Man charged with fatally drugging wife

MARYSVILLE — A Union County man could be facing life in prison after being charged with murdering his wife.

Costello Jon


Jon James Costell, 56, of 25 S. Mill St., Milford Center, has been indicted on one count each of aggravated murder, failing to provide for a functionally impaired person, domestic violence and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of his wife.

He was arraigned Wednesday in Marysville Municipal Court, with bond set at $500,000.

According to court documents, Mr. Costell “with prior calculation and design” killed Debra Lyn Costell.

The woman, a paraplegic, died in September as the result of a drug overdose. Mr. Costell was her primary caregiver.

Documents allege that over a period of nine months, between January and September 2013, Mr. Costell failed to provide “any treatment, care, goods or service” necessary to the woman’s health

The woman died of “an overdose of drugs” according to Union County Prosecutor David Phillips.

Ohio Medicaid was paying for in-home health care for the woman.

“Because of the history in the home, when she died, they had some concern and referred it back to the sheriff’s office and the task force (Union County Multi-Agency Drug Enforcement task Force),” said Phillips.

Mr. Costell has three prior domestic violence convictions — two in 1998 in the Marysville Municipal Court and a felony conviction in 2002.

As a result of the investigation, Union County Coroner David Applegate ruled the death a homicide.

“It took a while for the ruling because we had to wait for results from the toxicology (report) and the investigation to be completed,” said Phillips.

The prosecutor said officials investigated the possibility of a mercy killing or an assisted suicide.

“The task force looked into a variety of scenarios, including that, but there was no evidence of that at the time,” said Phillips.

The prosecutor said this is not a death penalty case. He said if convicted,the defendant could face life in prison without parole.

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