Judge Braig sentences getaway driver in 2019 double murder to 14-19.5 years


Logan County Common Pleas Judge Kevin Braig sentenced Austin Allen to an indefinite term of 14 to 19.5 years in prison for his role in driving three Champaign County juveniles to the scene of an aggravated robbery that ended in a double homicide.

Allen plead guilty to and was convicted of complicity to aggravated robbery, a felony of the first degree, and an accompanying three-year firearm specification. Allen’s sentence concluded the proceedings in the Common Pleas Court arising from the events of November 27, 2019.

On that day, the three juveniles, Elijah Barrett, Josia Bush, and Ethan Grim met at a local apartment where Barrett was staying and planned to rob the house located at 601 West Columbus Avenue. Allen drove Barrett to Urbana to pick up Grim and Bush and brought them all back to the apartment.

Barrett testified during the trial of Bush they knew Anthony Scartz, a resident of the house, sold marijuana. Barrett said in his testimony the three juveniles agreed to use force to rob the house.

Allen testified he drove them from the apartment complex to the scene of the crime. He testified Ethan Grim cautioned him against parking and waiting in a local church parking lot because it might be equipped with security cameras and that the three used masks to cover their faces during the crime from a bag of clothes in his car.

Allen also testified that after the crime he dropped Barrett off at a hospital in Urbana and abandoned Grim and Bush after he overheard Grim discussing on the phone if he should shoot him to insure his silence.

The morning after the crimes, Allen turned himself into the Bellefontaine Police Department. He has been lodged in the Logan County Jail since that date.

In exchange for Allen’s cooperation, Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart agreed to dismiss charges against Allen of complicity to murder, complicity to aggravated burglary, complicity to kidnapping, complicity to felonious assault, and firearm specifications accompanying each charge.

At the sentencing hearing, Allen apologized to the family and friends of the victims. His attorney, Garron Fischmann, of Kenton, read a letter from Allen’s mother and his father addressed the court.

Barrett, Grim, and Bush previously were convicted of the crimes arising from the events and sentenced to indefinite life sentences. Because they committed the crimes before their 18th birthdays, all three will be eligible for parole after serving 25 years under Senate Bill 256, which became law in Ohio in April of 2021. Barrett and Bush have filed appeals in the Third District Court of Appeals. Grim maintained his innocence at his sentencing hearing on January 25, 2023, and also is expected to appeal.