charges and hoped to meet with Ford over the weekend to explain the consequences of the indictment.

Ford was being held under suicide watch in the Summit County jail, Sinn said.

A 14-year-old boy also has been charged as a juvenile in the Schoberts' deaths. He has pleaded not guilty.

The indictment against Ford charges two other Akron men, ages 20 and 26, with single felony charges of obstructing justice. It wasn't clear whether those charges were related to the Schoberts' deaths or to the case involving their daughter.

Ford and the other two adults are scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

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