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UPDATE Day 13: Eric Burdine returns

Register • Jul 15, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Update 4:26 p.m. — The grand jury has adjourned for the day.

Update 4:10 p.m. — Eric Burdine is off the stand.

Update 3:45 p.m. — Eric Burdine, Craig's brother, has just been called in, at his request, to testify once again before the grand jury. Burdine arrived about 10 minutes ago after getting off from work. He has been the only person to testify today.

Update 2:39 p.m. — Grand jury proceedings still continue with no break yet. There has been no witnesses called. The Attorney General's office  declined to answer whether they are wrapping up the investigation or whether the jury is in deliberations.

Update 1:03 p.m. — Grand jury members have taken their place and proceedings appear to have begun. There are no witnesses in the hallway.

Update 10:22 a.m. — Initially scheduled for 10 a.m. the Burdine grand jury will begin this afternoon, probably around 1 p.m.  The grand jury is meeting this morning but on cases out of the Sandusky County prosecutor's office.  Matt Donahue, prosecutor for the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, just arrived.



(Original post, Tuesday, July 15, 8:36 a.m.)

'How can you spend two months with a grand jury and not call a single eyewitness?'

That was the question one family representative asked Tuesday as the Sandusky County grand jury reviewing information from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's investigation into the Aug. 11, 2007, death of Craig Burdine at the Sandusky County Jail.

Craig Burdine's family has said they fear DeWine is whitewashing the evidence, the same way the Sandusky County sheriff's office and the Fremont police covered up evidence of what happened nearly seven years ago. 

Jess Burdine, 80, demanded DeWine's lead prosecutor Matt Donahue call Dr. Michael Baden as a witness. Baden reviewed the autopsy report, other medical reports and evidence, and concluded Craig Burdine was the victim of a homicide in the jail.

Baden, a forensic pathologist who testified in the O.J. Simpson trial and other celebrity death cases, refuted the conclusions reached by Lucas County deputy coroner Cynthia Beisser. 

Beisser has not been called to testify. She ruled Burdine's death self-inflicted from information provided her by Fremont police and sheriff's deputies, who were in attendance when she conducted the autopsy. It's not clear whether Beisser reviewed police cruiser or jail surveillance video, or consulted any other information prior to making the ruling, which Baden says is inaccurate. It's also not clear how Beisser could make a determination without the benefit of a criminal investigation. 

Donahue called Montgomery County coroner Ken Kent Harshbarger to testify July 9, the same day Baden testified.

Harshbarger said he reviewed information and offered grand jurors his opinion on the cause of death. It's not clear why DeWine opted to bring in Harshbarger to refute Baden and why Beisser has not been called.

There was never a criminal investigation of Burdine's death after he died until DeWine agreed to conduct one in August 2013, allthough the family gathered and accumulated more than 5,000 page of documents in their effort "seeking justice" for Craig Burdine.

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