Attacker offered plea deal

"I got stabbed in the back by the prosecutor"
Alex Green
May 17, 2014

An assault victim who spent three days in intensive care has been joined by his distraught mother and a Port Clinton police detective in blasting a plea deal that Ottawa County prosecutor Mark Mulligan offered the alleged attacker. 

According to police and the victim — Adam Mitchell, 28, of Port Clinton — Mulligan offered Jeremiah Johnson, 25, of Port Clinton, the chance to plead guilty to aggravated assault, a fourth-degree felony.   

In February, Johnson allegedly used a whiskey bottle to attack Mitchell at a party. Mitchell suffered two lacerations on his skull and bleeding on the brain. He was in intensive care for three days, and also spent more time in the hospital later. 

Mulligan has apparently ceased communication with the Register, making it impossible to immediately confirm the plea deal. Online court records shed no light on the case. 

But Port Clinton police Detective Corbin Carpenter has plenty to say about the matter.

Johnson was originally charged with felonious assault, but it was quickly upgraded to attempted murder.  

Now, this latest apparent offer — an aggravated assault charge — carries a maximum prison sentence of just 18 months. 

Carpenter was heavily critical of Mulligan's handling of the case and his decision to lessen Johnson's charge to a fourth-degree felony.

Be sure to pick up Sunday's Register for a story on the ultimatum Mulligan gave the Register, in which he said he would stop talking to the newspaper if coverage wasn't more "fair." He has since failed to discuss a number of important cases in the county. 

"The judicial system has failed this family," Carpenter said. "(Mulligan) didn't consult me. He didn't consult the family. It is the most perplexing plea deal (I've ever seen)."

Carpenter said Johnson was perhaps let off easily because of his weapon of choice — still an inexcusable reason, Carpenter said, considering the amount of damage that can be done with a whiskey bottle.

Mitchell's family knows just how deadly a bottle can be. They also said they suspect Johnson will only get a symbolic slap on the wrist.

"He's not going to learn anything," said Rhonda Taylor, Mitchell's mother. "He has a history. He'll do it again to someone else."

As Mulligan seems to be avoiding the public eye, Mitchell and his family are left with astronomical medical bills from the attack. And they, too, are having trouble communicating with Mulligan.

"(Mulligan) called me and told me he made the decision," Mitchell said. "I guess he is going for something that is easier to get a conviction."

But it's unacceptable, Mitchell said, and justice is the only thing he can ask for at this point. He said he's doing a lot better, but his family and doctors are still concerned about his longterm memory loss.

"I got stabbed in the back by the prosecutor," Mitchell said.

Johnson has been convicted of two previous assault-related charges in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court — once in 2007 for felonious assault, then again in 2008 for attempted felonious assault.

So where's Mulligan? It seems he has launched an anti-communication policy with the Register, making good on an apparent threat he made during a recent interview about the county's drug task force.

On Friday, one of Mulligan's employees left a message with a Register reporter and said Mulligan was not in the office and would not be calling back.

Mulligan did not return calls about separate cases Wednesday or Thursday, either.

Comments

DickTracey

I think Mulligan has finally lost it! He has gone rogue! He thinks he is a Rock Star, everyone has to wait on him and he doesn't need to answer to anybody!

I think Mulligan is having a nervous breakdown, worrying about exSherrif Bratton rolling on him! As he should be scared, at what Bratton told investigators.

I pity the detectives in Ottawa County! All the hard work they do to present a good case to Mulligan and then he is too lazy to take it to trial!

Can you imagine what would happen if Redfern was hit over the head with a whiskey bottle?

Mulligan is having a temper tantrum and won't talk to the Register!! Blaaahhahaha! You are an absolute disgrace to the county Mulligan!

Buggers78

Agreed!!! He needs to go!!! He is useless!!!

Unassumer

Most everyone gets a slap on the wrist around here whatever the charges might be unless they want to make an example of someone, like the kid who was looking in Redfern's windows. It's who ya know and who ya blow that matters in Port Clinton.

DickTracey

A Greene County, Ohio man, smashed a beer bottle over another mans head. The victim was treated and released.

The perp got THREE years in prison! The victim in this Ottawa County case was injured far worse. And this perp has a history of assault!

reggiewhite92

How is Mulligan still holding office some 20 years later?

SamAdams

ANSWER: Stupid Ottawa County voters keep re-electing him.

It's ALWAYS the stupid politician's fault when he does something bad or wrong the first time. After that, it's the stupid voters who are complicit by re-electing the criminals, the greedy, or the just plain incompetents.

