Malyshev’s murder conviction upheld

STEUBENVILLE — The 7th District Court of Appeals has upheld the aggravated murder conviction of Summer Malyshev, 40, in connection with her helping to strangle Stephanie Pytash, 35, who was last seen in early 2016.

Malyshev was convicted by a Jefferson County Common Pleas Court jury in November 2017 of aggravated murder, murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.

Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Michelle Miller sentenced Malyshev to life in prison, with parole eligibility after 25 years. Co-defendant Michael Shane, 50, of Toronto pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping, voluntary manslaughter, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence, and was sentenced by Miller to 20 years in prison.

Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said Malyshev was heard on a jail telephone call to Shane saying she will kill Pytash before letting her back into Shane’s life.

Hanlin said Malyshev and Shane lured Pytash to a home at 427 county Road 42, Toronto, under the rouse they were going to rob Malyshev. Malyshev placed garbage bags over a bedroom window and was waiting for Shane and Pytash to arrive, according to testimony.

Shane used a cord handed to him by Malyshev to choke Pytash. Malyshev admitted during questioning by Sheriff Fred Abdalla that she held one end of the cord.

Hanlin said Pytash suffered prior to her death. Hanlin said Pytash was begging for her life when Malyshev kicked Pytash in the face.

Pytash’s body was placed in the basement for several days before it was burned in a fire pit at the home.

Hanlin said Malyshev knew about what happened for seven months. The prosecutor said the crime would have gone unsolved if not for Malyshev bragging to others about it in the county jail.

Malyshev was offered immunity early in questioning by authorities, but that deal was withdrawn when Malyshev lied to authorities. She had been offered 15 years in prison prior to her trial.

The 7th District Court of Appeals concentrated on the jail interviews by Jason Hanlin of the county drug task force and ruled Miller had not erred when admitting Malyshev’s statements at trial.

The appellate justices determined Malyshev acted with calculation and design in the death of Pytash. The justices also ruled there was sufficient evidence to uphold the conviction.

Shane didn’t appeal his conviction and sentencing.