Lawsuit’s end still not in sight

Coroner wants to review AG’s findings before changing death certificate.
Jessica Cuffman
Dec 12, 2013

 

A resolution to the Limberios’ lawsuit remains on hold, after attorneys met with the judge behind closed doors for more than an hour Wednesday afternoon.

Limberios’ parents, Mike and Shannon Limberios, first filed the lawsuit to compel Sandusky County coroner John Wukie to change his ruling on their son’s death from “suicide” to “accident,” and to force officials to re-open the criminal investigation into his March 2, 2012, death.

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In July, visiting Judge Charles Wittenburg froze proceedings in the civil suit, placing it at a standstill for four months as Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine completed his office’s criminal probe into the death of 19-year-old Jacob Limberios and presented their findings to a grand jury.

Last month, the attorney general and the grand jury both found, ultimately, that Limberios’ accidentally shot himself in the head when he was at a friend’s York Township home, and none of the other three witnesses who were there were responsible for his death.

But Wukie has no plans to change his original ruling, his attorney Dean Henry said Wednesday.

“He has not had an opportunity to review the reports from the attorney general,” Henry said. “His investigation is still very much open”

While Wukie does have the power to change the ruling, that’s not to say that after he reviews the reports, he will.

“I haven’t seen anything from the attorney general’s report that suggests anything in error from his original conclusion” Henry said.

Wukie ruled Limberios’ death a suicide without visiting the scene of the shooting the night he was killed, relying instead on information provided by Sandusky County deputies. He also did not send Limberios’ body for an autopsy.

Attorney Dan McGookey, representing the Limberios, said it’s “cruelly ironic” that an elected official who had little to do with the case maintains the power to stand by the suicide ruling.

McGookey cited the attorney general’s investigation, which found Limberios’ .357 Magnum that fired the shot that killed him malfunctioned three out of every 10 times it was fired, and statements from Limberios’ friends and family that he was not suicidal and was excited to see other friends who were to visit the York Township home that night.

“Here is a man who did nothing,” McGookey said, not the day of the shooting or in any days that followed, until the Limberios family filed the lawsuit against him.

“He wants to all of a sudden delve in to study the findings of the attorney general,” McGookey said. “It’s just another dagger to the heart of the Limberios family. They feel there’s no end to this”

Limberios’ family wants the death certificate changed so his legacy is properly recorded for his 5-year-old daughter, Ella, McGookey said.

Attorneys are set for a telephone conference with Wittenburg Dec. 20 to discuss outstanding motions from the attorney general’s office on how the gun should be preserved, from McGookey asking the judge to rule on the case without a trial, and setting dates for jury trial.

Comments

Kelly

Oh for crying out loud. NOBODY has ever said he shot himself intentionally so just take the suicide out of it & label it accidental, self-inflicted gunshot. What exactly does the idiot need to "review?"

Simple Enough II

He knew the revolver was loaded.

thedarkknight9

allegedly...can you believe the losers that were there?

deertracker

Agreed!

Sandusksquach

Now do we understand the dangers of playing with handguns? Maybe that should be his legacy to his daughter.

Simple Enough II

Spot on.

red white and blue

Sandusksquach^^ I think we all know he didn't do it! Its just a shame sandusky county has threw away evidence and covered it up so we will never know the truth unless one of the three crack.

donutshopguy

I have to agree with the ringmaster (Mr.McGookey). Is there no end to this three ring circus. Please stop calling for an encore.

mikesee

On and on and on etc etc etc

Simple Enough II

Oh for cryin out loud, we also saw an opinion that when someone mishandles a loaded firearm they know is loaded and kills themself it can be labeled suicide. And the ruling "again" is the Jacob and only Jacob is responsible for his own death. Lets just contunie to drag Jacob and all parties involved through the mud somemore, that includes the parents for allowing their son to handguns firearms while under age, the guy who bought it for him (can we say straw purchase). Oh wait, let us not forget we also want to pass some law in is name that requires autopsies and or investigations even if the jurisdictions don't think they are warranted. How about JFJ&E taking the money that has been donated to you and using it for billboards citing the fact that tragic outcome of mishandling loaded firearms, or has the money been sucked up by the lawyer Mcgookey? How was it that originally the story was presented that someone posted, the handgun was a gift from I believe a grandparent, when in fact it wasn't. The JFJ&E group have spread more than their share of lies, and with the illegal attempts at wiretapping, your credibility has gone out the window.

