Day 6: Grand jurors done for the day

No other witnesses currently in hallway.
Melissa Topey
Jun 2, 2014


3:23 p.m. — Grand jury members have left for the day.

1:10 p.m. — Grand jury members are back in session hearing from an unknown man.

12:18 p.m. — Juror members have left for lunch. Grand jury proceedings will continue this afternoon.

12:17 p.m. — Chief Deputy Bruce Hirt is done testifying. There are no witnesses currently in the hallway.

11:56 a.m. — Sandusky County Sheriff Chief Deputy Bruce Hirt has been called into the courtroom.

11:45 a.m. — O'Connell is off the stand after almost an hour and a half of testifying. Jury members took a bathroom break. He declined to reveal any of what he spoke about.

10:20 a.m. — Overmyer is off the stand. Sandusky County Sheriff detective Sean O'Connell has taken the stand.

Overmyer had no comment concerning what he may have testified to.

9:27 a.m. — Overmyer has been called in to testify.

9:05 a.m. — Sheriff Kyle Overmyer is in the hallway waiting to testify.

8:40 a.m. — Attorney General prosecutor Matt Donahue has arrived. Proceedings should begin soon.

8:30 a.m. — Grand jury members are starting to arrive.

Updates: The grand jury is scheduled to reconvene at 9 a.m. Check back here all day for updates.

June 2, 2014, 7 a.m.

Day 6

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will reconvene a grand jury today at the Sandusky County courthouse, in the sixth day of hearings into the 2007 jailhouse death of Craig Burdine. 

Burdine was already severely injured from an earlier assault just prior to when he was arrested. He was still handcuffed and shackled when he was repeatedly Tasered by an officer and then suddenly died at the Sandusky County jail on Aug. 11, 2007. 

DeWine's lead prosecutor, Matt Donahue, has focused the grand jury presentation on the Burdine family, calling Craig's father, Jess, his sister Laurie and his brother Eric as witnesses.

Donahue thus far has limited the grand jury's access to first-person witness accounts of what occurred in favor of family members and state investigators.

The Burdine family has expressed fears DeWine is intentionally limiting the information being presented to the grand jury to avoid getting criminal indictments. Jess Burdine also said Donahue is misreading data reports about the time of his son's death, and at one point Donahue was using his cell phone while Laurie Burdine testified last week. 

Donahue does not appear to have presented any physical evidence or scientific conclusions to grand jurors. Lucas County deputy coroner Cynthia Beisser and renowned forensic pathologist Michael Baden have not been called to give testimony.  

The Fremont police officers, jail guards and supervisors at the jail the day Craig Burdine died also have not testified in front of the grand jury.  

Click here to read related articles, watch video



I hope they drill overmyer with questions to get to the thruth not lies they have been telling.


^ that is dreaming! IMO DeWine office is NOT wanting to get to the Truth in any of these case's!! He is here to cover up for his friends in Sandusky County!

sandtown born a...

CYA and the ones beneath you!!! That's Dewines stance on cases against LE


THE gOoD oL' bOyS "perception" comes from the positions in law enforcement re; drug enforcement, investigators, informants that "have each others' backs." Those guys (his "friends") in those positions are the "backs" DeWine has "covered." It's DeWine's political platform to get re-elected. If he ever "wins" the "war on drugs" then he has no "platform." They "NEED" each other and at the citizen's expense. So while they have each other's backs, they step all over ours.


Interestingly enough, the Fremont local paper has a big write-up about drug task forces in their June 2, 2014 on-line issue.

"Drug task forces receive money through the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services, a division of the state’s public safety department. In 2013, 26 task forces received more than $1.6 million from a federal grant, and 38 task forces received $4.9 million from fees assessed on certain traffic violations. The money, which is matched by local dollars, is used for drug buys, equipment and personnel."

It's big business for the state of Ohio. Of course we don't want drugs around our kids and in our neighborhoods, so it's not about saying we don't NEED enforcement. It's more about where the money is REALLY going and who these agencies are protecting to keep their money makers in place.

From the Fremont article -
"But Ohio’s top cop, Attorney General Mike DeWine, said he has little authority to intervene in drug task force cases. 'I have no oversight, legally,' DeWine said. 'I only get involved when asked by a sheriff.' "

"Task forces established under the commission lose funds if they aren’t operating properly, DeWine said. The public will have to take his word for it. When asked for examples of task forces for which funding was rescinded, DeWine’s office responded that such information is not public record under Ohio law."

Go figure. It's all about the money. And the Fremont paper, instead of reporting what's REALLY going on in Sandusky County, is being used as a tool to further their own agenda. Or should I say the Attorney General's?

indolent indiff...

looks like they are submitting a lot to the GJ. They are presenting the evidence. What if they say no charges? how can you complain when they went through the steps?


