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Man sentenced to life in prison for slaying girlfriend in Perrysburg Heights home


Jose Moya, Jr., 24, left, and his defense attorney, Adrian Cimerman, listen to a statement from Leandra Frankum’s family in court. Moya, Jr., was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

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BOWLING GREEN — Jose Moya, Jr., leaned back in his chair, no emotion on his face, as the words of his late girlfriend’s mother were read in Wood County Common Pleas Court on Friday.

“Leandra, my beautiful Leandra, taken away so soon for what? Because of jealousy? Because you’re mad Jose? Her life was just started. So sad to have been taken away [by] someone that said he loved you,” Trina Frankum wrote in a statement read to the court. “You don’t hurt the people that you love. She was so good-hearted, my daughter, trying to save him and change life for the better.”

Moya, 24, made no comment to the court and no apology to the family of Leandra Frankum, 21, who he shot to death July 22 at a home in the Perrysburg Heights neighborhood.

Moya, who at a prior court hearing said he would not plead to something he didn’t do, quietly entered no contest pleas to murder and a firearms specification under an agreement with prosecutors that included the dismissal of two other charges: tampering with evidence and a repeat violent offender specification.

Judge Alan Mayberry then sentenced him to life in prison with eligibility for parole after 18 years.

“As your counsel has pointed out and as the court has also pointed out, the sentence in this case is fixed by statute,” Judge Mayberry said. “There’s really no leeway the court has one way or the other in this particular case.”

Gwen Howe-Gebers, chief assistant Wood County prosecutor, told the court that Moya and Ms. Frankum had been in an “on-again, off-again” relationship. On July 22, he came over to a friend’s house where Ms. Frankum was, and the two began arguing.

“Witnesses would have testified that that argument led into the bathroom area of the trailer, that at one point the defendant was talking to Leandra in the bathroom, arguing,” Ms. Howe-Gebers said. “One witness would have testified the defendant put his hand over her mouth and then [heard] what the witness would have described as a ‘pop,’ and Leandra fell to the floor.”

She said Moya and his brother subsequently woke their mother and asked her to take them to Toledo so they wouldn’t go to jail. They got rid of the gun that was used and disposed of their clothing at a park, she said.

Moya later showed up at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center to get treated for a gunshot wound to his left hand, which he suffered when he fired the fatal shot “to Leandra on the upper left side of the neck under the ear, which was the cause of her death,” Ms. Howe-Gebers said.

Raul Moya, 18, pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and was sentenced to a year in prison last year by Judge Mayberry.

Family members of Moya said after Friday’s hearing that both sides of the story had not come out in court.

Olivia Moya said Ms. Frankum had gone to see her brother the night she died.

“He did not go to her,” she said, adding that she didn’t think her brother needed to apologize.

“There’s no apology for something he didn’t cause,” Olivia Moya said. “That was her doing, not his. It was all one-sided.”

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: or 419-213-2134.

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