Commenter

I agree that their credibility went out the window with the illegal wiretapping and so did SR for not following up on that and being so one sided. I respect their passion for the story, but news is supposed to present 2 sides. And then the responses you get from the SR is so arrogant and also narrow minded that they don't gain any respect from me as a reader. I won't threaten to stop reading, because I like to see what's going on. I don't know all the facts of this case, only what I read in the papers and I'm sure there are more 'facts' that are not public knowledge like many cases. I'm not saying Sandusky County doesn't have some negligence because they should have sent the body for an autopsy. 4 young people, alcohol and a gun and one of them dead, is reason enough for suspicion - and it would have removed a lot of questions. Wukie, to me sounds like he's got a huge chip on his shoulder waiting for someone to knock it off and at this point, his pride is standing in the way. He won't change it now because well, he doesn't have to. (Personally think he's a jerk not to, just put it to rest already) He knows it was an accident, regardless of who pulled the trigger, I don't think anyone set out that day to kill anyone. And the obsession with finding a different answer will never change the fact that this young man died. At first I was understood they want answers, but as this thing has unfolded, at least as portrayed by the media outlets - and I haven't watched or read everything, but it seems like a merry go round, lots of spinning, going nowhere. Let this boy RIP and let the family start healing. The attorney is the only one benefitting as far as I can tell. Unless the family is suing for money? I really don't think there will be an ending....Money won't change a thing.

Centauri

"But Wukie has no plans to change his original ruling, his attorney Dean Henry said Wednesday."

Interesting. Only in corrupt Ohio can a defense attorney also act as a special prosecutor in the same case.

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/...
"Experts say Sandusky County special prosecutor has two masters in Limberios death probe"

http://www.toledoblade.com/Educa...
"PORT CLINTON - A special prosecutor has been named to review a 30-count criminal complaint against local school and law enforcement officials."

What became of that probe in Ottawa County, Ohio? Swept under the rug? Nobody is talking.

White Owl

"What became of the probe in Ottawa County? Swept under the rug?"

The complainants and witnesses in that probe tried to have Dean Henry removed as special prosecutor after questioning the propriety of his appointment(Henry has no experience as a prosecutor and his private practice emphasizes defending government misconduct, domestic violence and sexual misconduct)and the fact that he refused to interview any witnesses while acting as defense counsel for the public officials and public servants alleged to have defrauded the Benton Carroll Salem schools and other misconduct. They lost at the Sixth District Court of Appeals.

After IMHO, undermining that public corruption complaint, Henry testified at Disbarment hearings for the attorney (Elsebeth Baumgartner) who represented the complaining citizens claiming there was no evidence of wrongdoing. She was disbarred.

Interestingly, Attorney McGookey is acting similar to Baumgartner in that he continues to contend there was misconduct in the investigation and findings by public officials including ex special prosecutor Henry; but no one is calling for his disbarment or prosecution for making "false allegations" of misconduct. He and his clients are simply exercising their right to petition for redress, constitutionally protected activity.

mikesee

Pretty sure Dean Henry has been a "Special Prosecutor" for different counties at various times.

White Owl

Actually the only two cases of record wherein he was appointed as special prosecutor in a Common Pleas Court are in Ottawa County in 2001, and Sandusky County in 2013 in the Limberios case. In both cases the lawyers objected to his appointment for the same reasons: He was hostile to the complaining parties and appeared to be defending the interests of government employees alleged to have engaged in official misconduct.

