|Death: ||Apr. 21, 2012|
March 6, 2013
FORT WAYNE – A 40-year-old Iraqi war veteran pleaded guilty Tuesday in Allen Superior Court to voluntary manslaughter, admitting to beating his girlfriend to death last spring with a baseball bat.
Anthony Ochs was originally charged with aggravated battery and attempted murder after his arrest for clubbing his girlfriend, Susan Lombardi, 42, with a baseball bat. He called police about 3 a.m. April 13, saying he'd hit her in the head.
She was taken to a hospital with multiple facial fractures and traumatic brain injuries.
The charge was upgraded to murder a few days later after Lombardi's family removed her from life support.
In August, Ochs' attorney, Randy Fisher, told the court he intended to use the defense of mental disease or defect when Ochs stood trial. According to Fisher, Ochs was a three-tour veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who suffered from blackouts and was under the care of the Veterans Affairs Department at the time of the attack on Lombardi.
Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull appointed a number of experts to evaluate Ochs, and the trial was set to begin this week. In a pretrial hearing, prosecutors said they intended to use information about previous episodes of violence between the couple.
According to court documents, Lombardi called police Jan. 7, saying Ochs was armed with a knife and threatening to kill her.
Then, about six weeks before her death, Ochs apologized to Lombardi's dad for having shoved her to the ground.
In exchange for his guilty plea, Ochs will be sentenced to 50 years in prison next month.
The more serious charge of murder will be dismissed, according to court documents.
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Susan Jeanine Caudill Lombardi, 42, was taken by angels to Heaven on Saturday, April 21, 2012. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Susan worked as a nurse for challenged adults. She enjoyed helping her dad with antiques and was an advocate for the underdog. Susan was a loving and beautiful young woman who had a soft spot for animals. Surviving are her father, Jack (Deborah) Caudill Sr. of Fort Wayne, mother, Marsha (Wes) Metzger of Land O Lakes, FL, brothers, Jack (Margaret) Caudill Jr. of Louisville, KY, and Archie (Ginger) Caudill of Jeffersonville, and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Memorial service is 11:30 am Wednesday at First Missionary Church, 701 W Rudisill Blvd. with Pastors Joe Snider and Stephen Buckner officiating, visitation from 9 am until time of service. Memorials may be made to the SPCA or Charis House. To sign the online guest book, go to www.mccombandsons.com.
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Susan J. Lombardi's family remembers her as a remarkable and compassionate woman, who radiated kindness to the people who interacted with her.
With Lombardi's death, the seventh homicide in Allen County this year, county prosecutors filed a murder count against Anthony Ochs on Monday afternoon in Allen County Superior Court.
Caudill said her stepdaughter, who was born in Louisville, Kentucky, came to Fort Wayne for a change of pace and fell in love with the community.
An Elegant ♥ Woman, Lombardi was willing to dig in the dirt or work hard, even driving a forklift when she was younger, Caudill said.
But the greatest love of Lombardi's life was working with adults with disabilities, she said.
"She loved to champion the underdog and worked so hard for people to be treated appropriately and with respect," Caudill said. "That was her greatest love, working with those people."
Lombardi was a lover of animals as well as people, treating Caudill's pets like people, she said.
Caudill described Lombardi as radiant and a wonderful daughter.
"We will miss her every day," Caudill said.
"She was a wonderful person who could never be replaced. A very remarkable woman.
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Specifically: Disposition ~ Private Information
Created by: Steve
Record added: Apr 23, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 89003444