Summit County man found guilty of murdering 2 woman in separate 1970s cold cases

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 10:38 AM EDT
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SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A jury in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas on Thursday found a 78-year-old man guilty of two murders in separate cold cases from the 1970s.

The 78-year-old, identified as Gustave Sapharas from Jackson Township, was charged in 2019 for the alleged murders of Akron 18-year-old Karen Bentz in 1970 and Brimfield 20-year-old Loretta Jean Davis in 1975.

Summit County Prosecutor Lori Bevan Walsh said Bentz was found stabbed and strangled in Tallmadge on April 29, 1970, while Davis was found stabbed to death in Portage County on Sept. 28, 1975.

A grand jury on March 16, 2023 found Sapharas guilty of the following charges:

  • Aggravated murder
  • Murder
  • Murder in the first degree
  • Murder in the second degree
  • Maiming or disfiguring another

Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Alison Breaux is scheduled to sentence Sapharas on April 5.