At the time of his appointments in both cases he actively maintained a practice as defense counsel for government employees involved in various alleged wrongdoing and the county prosecutors implicated in the alleged wrongdoing specifically requested Henry be appointed rather than request the AG's office act as special prosecutor. In fact under Ohio law if the county prosecutor is implicated in the alleged wrongdoing, the AG's office is the only office authorized to act as special prosecutor due to the obvious conflict of interest. (See RC 177.02 and RC 177.03.

In other words it is Henry's preference and nature to defend wrongdoing (as is the constitutional right of every defendant) not to prosecute wrongdoing. Not exactly the qualities once looks for in a prosecutor unless of course the prosecutor requesting he be assigned wants the probe undermined.

grandmasgirl

People can only say that they feel sorry for Jake's parents so many times. They say that they only want Ella to know the truth. It seems apparent that if no one knows what happened, then the truth will never be told. The only thing that Ella will know is that this story went on and on and on and according to some people (that were not there) the "truth" still isn't known

Ctwhalers

You guys have it all wrong. The lawyer might get paid some money but but maybe not alot.t the family wants to make sure this does not happen to another family in Ohio or someplace else. Look at the whole picture instead of what you have been looking at. Yes change the death certificate but still go after Sandusky county for not doing there job. Dr wukie could of gone online and read the AG's report after they posted it. Now he is still stalling. What a joke.this whole thing is one big mess and getting bigger cause nobody cc will stop the corruption.

Jmschmidt812

Where is exactly do you find any proof of corruption? Your OPINION of corruption doesn't count. You have absolutely no proof of any acts of corruption.

Ithink

Once again, for the 'people' who are 'tired o f hearing about this case', feel free to pass by these articles while keeping your negative, misinformed opinions to yourself. The Limberios family only wanted one thing: to have one word on a piece of paper changed--that's it. Sandusky County 'officials' (cough) have been the ones who made this story blow up like it did--not the grieving parents of a young dead man. It is time for you and your aggressive, hurtful comments to move on. Really, we wouldn't mind at all.

lmalley77

Completely agree, and those people who are "soooo tired of hearing about this," are always the first ones to get on here and make their nasty comments known!....If it REALLY bothers them that much that things in this case are still going on, then WHY don't they just STOP reading about it and posting comments about it?? Justice for Jake and Ella has over 18,000 SUPPORTERS behind them, the very few consistent "trolls" who post negative comments here, don't even make a small dent with their opinions compared to the supporters!! This whole thing is just way too fishy, and again, since none of the trolls ever want to answer this question when it is asked, I will ask again...WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF ONE OF YOUR LOVED ONES WAS DEALT THE EXACT SAME INJUSTICE BY SANDUSKY COUNTY?????? Would YOU just sit back and keep letting them blow bubbles up your tush???

White Owl

If I were dealt the same injustice by Sandusky County (or any other government agency); I would build the case for misconduct against
the officials involved, and stop piling on the eye witnesses to the death who are in my opinion victims as well.

Have you ever seen someone violently die before your eyes? I have and believe me it changes your perspective and can create trauma for years. At some point the family has to take responsibility for the poor choices Jake made and ask if they bear some responsibility for those poor choices.

However, do I believe the officers at the scene botched the investigation and thereby damaged the Limberios family? Yes. The question is why did they botch the investigation?

Do I believe the prosecutor and coroner were remiss in performance of their duties and thereby damaged the Limberios family? Yes.

Do I believe Dean Henry was appointed as special prosecutor to undermine the investigation and protect the malfeasance of other public officials and thereby damage the Limberios family? Yes.

Do I believe the Lucas County Coroner's office crafts Autopsy reports in such a way to excuse law enforcement misconduct or even cover up Law enforcement related misconduct? Yes.

Do I believe what happened in the Limberios case is part of a larger pattern of area law enforcement misconduct and malfeasance meriting federal inquiry because one can't count on the AG's office to expose official misconduct due to conflicts of interest? Yes.

Start directing those 18,000 supporters to Congresswoman Kaptur's office and ask for help in obtaining a federal investigation of this case and other similar cases of official misconduct in the area. Make it truly about seeing that another family doesn't have to suffer due official misconduct instead of asking state officials to investigate themselves and find misconduct and corruption.