DickTracey

I hope the stupid Ottawa County voters feel real safe now, knowing this violent, short fused perp is out walking the streets!

So whose kid is next to be attacked? It's only a matter of time, this perp isn't going to change.

Babo

I agree with you that this perp is not going to change. But the voters have to be given a choice and in Putin led opps I mean Redfern run Ottawa County there will be no choice.

Mulligan has run unopposed his entire career after the gang did a number on the only attorney who ever tried running against him.

Julie R.

Who was the only attorney that ran against him?

Babo

Mulligan, Bratton, Dean Henry, with lots of help from Reporter Kristina Smith convinced a lot of people she was a "conspiracy theorist nut case" from Oak Harbor, Ohio.

Julie R.

People should have listened to that disbarred attorney from Oak Harbor that the corrupt clowns tried to say was a 'conspiracy theorist nut case'. I personally hope she's gloating now. She deserves to after all the illegal crap the dirt-bags ~ including the ones in Erie County ~ pulled off on her.

WhatTheHeck

Here we go again with this crap

Gunholdjr

I know nothing about this plea deal or the facts of the incident behind it, but I actually give a great deal of credit to Mr. Mulligan for being a professional and refusing to feed the Registers' yellow journalism machine! Just as Westerhold is fast to explain to readers that they are not real journalists and don't have the depth of understanding that actual reporters do, The Register staff knows embarrassingly little about the day to day mechanisms of the court system . Nonetheless . they go off on their ridiculous populist crusades leading the gullible readers off on the wrong track like some misdirected pied piper. Mulligan is doing the right thing by simply shutting up. Other officials should do the same. Once the outrage over the failure to join the insane game of " spot the conspirator" blows over, there's nothing else to report and the Register can hunt for witches elsewhere. Hold the line, Mark and don't take the bait!

reggiewhite92

Three people called out Mulligan. This is not one of Matt's columns. This is a Port Clinton police detective saying Mulligan effed up. Is this Marky-Mark himself?

DickTracey

I notice you are a brand new commenter. You created a name just to come on in support of Mulligan of all people.

Not the poor guy who was assaulted and left for dead. And has medical bills that he may never be able to pay.

Not the poor 82 year old that lost over $200,000. The one that Mulligan refuses to even talk to.

Not the rape victim living in fear.

You want to come on here and brag about an elected official that doesn't have the guts to talk to a little 24 year old reporter.

Mulligan does not return calls from anyone! Not just the reporter for the Register, but the victims in his county!

Since you are obviously his buddy, can you do me a favor?

Ask him why he saw nothing criminal in Sheriff Bratton stealing over $10,000? Since it is obvious that the state found something criminal and are getting ready to send him to prison this week.

Babo

You're correct that the Auditor of state caught him but the Feds are prosecuting him after Mulligan and DeWine refused to do anything with the Auditor's report. Bratton's sentencing is set for May 23, 2014 at the US Court House in Toledo, Judge Jack Zouhary presiding.

It looks like Bratton is talking and will likely get probation for his cooperation. However, I hope citizens from Ottawa County show up and let the US Attorney's office know there's a lot more to be done in Ottawa county and that what Bratton was caught stealing is likely just a small part of a bigger machine that abuses power and people regularly.

Matt Westerhold

Really Gunhold, the Register didn't manufacture the outrage expressed by the family. The Register didn't manufacture the detective's point-of-view. The Register simply reported that information. The response you recommend to Mulligan seems a bit juvenile. Maybe you could talk it over with your government teacher.

Ralph J.

I know nothing about this plea deal or the facts of the incident behind it. There you go.

Gunholdjr

A government teacher? Touche... But an old broadcasting professor once gave me some good advice: Never publicly argue with a broadcaster, as the broadcaster always has the microphone last and thus, has the last word and can frame the debate in any way he chooses. I will follow his advice and Mulligan's example.

DickTracey

You obviously were sick on the day he said, "Never argue with someone who buys ink, by the barrel."

Ralph J.

You will follow Mulligan's example? Manufacturing evidence?

Steve P

Disagree with the management of this newspaper and be banned, Pravda is alive and well in Sandusky. Keep speaking the truth many agree with you on your views of this newspaper.

Babo

And many more are very grateful that a newspaper is fulfilling its role as the Fourth Estate to hold government officials accountable.

Steve P

The Fourth Estate should also just report the news, not manufactor it, without bias or favor.

Babo

Again, you are wrong. Investigative journalism, editorials/opinions, and education are all critical roles of a Free Press and serve as important checks on government. If public officials like Mulligan can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen and try to find a job in the private sector.

Ralph J.

