Ligas Pleads Guilty

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Peter Ligas the Third, who was accused in the gruesome murder of Robert Mancini late last year, entered a plea in Noble County common pleas court Wednesday.

You may remember that Ligas and Howard Kirk both were indicted in late April for killing Mancini and leaving his burned body in Fredericksdale in a rural area of Noble County.

Ligas was charged with aggravated murder and purposely causing the death of another person, but county prosecutor Clifford Sickler said that there was some issue as to whether a firearm was used in Mancini's death.

Ligas Wednesday plead guilty to a reduced charge of murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. Ligas is believed to have killed Mancini after an argument between the two men and burned his body before leaving it in Fredericksdale.

A deputy testified during a preliminary hearing in April that Kirk didn't witness Mancini's killing, but that Kirk said that after hearing a gunshot, Ligas told him that he had killed Mancini.

The body wasn't discovered until late March after Mancini had been reported missing for several months. That discovery was made after police were shown what a witness said was a bone from Mancini's body, and Howard Kirk still faces trial July 27 for tampering with evidence, the charge for which he was indicted.