The stakes have been raised in the Jacob Limberios death investigation.
On Friday, less than 24 hours after a Sandusky County prosecutor’s employee filed a restraining order against the Limberios family’s attorney, a lead investigator in the case promised to ask Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office to take over the investigation.
Sandusky County Sheriff’s Detective Sean O’Connell has been tasked with re-investigating the March 2 shooting death of Jacob Limberios, 19, who suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
In a lengthy phone conversation with the Register and the Limberios family’s attorney, Dan McGookey, O’Connell said he planned to ask the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to review his own investigation, as it’s about 95 percent finished.
McGookey, however, told O’Connell he wants BCI agents to take over the investigation, given that O’Connell has essentially been investigating the work product of Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer, his boss, and other county officials.
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O’Connell said he would “absolutely” ask DeWine’s office to take over the investigation — and he plans to make this request on Monday.
The investigation into Jacob’s death has been rife with problems from the get-go.
Sandusky County coroner John Wukie ruled the death an accidental suicide within hours of the incident. Overmyer and a handful of his deputies were also at the shooting scene that night, where they interviewed three people who were in the home with Jacob at the time. All three said Jacob shot and killed himself.
Deputies left the scene without even collecting the fatal bullet from the home’s ceiling.
In reviewing the evidence, the Limberios family hired McGookey, of Sandusky to push for answers.
When Sandusky County leaders refused to re-examine the case, the family had Jacob’s body exhumed and sent to renowned forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, who called Wukie’s ruling an oxymoron, since a suicide cannot be accidental.
More importantly, Wecht issued a report Dec. 12 that determined Jacob’s death was most likely a homicide, not a suicide.
In June, county prosecutor Tom Stierwalt had one of his investigators review the case. That employee, William Kaiser, brought in two of the three witnesses for a lie-detector test conducted by Ohio BCI employee Steven Stechschulte.
The results: Both witnesses passed with flying colors, according to Kaiser’s report.
But those results are now being refuted by polygraph experts, said McGookey, who is also gearing up to depose key players in the case, including Wukie, Overmyer, Kaiser and the three people who had been in the home with Jacob.
When one of McGookey’s employees attempted to deliver a subpoena to Kaiser at his Rice Street home in November, Kaiser cussed at the employee and told her to get off his property.
This past week, McGookey went to Kaiser’s home to deliver the subpoena.
“The door was slammed in my face as hard as you can slam a door,” McGookey said. “So I stuck (the paperwork) in the screen door.”
On Thursday, Kaiser filed a request in Sandusky County Common Pleas Court for a civil protection order against McGookey. In his written request, Kaiser said he knew McGookey was there to serve a subpoena.
“Knowing that Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt had accepted service of this subpoena via email earlier in the day, I refused to answer the door,” Kaiser’s letter stated. “I went to the door, closed it and locked it, and observed McGookey and his guest sit in my driveway for 10 minutes.”
The letter continued: “McGookey has engaged in a pattern of harassment and intimidation with the Prosecutor’s Office since May 2012 regarding a suspected suicide death of Jacob Limberios.”
Sandusky County Common Pleas Court Judge John Dewey is scheduled to review Kaiser’s request for a restraining order at 9 a.m. Friday. McGookey and Kaiser must both attend the hearing, a court clerk said.