Tabitha Messina was convicted of the axe murders of her father and his girlfriend in Ohio. According to court documents Tabitha Messina and Carlos Christopher would break into her fathers home where they would attack him and his girlfriend striking them repeatedly with an axe while the couple slept. This teen killer would be convicted of both murders and a count of robbery. Tabitha Messina would be sentenced to sixty years to life. Carlos Christopher would receive two life sentences without parole.
Tabitha Messina 2021 Information
Admission Date 10/31/2008
Institution Dayton Correctional Institution
Stated Prison Term 5 years
Expiration Stated Term 07/28/2067
Indefinite Sentence Min 55 years
Indefinite Sentence Max Life Sentence
Expiration of Max Sentence Life Sentence
Tabitha Messina Other News
Tabitha Messina will be 80 years old before she’s eligible for parole. Messina received 60 years to life in prison Friday for masterminding the murder of her father, Richard Messina, 50, and his girlfriend, 43-year-old Sandra Cover. Tabitha Messina, 20, and her friend Carlos Christopher broke into the elder Messina’s house in South Euclid while he and Cover slept July 29, 2007.
Prosecutors said Messina and Christopher attacked the couple with an ax and a crowbar. Then, they stole a Corvette and GMC Jimmy from them. Messina insisted she did not plan or want to kill her father or the woman who served as her surrogate stepmother for 10 years. “Never once would I think of taking the life of the man who raised me,” she said at her sentencing.
However, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Timothy E. McMonagle said the evidence showed otherwise. “She makes things up as she goes along and she believes what she says,” McMonagle said. Even when Tabitha Messina was young, she used to lie after getting in fights, clinical psychologist Dr. Sandra McPherson said. Messina used to attack other children, blame someone else and then get attention by trying to fix the problem, McPherson said in a study that was read by McMonagle.
Several members from Messina and Cover’s family filled McMonagle’s courtroom. Those who spoke made it very clear that they thought life in prison was an insufficient punishment. Linda Moore, Cover’s sister, told Messina she deserved to die for the murder and mutilation of the couple. Cover’s mother, Joann Bartell, said life in prison was “more mercy than she showed Sandy and her father.” Bartell showed the judge a picture of Sandy Cover and said, “There are not adequate words in the English language to describe the pain, anguish and despair I feel.”
Betty Montanez, Richard Messina’s sister and Tabitha’s aunt, echoed the sentiment. “When you forgot to respect him, and you forgot he was your father, we forgot you were our niece,” she said. “At best, you deserve to die in prison, maybe of old age.” The one person in her family who would have forgiven her, Montanez said, was her father.
Tabitha and Richard Messina had an often contentious relationship. “I always used to push my dad to a certain limit to see how much he would take from me,” Tabitha Messina said. Between January 2005 and the murder, South Euclid police were called to Messina’s home 68 times for reasons including loud music, barking dogs, trespassing and juvenile disturbances. Tabitha Messina has alleged that her father abused her, but there is no evidence to corroborate it, Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Patrick J. Thomas said. Christopher has been convicted of murder and given two life sentences without possibility of parole.
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The woman accused of murdering her father and live-in girlfriend has been indicted.
Tabitha Messina and Carlos Christopher were each indicted on 12 counts: four counts of Aggravated Murder, with Mass Murder and Felony Murder specifications; four counts of Aggravated Robbery; and four counts of Aggravated Burglary charges.
Police say Messina and Christopher bludgeoned Richard Messina and Sandra Cover with blunt objects inside Richard Messina’s home on July 29th.
The couple then fled the scene – and were later arrested in North Carolina.
Prosecutor Bill Mason said, “This horrific crime shows all the signs of a deliberate, purposeful killing. They broke into the house in the middle of the night and butchered these two victims with an axe in their bedroom. Now they face the death penalty.”
Carlos Christopher 2021 Information
Admission Date 06/05/2008
Institution Trumbull Correctional Institution
Net Sentence 888.88- LIFE
Expected Release Date 01/01/8888