Something better

Matt Westerhold
Nov 17, 2013

 

Sandusky County judges Barbara Ansted and John Dewey owe the community an explanation.

They were the "deciders," after all, who appointed Tiffin attorney Dean Henry to be the criminal prosecutor in an "investigation" into the cause and circumstances that led to the death of 19-year-old Jacob Limberios on March 2, 2012. 

A year after that appointment, there still is no resolution and no legitimate findings as to how Jacob was killed. 

Ansted and Dewey overlooked the obvious conflicts of interest they were creating in December 2012 in making Henry the criminal prosecutor when he already represented the county as its defense counsel in a lawsuit filed by the Limberios family. 

The family's lawsuit simply sought to force the county to conduct a legitimate investigation into the death of their son. Appointing Henry was a convenient way, perhaps, to pretend to do that without doing it.

It should have been crystal clear to both judges that Henry could never conduct a credible criminal investigation as prosecutor while simultaneously defending the interests of the county. That would be like Henry being both the criminal prosecutor in a murder trial while at the same time acting as the prime suspect's lead defense counsel. 

Henry should not have been forced to serve two masters in that way, but he, too, should have seen the obvious conflicts and declined the appointment. 

But Ansted and Dewey are at the top of the food chain of the county law enforcement community. It seems they were either inexplicably oblivious to the obvious, or they were more comfortable going along with a charade than they were with bucking the law enforcement community and holding it accountable.

The judges, Henry and Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer all were more interested in serving the interests of the county, it seems, than they were in seeking justice for Jake and Ella, Jacob's 5-year-old daughter.

The family should have never been forced to file a lawsuit to get legitimate answers. They should have never been forced to have their own autopsy conducted, and county officials had no business ordering a second exhumation and autopsy, to, it appears, attempt to legitimize the implausible “official story” they wanted to tell.

Perhaps there is a legitimate explanation for the choices they made, but Ansted and Dewey never offered that reasoning. Instead they simply stepped down from any further involvement — finally, and once and for all — after the family filed an ethics complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court. 

The family should never have been forced to take that action, but it was effective. Both Ansted and Dewey appeared to buckle. Perhaps they valued their own reputations more than their desire to assist local officials who appeared hell-bent on maintaining the "official story" as to how Jake died. 

Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt also owes the community an explanation. A young man was shot in the head and killed in his community. Sandusky County sheriff's deputies made quick work of the investigation, determining almost immediately that he shot himself without gathering any legitimate evidence to support that conclusion. 

Deputies ignored the physical evidence, declined to have a trained detective come to the crime scene and did not think the coroner should be there, either. They did not call for any assistance from the state's crime lab that night. 

They determined it was a suicide without having any apparent expertise or understanding as to how that could be, and they've stuck to that story since the beginning despite mounting evidence that it cannot be correct. 

Deputies destroyed, or allowed witnesses to destroy, blood-spattered clothing and shoes, they left the bullet that killed Jake in the ceiling of the home where it lodged after ripping through Jacob's head, and they treated the family as if they had no business asking any questions about what happened. 

And Stierwalt was content. His investigator did take a brief look at the death. He had two of the witnesses take what appear now to be bogus lie detector tests, and wrapped it up quickly endorsing the official story county officials wanted to tell, for reasons still unknown.

Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer also should provide the community an explanation. He was on scene the night Jacob Limberios was killed and he was in charge.

Why was evidence destroyed? Why weren't the witnesses questioned individually? Why didn't you request an autopsy? Why didn't you secure the crime scene and prevent most of the remaining scientific evidence inside to be washed away that very night?

Hopefully, a state grand jury convening for the last two weeks will provide answers to the questions county officials refuse to address. But whatever the outcome, residents need to take a long, hard look and decide whether this is the kind of law enforcement they want, or do they want something better. 

Comments

Perkins Resident

Great article Matt. You hit the nail on the head.

Perkins Resident

Double post. I apologize.

Darkhorse

The grand jury has to go by the evidence presented. If the evidence has been destroyed or mishandled, it will be difficult for the grand jury to bring the case to trial. You have three kids that are keeping there mouths shut about the event that occurred before their very own eyes. We may never know what happened unless one of them starts to talk or decides to break rank with what they know. The only recourse is to vote these officials out of office.

