Opinion: Sandusky County death probe lacks credibility
Feb 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM
There are too many reasons — too many red flags — for anyone to be comfortable with a Sandusky County special prosecutor’s motion to seal all the evidence in the investigation of the March 2, 2012, death of 19-year-old Jacob Limberios.
“It is clear to (me) that (the Limberios family) intends to try their case in the media," special prosecutor Dean Henry said after filing a court motion to hide all the evidence from public view.
Even if that were true, it would not give Henry cause to conceal the best facts now available as to how Limberios was killed. The coroner ruled it an “accidental suicide" just hours after Limberios was killed by a single gunshot to the head; evidence brought forward by the Limberios family suggests it was a homicide.
The prosecutor filed a motion to seal all the evidence; the family filed a motion to declare it. Read the motion. Click here for the e*Paper or buy a copy of the Sunday Register at a newsstand near you to learn the latest developments in the botched investigation of the death of Jacob Limberios.
In our opinion, Henry’s motion to quash the open investigation is nothing more than more arrogance piled on top of the incredible and arrogant incompetence Sandusky County officials already have displayed. It’s obvious local officials don’t want the public to know. It’s obvious Henry, sheriff Kyle Overmyer and county prosecutor Thomas Stierwalt do not want an independent investigation; they want one they can control.
And it’s obvious that Judge Charles Wittenberg should order an independent investigation by a competent law enforcement agency. Or the U.S. Attorney should. Somebody should. The excuses for not having one are just too lame they are not worthy of addressing here.
The Sandusky County sheriff’s office — it seems clear — discarded evidence, buried evidence, ignored evidence and accepted incompatible witness statements. The investigation of the botched investigation also includes statements from law enforcement officials one day that don’t seem to hold any meaning on another day.
Henry’s role is itself shrouded in doubt. He’s representing Sandusky County sheriff Overmyer and coroner John Wukie and others involved in the initial investigation in a civil lawsuit, and he’s also been given the duty of investigating them and their roles in the initial, botched investigation.
For all we know, what went wrong is nothing more than the same high-level of incompetence the Sandusky County sheriff’s office has shown before; the same incompetence that led to the killing of a sleeping man by deputies; the same arrogance that caused the sexual exploitation by jail guards of a mentally ill female inmate at the Sandusky County Jail
It’s time for an independent investigation.