ASHTABULA, Ohio -- A man convicted of killing his girlfriend, said little in court, but spoke to the Fox 8 I-Team as he was being led away in handcuffs by Ashtabula County Sheriff deputies.
“I’m innocent,” a defiant Kyle Starkey said, as he was being taken to jail. “I did not do this.”
When asked why he thought the jury found him guilty of all counts in the murder of Mandy Gottschalk he said it was because “it’s Ashtabula County.”
But he suddenly got tight lipped when Fox 8 asked him if he was the last person with Gottschalk before she died.
“No further questions,” Starkey said. He also refused to say why he felt he was innocent.
Ashtabula Prosecutor Nick Iarocci has no doubts that Starkey is guilty.
“He tried to throw mud at the wall and hoped something would stick, but for him to continue to maintain his innocence even after sentencing is outrageous,” Iarocci said.
Assistant County Prosecutor Cecilia Cooper said she is pleased Judge Gary Yost sentenced Starkey to the maximum, 18 years to life in prison.
Ashtabula County Sheriff deputies say Starkey beat Gottschalk to death at the Washington Avenue house they shared, and then buried her in a shallow grave near the house.
Gottschalk’s family and friends packed the courtroom and say they are relieved he was convicted. The victim’s mother says she is forever thankful for the help she received from deputies.