Ashtabula murder suspect appears in Sharon court on local charges


SHARON, Pa. (WYTV) – Even though he was shackled at his waist and ankles, a team of Sheriff’s Deputies was on hand this morning to lead John Bove into court.

Bove is accused of running off to Mercer County after killing Kara Zdanczewski two weeks ago in Ashtabula County.

He faces fleeing and eluding charges stemming from a police chase in Mercer County after an officer tried to pull him over.

Because of the aggravated murder and kidnapping charges against him in Ohio, authorities consider him a serious flight risk.

While Bove was held in Sharon for trial on his local charges Wednesday, paperwork has also been filed to have him extradited back to Ashtabula.

“Because of those charges are more serious over there, we can allow him to go over there to deal with those charges,” said Mary Odem, Assistant Mercer County District Attorney.

If Bove waives his extradition hearing Thursday morning, he’ll be sent back to Ashtabula County to face murder and kidnapping charges there. If not, he’ll face a trial here in Mercer County on these charges.

Bove was arrested in Sharon earlier this month after leading police on a brief chase. As he was being taken to jail that night, authorities in Ashtabula County were recovering the body of 13-year-old Kara Zdanczewski.

Bove’s criminal record includes a 1990 conviction in New York for rape where he spent more than fifteen years in prison. In 2012, he was arrested in North Carolina for failing to register as a sex offender and sentenced to 33 more months behind bars.

In addition to his local charges, Bove is also facing a federal probation violation.

Odem said Bove will now have to decide whether he would rather be tried first in Ohio or in Pennsylvania.

“In the event he decides not waive extradition, we already have our cases bound over at common pleas court, and we will proceed just like any other case,” Odem said.

Three others, also from Ashtabula, have also been charged in connection with the teen’s kidnapping and death.

News 5 in Cleveland reported that court records claim Bove killed Zdancziewski because her dad owed $3,000 for meth.

John Bove