The lynch mob will scream conspiracy. I don't even like DeWine and think it's absurd that he'd cover up for some piddly, small town cops. He's managed indictments for cops, a judge and a Republican Senator this last year. I guess someone forgot to tell him not to go after bigwigs and LE.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks Indolent, but really, do you think going "through the steps" is adequate? Would it be adequate if it was your son? Do you think it might be important grand jurors hear first-person accounts from eyewitnesses who were at the jail when Craig died? Do you think it would be advisable these witnesses be asked questions about information that's already been provided that does not appear accurate? For instance, (witness) stated Craig Burdine was being combative, but all the surveillance video from the police cruisers and the jail show him to be barely conscious, or already unconscious when he is dragged inside the jail. How could Burdine be both combative and unconscious at the same time? There are a hundred similar questions which the family fears DeWine has not asked, and does not intend to ask. They likely won't be comfortable with his outcome if it is a no-bill the grand jury, even if DeWine going through the motions makes if feel alright enough for you.


" For instance, (witness) stated Craig Burdine was being combative, but all the surveillance video from the police cruisers and the jail show him to be barely conscious, or already unconscious when he is dragged inside the jail. How could Burdine be both combative and unconscious at the same time?"

This comment can come only from a person unfamiliar with arrest procedures, unfamiliar with jail procedures, and WILDLY unfamiliar with the cross effects of methamphetamine and liquor. Appearing unconscious and being powerfully strong and combative seconds later is typical.

Better to leave the speculative technical issues to more experienced folks.


Geez, you got pretty offended over a simple question. It looks like you have quite a bit of emotion in this story. Not very objective. I think it's easy for people to see how the stories are so bias.

Matt Westerhold

Maybe you and Indolent are right Julian. Going through the motions and skipping witness accounts and scientific evidence probably is somehow the right way to handle a criminal investigation. You think? And thanks Blue.Streaker, for explaining how an unconscious person can also be combative. The explanation fits with jail supervisor Frank "Tank" Kaiser's testimony he gave in a 2010 deposition. The 150-pound Craig Burdine was showing "passive restraint," Kaiser said, battling with guards and officers while he was still handcuffed and shackled, Tasered and then dead. Seems it might have been a failure to communicate.


That's not your job to decide. Your job is to report news fairly, which you clearly have shown that you can't do. If you wanted to be a lawyer, you should have been a lawyer.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks Julian, but it's likely I have a better understanding of my job responsibilities than you do. That would just make sense, wouldn't it? Here's a recent column you might find useful.  


He's a reporter and a salesman. He knows how to put a story together to sensationalize the circumstances to sell more papers.

Matt Westerhold

It's good, perhaps that you can laugh about it, but there aren't any details in these news articles that need any boost. There's just three dead people, whose families have been waiting years for plausible explanations from public officials to the legitimate concerns they have raised, and commenters, like you, who make irresponsible allegations about the intentions of others but don't substantiate those allegations. 

Ralph J.

Letters show DeWine made deal with Steubenville witnesses months before trial. As we’ve discussed multiple times, DeWine clearly did not understand Ohio law when he claimed these three witnesses had not engaged in criminal conduct. Into January and beyond, DeWine continued to claim that not reporting a rape was not a crime.


Blue streaker I am familiar with arrest procedures as I have had uncles now retired from being police officers that i got to learn and see how procedures are done. Plus I know what alcohol and drugs can do to someone when in jail I have seen it. When I see what the videos show I see somthing totally different then what you are saying. If he appeared to be unconscious then strong and combative it would be on the videos and it is not. Make sure before you comment you have seen all the evidence like videos and other evidence just saying.


No you don't. That's like saying because I'm friends with a lawyer, I know how to do his job. Duh.


Or cops and lawyers believing they have medical and or pharmacological expertise and know how to do the job of doctors.

Every American citizen with civics education should understand basic arrest and legal procedures and in fact is allowed to appear on their own behalf in a court room as the Founders intended. However, corrections officers with very little education are not qualified to make medical determinations for an injured inmate.

This tragedy would not have happened had LE not played doctor and instead had Craig Burdine first assessed by the ER prior to incarceration.



Well said babo

Julie R.



Let's go a step further with you last sentence. The whole tragedy would have been avoided had he chosen to stay home while under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs. He would've been fine had he chosen to go out and keep to himself. Instead he chose to destroy property, start a fight and injure other people. No reasonable person would expect to continue that behavior without law enforcement being called. I'm am in no way saying he deserved to die, what I am saying is that he put the ball in motion for contact with law enforcement.


So, a woman who dresses provocatively is raped and killed and it's her fault that the rapist elected to violate the law? After all she put the ball in motion.

LE violated the law in this case by INTENTIONALLY choosing not to obtain qualified medical attention for Craig Burdine who was severely injured, BECAUSE THEY KNEW HIM. Those facts are taken from the Sixth Circuit's opinion. Thus, Burdine was targeted for excessive force by the denial of appropriate medical attention, and that makes this a criminal case of intentional violation of civil rights and strongly suggests the officers involved are not credible.


You're educated in law but lack common sense.


LOL, so I'm well educated with uncommon sense. Thank you!


I used to ride with my uncle's. My one uncle you to train other officers that is where I learned alot of stuff.