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Published: Saturday, 3/6/2010

Fostoria resident found guilty of murder

Corbin Corbin

BOWLING GREEN - A Fostoria man will spend the next 20 years behind bars after he was convicted Friday of strangling his girlfriend in October, 2007.

Randy Corbin, 49, was found guilty of murder and tampering with evidence for killing Karen Coldwell, 51, at her North Baltimore home, then leaving her body in a rural area of Perry Township near Fostoria.

After listening to three days of testimony and deliberating for 2 1/2 hours, the jury returned its verdicts about 3 p.m. in Wood County Common Pleas Court.

Showing no emotion, Corbin declined to address the court when given the opportunity to speak before Judge Reeve Kelsey sentenced him.

Ms. Coldwell's two daughters and her sister told the court that Ms. Coldwell had been a good person who did nothing but good things for Corbin.

"She gave him a home, money, and even helped him out with medical care, and this is the thanks she got?" her daughter, Jessica Reed, said. "Her grandkids will never know her as we have as our mother and friend. They were robbed of this opportunity.

"Our mother never did anything to deserve this, and things will never be the same for us," Ms. Reed said.

Pamela Oatis said she and her sister had their differences, but she still loved her.

"Even though she had an alcohol and substance problem, she was still a good person and did not deserve to leave this Earth in the manner she did," Ms. Oatis said.

Gwen Howe-Gebers, an assistant Wood County prosecutor, said Corbin chose to kill Ms. Coldwell rather than to lose her.

"He couldn't take the fact that she finally had enough and was going to kick him out," she said. "He just couldn't handle that. He couldn't handle the free ride that he was going to be losing."

Judge Kelsey cited Corbin's extensive criminal record, which dated to 1979, in sentencing him to the maximum five-year sentence for tampering with evidence.

That sentence was ordered to be served consecutively with the mandatory 15-years-to-life sentence for murder.

"The court notes that he was out on bond on charges in Hancock County when this offense was committed," the judge said, referring to pending charges of breaking and entering and safecracking that Corbin was facing in 2007 when he was arrested for murder.

Defense attorney Dave Klucas objected in court to "the consecutive and maximum" sentences imposed for tampering with evidence.

"We're disappointed with the verdict," he said afterward. "We intend to appeal."

Outside the courtroom, Ms. Coldwell's daughter, Misty Mason, said she was not surprised Corbin did not address the court or her family.

"What could he say?" she said. "He wasn't going to admit it."

"We're happy she got a little bit of peace," her sister, Ms. Reed, added. "It's just not fair his family members get to keep seeing him; they get to have conversations with him."

Contact Jennifer Feehan at


or 419-724-6129.

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