COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Columbus man was sentenced to 72 years in prison Friday on charges related to the 2018 murders of a pregnant woman and her fiancé.
A Franklin County jury found Mario Wade, 23, guilty of two counts of murder and other offenses stemming from the deaths of Keith Williams III and Marlazia Jones-Mattox in 2018, according to a news release from Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney G. Gary Tyack.
Immediately after the verdict, a Franklin County judge sentenced Wade to 72 years to life in prison, Tyack said: 30 years for each aggravated murder conviction, with an added 12 years due to firearm, gang, and weapons under disability specifications. The sentences will run consecutively.
At 18 years old, Wade, who police said was a member of the Hilltop Hot Boys gang on Columbus’ west side, broke into a home on the 600 block of South Hague Avenue on Jan. 1, 2018, with co-defendant Christian Dillion and a 15-year-old with the intent of robbing Williams, Tyack said.
Williams, 23, reportedly shot the 15-year-old in self-defense, Tyack said. Wade responded by firing nine shots at Williams, who medics pronounced dead at the scene.
While Wade and Dillion left the house, they heard screams from Williams’ fianceé, Jones-Mattox, 21, who was nine months pregnant and trying to escape the house through a window.
According to Tyack, Dillion shot Jones-Mattox five times in the back at close range. She was taken to Mount Carmel West hospital, where doctors delivered her baby boy. The baby, who was without oxygen for more than 45 minutes, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Wade and Dillion later drove around Columbus and discarded two guns in two separate sewers and a third gun in Big Walnut Creek, Tyack said. Police eventually located all three weapons and linked them to the murders of Williams and Jones-Mattox.
Dillion, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, was convicted on similar counts in November 2021 and sentenced to 78 years to life in prison, Tyack said.
The 15-year-old who was shot by Williams is now a triplegic, according to Tyack.