Phil Trexler

A Rittman man will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to luring his child’s mother to New Franklin, where he beat her and strangled her.

Chad Cobb had faced a potential death sentence before he reached a plea agreement with Summit County prosecutors Tuesday.

Cobb, 31, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by Common Pleas Judge Amy Corrigall Jones. He told the court he was making his plea and accepting the prison term with “accountability and a heavy heart.”

Ashley Biggs, who lived in Jackson Township, was embroiled in a custody dispute with Cobb over their 6-year-old daughter.

Cobb, who is married and the father of three other children, pleaded guilty to a litany of charges including aggravated murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, retaliation, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.

“It’s a difficult case and I am personally and professionally pleased that Chad will not be facing the death penalty,” defense attorney Don Malarcik said.

Biggs was working as a delivery driver for Domino’s Pizza in Green when she was called to a West Turkeyfoot Road business about midnight June 20.

Once she was there, New Franklin police say Cobb ambushed the woman, striking her in the head before strangling her with a 4-foot-long plastic zip tie. Biggs’ body was later recovered in Chippewa Township.

Police have said it appears Cobb placed Biggs’ body inside her car and drove to Chippewa, where he abandoned the vehicle. He somehow managed to return to Summit County, where police found him hiding near a relative’s home.

After co-workers reported Briggs missing, New Franklin police traced her travels and within a day arrested Cobb for the slaying.

Police continue to investigate who might have helped Cobb, either before or after the slaying.

Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or ptrexler@thebeaconjournal.com. He can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PhilTrexler.