Ottawa County Prosecutor, Mark Mulligan, and his staff, are dedicated to pursuing justice through the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity in Ottawa County. These criminal enterprises include crimes of theft or forgery, drug offenses, burglary, assault, rape and murder. But the prosecutor is also committed to serving the victims of crime through the Victim Advocacy Program he established. The victim advocates empower victims by restoring dignity and hope, providing information concerning judicial procedure, and ensuring victims have every right afforded them by the State.

Is that a true statement?

http://www.co.ottawa.oh.us/ocpro...

Ralph J.

Port Clinton police filed one felony count of attempted murder against Jeremiah Johnson, 25, on Friday.
He had initially been charged with felonious assault. The prosecutor's office dismissed that charge, and then Port Clinton police filed the more serious count, said Detective Sgt. Corbin Carpenter of the Port Clinton Police Department.
Now why would Mulligan dismiss the original charge of felonious assault?

http://www.portclintonnewsherald...

Babo

Attempted murder is a more serious charge than Felonious Assault which is a felony of the second degree. The question now is why has Mulligan dropped the attempted murder count down to aggravated assault which is only a felony of the third degree?

Here's the link to his record: http://198.101.52.132/cgi-bin/se...

His first case was for felonious assault in 2007 when he was 19 years old. he then had an other case the next year and the two cases were combined and he received a 5 years sentence. The second case was not by indictment but by Bill of Information which indicates he had negotiated a plea ahead of time with the prosecutor.

Even though he agreed to plead to the Bill of Information, he still filed an appeal paid for by the taxpayers. He lost that appeal.

He just got out and beats somebody almost to death and Mulligan wants to give this guy a deal?

People need to show up for the change of plea hearing as it is on the docket for 5-19-2014. (click on docket for the last case listed) Judge Bruce Winters is up for re-election and importantly he does not have to accept the plea deal. The victim, his family and concerned citizens need to let the judge know they are unhappy with this deal and that maybe Mulligan needs to be removed from the case.

acjmom

Facts: Jeremiah Johnson just got out of prison after 5 yrs for hitting a guy in the head with a GUN...he is still on parole...my son was not just "in ICU" he was on life support in ICU...we have never talked to mark...and the only reason we talked to Joe was because I called there to have them try to explain their reasoning for this BS plea deal...stop by the court room (3rd floor of the big court house on Madison st) at 9am Monday the 19 to see if its any better explained then

Babo

There are two things you can do to help derail this plea deal.

1) Show up with a group of people and address the court and urge the Court to reject the plea deal. Judge Winters is up for re-election and he will be very sensitive to the press coverage on this case. The judge has the final say on whether the deal is accepted. You might also suggest that he remove Mulligan from the case because he is not sensitive to the rights of victims.

2) Contact his parole officer and ask that the parole authority add 2.5 years to his old sentence for this violation of parole and that any new sentence for the crimes against your son be run consecutive to the parole violation sentence.

Under Ohio law, a parolee can be sent back to prison on their old case for up to half the time for violating parole. You can also bring this to the Court's attention when objecting to the plea.

Steve P

If you are not a party to the legal action you have no rights when it comes to the sentence or consideration of it. A judge should only consider the wishes of the parties involved, the law as it is written and ignore any outside influences with bias for or against, which is why Lady Justice is blindfolded.

Babo

You're wrong Steve. The victim and family members have rights to speak in court and object to the deal, especially when it appears the attorney who is supposed to represent the interests of the people of the State of Ohio (that would be the prosecutor) is not interested in victims' rights or the people of the State of Ohio.

here's the link to the ORC chapter on Victim's Rights. Note that the prosecutor is REQUIRED in RC 2930.06 to confer with the victim before entering into a negotiated plea.

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2930

let the truth b...

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Babo

You seem to be suggesting that the victim was talking about things, (I'm guessing illegal activity) and that's why Johnson assaulted him.
Again, I'm guessing Johnson is an "enforcer" for people involved in the alleged illegal activity and that alleged illegal activity is "protected" by certain people.

Certainly would explain why Mulligan might offer Johnson such a generous plea deal and turn a blind eye to the fact he is on parole for a prior violent crime. It's the old "snitches get stitches"

DGMutley

All I can say is to echo what Detective Carpenter said, "The judicial system has failed this family," Carpenter said. "(Mulligan) didn't consult me. He didn't consult the family. It is the most perplexing plea deal (I've ever seen)."

Wald

Mulligan wants to crucify a kid for standing around his master Redfern's property but then reduces a violent attempted murder charge in a different case to a fourth degree felony? What an incompetent, pathetic joke this guy is.

