Woman stabbed last June dies

YOUNGSTOWN – The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office will investigate the exact cause of death of a 47-year-old former Southington woman, who had been living here with relatives since she was stabbed in the neck by her son last June.

Lisa M. Frye died Saturday and had been helped with mounting medical bills through an account that was set up at Huntington Bank.

Frye had undergone at least four surgeries for the knife wound that resulted in a tracheotomy. For more than two months, she relied on a feeding tube that was later removed and the tracheotomy was closed.

While recovering from the June 22 knife attack, Frye also was diagnosed with cancer.

Frye’s son, Thomas Starr, 29, formerly of West Farmington, was sentenced to life in prison in February after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated murder, attempted murder and felonious assault. He must serve at least 30 years before he is eligible for parole.

Starr attacked his mother and killed 53-year-old Jeffrey Westfall, with whom Frye shared a home on state Route 305 in Southington for 24 years.

Investigators found Westfall with his throat slashed near the front porch of the house.

Frye was also found stabbed, but alive, on the road on Route 305, three-quarters of a mile west of U.S. Route 422. She was flown by helicopter to a Cleveland hospital and spent two months there.

It took authorities more than an hour to locate Starr in the wooded area into which he had wandered.

Starr, who basically confessed to a police dispatcher, was initially charged with the felony murder, but after hearing additional evidence, the grand jury determined that Westfall’s death was premeditated and increased Starr’s charges to aggravated murder, which calls for prior calculation and design in the killing.