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Opinion: Detective O'Connell becomes disagreeable in Limberios death probe

Matt Westerhold • Feb 12, 2013 at 12:49 PM

On Friday, Sandusky County detective Sean O'Connell said he would ask Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office today to take over and head up the investigation into the death of 19-year-old Jacob Limberios on March 2. 


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But on Monday, O'Connell reneged, and said he would not ask for an independent investigation. 

He also reversed himself when it comes to dealing with the Limberios' attorney, Dan McGookey. O'connell was very cordial with McGookey on Friday and did not raise any concerns when he emphatically said he would hand over the investigation to the AG to take charge.

In his email on Monday, however, O'Connell attacked McGookey, who is scheduled to depose several county officials later this month.

"Let’s not forget that some of those involved with this case had to file a Civil Protection Order against you because of your tactics," O'Connell wrote in Monday's email, referring to the ludicrous decision by William Kaiser, an investigator with the Sandusky County prosecutor Thomas Stierwalt's office, to file for a civil protection order rather than be served with a subpoena. 

"It really is in the best interest Mr. Daniel McGookey that you personally not contact me via emails, phone or direct as you are not a professional of my caliber, which I trust or comfortably work with.  Please forward all enquiries to the Sandusky County Prosecutor’s, as I have requested from you previously."

Maybe the professional standard O'Connell claims to have includes saying one thing on Friday, and doing something exactly opposite on Monday.

Maybe O'Connell's professional standard requires him to be cordial and not raise concerns during a lengthy conversation when there was plenty of opportunity. Maybe his standard of professionalism requires that he attack the other person when he changes his mind and fails to do what he said he would do. 

Or, maybe O'Connell's professional standard is the same one that led Sandusky County sheriff's deputies and the coroner to fail to gather evidence, require an autopsy, or do much of anything to answer the legitimate questions that have been raised by the Limberios family and attorney McGookey. 

Or maybe O'Connell's professional standard is the same professional standard that led Sandusky County sheriff's deputies to shoot and kill a sleeping man in 2010 who did not present any danger to himself or anyone else. Although the deputies were standing just feet away from 27-year-old Bryan Jones who was asleep or passed out on a couch with an unloaded shotgun in his lap,  the deputies used a flash-bang grenade to awaken him. They killed him instantly when he was jolted awake by the explosion, blowing off his arm in the process with the high-powered ammo they used.

Or maybe it's the same professional standard that allows a schizophrenic female inmate at the Sandusky County Jail who was denied her medication to be sexually exploited by jail guards.  

Yes, maybe O'Connell is seeking to achieve that same professional standards Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer has set for his team. O'Connell's email reflects that, and so does his refusal to ask for an independent investigation.

Overmyer told a reporter on Monday he ordered O'Connell not to ask the AG to take over the investigation.

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