Bodega

Didn't the paper report that Mulligan offered that Reitzel kid a plea deal? One charge reduced to an F4 with diversion And the second reduced to misdemeanor. The diversion means the f4 goes away (expunge ?) after a year if the kid apologized and stayed out of trouble. That seems like a pretty reasonable offer. But I guess being "reasonable" isn't really an option on these boards. Prosecutors charge high then plead down based on the evidence. That's how it works. If the family does not think this is right, they should let the court know. Lots of good advice here as to how to do that. But really... Y'all can really go off the rails.

Babo

Here's the report of the proposed plea deal as taken from another article:

The deal would have inked two third-degree felonies on Alexendar Reitzel’s record, and required him to write a letter of apology to Redfern.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said defense attorney Tom DeBacco, who represents Reitzel, 19.

Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan made the offer, which DeBacco didn’t think twice about rejecting. Reitzel is innocent and Mulligan overcharged him as a favor to a political friend, DeBacco said. “It would have been a good offer if he was guilty,” DeBacco said. [end of quote]

According to the article he was asked to plead to two third degree felonies. It may be incorrect but why plead to any felony when this case was clearly never worthy of any felony charge? That's unreasonable IMO.

It's sickening that prosecutors can get away with abusing grand juries to intentionally overcharge people to coerce pleas to "reduced" charges (which are oftentimes still overcharges) knowing the court isn't going to protect the defendant's rights to a fair trial.

Wald

A "reasonable offer" is two third-degree felonies for looking into the windows of a house that was for sale? Really, Bodega? You sound as clueless as Mulligan! Lol

reggiewhite92

And how is the paper supposed get every detail of the plea deal correct if Mulligan shuts the door on them? They would have to go through the defense attorney who could tell the paper whatever he wants. Mulligan could explain this but he chooses not to. And what is your explanation of McClain Durst, a repeated sex offender who Mulligan spanked with 150 days in jail? Or this case, in which 3 people unrelated to the paper blasted Mulligan

Julie R.

"What an incompetent, pathetic joke this guy [Mulligan] is."

You got that right! I think the majority of prosecutors in just about every county around are incompetent, pathetic jokes. The only one that appears to be half-way decent is the new one in Cuyahoga County, Tim McGinty.

Steve P

Babo you might want to read my previous comment again. I stated "party to the legal action and parties involved" that would be the victim, their family along with the state and defense have a right to express their views. Any party to the legal action can object to the deal but the final determination is the judge who should rule on the merits of the case and the law not emotion..

Babo

Actually in a criminal proceeding the parties are the State of Ohio as represented by the county prosecutor and defendant. Victims and their family members are not parties but are entitled to certain rights as noted above in the ORC. It is also just good public relations for the prosecutor to look out for victims to send a message to the community that he or she is doing their job.

A judge is an elected official. Yes he or she must follow the law and the law allows the judge in a situation such as this to reject a plea deal as not in the interests of justice. Judge Bruce Winters IMO ought to reject this plea deal in the interests of justice.

BigMan24

Im Honestly LMMFAO I think what Mr. Mulligan did was GREAT... Mr. Mitchell is not as INNOCENT as what he is trying to claim he is... This man is a NO GOOD WASTE TO SOCIETY, wants to walk around Port Clinton claiming he can whip whoever steps in his place, but when the tables are turned, he wants to play the poor pitiful me.... Yes i know this to be true, i know MR. Mitchell in person... The funny thing about it is I seen a article not to long after he was "RELEASED" from the hospital where he was interviewed, he claimed he was "Lightheaded" and " Can't Walk".... bunch of BS.. He was seen at the bars not even a week after his release from the hospital.... he was seen in numerous Photos of FB getting drunk once again.. Here's a thought, If you was at home taking care of YOUR "FAMILY" and not out getting drunk and acting Big and Bad, this wouldn't of happened.... I show NO SYMPATHY for this man. Not one bit what so ever... So go ahead MR. MITCHELL try to play it off as your the victim all you want to do is get someone to feel bad for you.. AINT COMEING FROM ME.....

reggiewhite92

First off all, what is your basis for saying what Mulligan did was great? Because you don't like Mr. Mitchell? Really profound stuff BigMan.

So, if a man is out drinking at a bar, he could not POSSIBLY have been severely injured a few weeks earlier?

And, if a man is out drinking, he should beware that he might just get struck in the head with a large piece of glass? And if he does, it's his fault for "being out"? Wouldn't want to live in that society....

BigMan24

Oh but he is so hurt. and cant function this man is nothing but a Dead beat who got what he got coming to him....