Could a Murderer go Free?- The killing of Toby Flack and Stacy Kroner

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Could a Murderer go Free?- The killing of Toby Flack and Stacy Kroner

Ohio – Families across the United States fight to keep the perpetrators of heinous crimes in prison when it’s time for parole boards to decide whether to release them or not. Murderers can sometimes go free unless people tell the parole boards no. One such case is the murder of Toby Flack and his girlfriend, Stacy Kroner, who were killed in cold blood in 1994 by three men, one of whom is coming up for parole soon.

August 13, 1994

Darrell Jones (DJ), Druce Martin and Robert Harris, arranged to meet high school friend Toby Flack.

The plan was to steal his 1990 Mustang, but when Toby and Stacy arrived at DJ’s house they were in Stacy’s car. She had just gotten off work and had come by the house.


“Many parts of DJ’s story don’t make sense and I know they never will. Why would Stacy willingly get out of her car and into a car with three other guys? Why didn’t Toby just send her home? Toby didn’t even have his telephone with him which was totally out of character.” N.M. Flack, Toby’s mother

They all drove to McKelvey Lake, a dark, remote area of town.  Suddenly the three men ambushed the couple and dragged them from the car.

Toby’s shirt was jerked over his head and he was shot in the face 5 times. When Stacy tried to run, she was shot in the leg and back of her head. Both died at the scene and were abandoned alongside the road.

Toby was robbed by the perpetrators after he was dead. Later that night, DJ and another man pushed Stacy’s car several blocks away and set it on fire.

Jones was never tried for the arson, even though the car was completely destroyed. He volunteered to testify against Martin and Harris in exchange for a reduced sentence.

“When he testified he stated he never got out of the car and never turned around to see what had actually taken place. When Martin and Harris got back into the car the three of them did not talk about what had just happened.” N.M. Flack


Darrell Jones, Ohio Dept of Corrections photo

When the guilty go free

Druce Martin and Robert Harris  got 15 to life for each murder, and 10-25 for the robbery. Darrell R. Jones only went down for 2 counts of Involuntary Manslaughter and 1 count of Aggravated Robbery. His full sentence will expire  8/10/2022. But he is up for parole this year, 2016.

The problem with plea bargains is that often the truly guilty party is the one that goes free. Such was the case with Raven 23,  one of those times when one man who actually committed the murder received a lighter sentence because he testified against his ‘friends.’

It’s what happens in plea bargains.

The family of Toby Flack is fighting to keep DJ Jones behind bars for the remainder of his sentence. They have started a petition drive to gain signatures to tell the Ohio Parole Board NO regarding his release. They have received hundreds of supportive notes, but could use more signatures.

“Now once again I am faced with nightmares that I, over time, was able to suppress. Now once again all the beautiful memories I have of my only child are interwoven with the terrifying thoughts of that horrible night. Now all those “What if” questions return and that pervasive feeling of loneliness. Now once again I struggle with the WHY. Why would someone who always played the part of a friend turn against them in such a violent, uncaring way? My strength comes from the tremendous outpouring of support from Toby & Stacy’s friends after 22 years. It has touched me more than anyone can imagine.” N.M. Flack



Faye Higbee
Faye Higbee
I'm a published author of 4 books, numerous short stories, blogs and editorials. I've been working at Uncle Sam's since 2013. I have two degrees in Criminal Justice and worked for over 31 years at a local police department. I have been a patriotic American since I was a child.

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