John Harville

Confused? Check Sandusky County Court Records on the Todd Helms criminal and domestic (divorce) cases. Ansted was judge simultaneously on BOTH cases. It even was announced in Helms' trial/plea that no decision could be made on his pension until the DR case was settled - by the same judge. Helms is up for judicial release in 2014. The DR case, until recently, still was to be decided as far as the pension.

mikesee

What an interesting day to think about conspiracy theories.

Licorice Schtick

Upvote

John Harville

Judge Ansted had family killed in an 2008 crash of a plane flown by Gene Damschroder - father of State Rep Rex Damschroder - and her family still has a case going - unless recently settled.
Let us not forget the Sheriff's sister is Clerk of courts and a couple of relatives are on the sheriff's department; his brother-in-law is on Clyde-Green Springs Board of Ed.; the family has been instrumental in Lindsey village government.

Centauri

Hello Matt,
You wrote a very interesting commentary.

Dean Henry was also a "special prosecutor" in corrupt Ottawa County, Ohio.

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."
"Attorney Dean Henry of Tiffin has agreed to handle a complaint filed by Oak Harbor resident Elsebeth Baumgartner. Defiance County Prosecutor Jeff Strausbaugh, who was appointed last month, recently withdrew from the case."

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov...

The Sandusky Register readers now know how this special prosecutor Dean Henry operated with the Limberios case.

If time permits, I will try to find out what other Ohio cases Dean Henry has acted as a special prosecutor. In many cases, special prosecutors are nothing more than puppets of the powers that be.

Julie R.

First, this is an excellent article and hits the nail right on the head but I just can't resist saying the following:

The judges in Sandusky County aren't any different than the jokes in Erie County and the "special prosecutor" they brought in, Dean Henry, isn't any different than the one that Erie County uses all the time, i.e. Dean Holman.

Remember how they brought in Holman to handle that sham theft case against the black lady, Krista Harris, who was making allegations about your prosecutor? Remember how they also brought him in to handle the case against the whistleblower attorney Elsebeth Baumgartner when the corrupt old boys & girls in Erie, Ottawa, & Cuyahoga County ~ not to mention their favorite certain big law firms ~ wanted to shut her up?

Everybody always says that attorneys are the ruination of this country. That's partly true (the attorneys that are favorites of the court, that is) but the real ruination are the judges and prosecutors. Of course, I'm sure there are some honest and ethical judges out there but those are in the minority. The majority are nothing more than snake attorneys wearing black robes.

Centauri

Hello Julie R.,
I found this about Dean Holman.

http://medinacorruption.blogspot...
"When he has to recuse himself, Baxter has been sending cases to Dean Holman in Medina County for at least 15 years. The only time he hasn't is a couple of times when the law enforcement agencies involved have threatened to go public with their strong objections to this cozy relationship. Having Holman take over a prosecution is no different than having Baxter himself do it as the two are very close."

Typical of special prosecutors such as Dean Henry of the Limerios case.

I have read about the Limberios case. How about paying for a "special prosecutor" to bring in desired results?

Ohio needs a new motto.

red white and blue

Dewey is like the scarecrow no brains everything he touchs fails its funny he never makes a decision on his own allways riding someone's coat tales

BabyMomma

A scarecrow with 3 DUI's and still locking up people for drunk driving. That would have been like having O.J. Simpson be the judge for Curtis Clinton

Julie R.

That was a good one!

Centauri

What bothers me is how many judges are under the influence of alcohol or drugs when deciding court cases.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o...

starryeyes83

The same could very well apply to folks who work in media.

Ctwhalers

Julie you are right SanduskyCounty is not the only county from what I hear to have that problem. seems like your whole state has that problem. but it is time for you to citizens of Ohio start take action against these people and make it right instead of complaining about all the time. I like how some you bring up the conspiracy theory every time you make a post. there is no conspiracy theory from what I've been reading and hearing.

Jmschmidt812

Truth is, these people will ALL be re-elected. It's a shame that this case wasn't handled in a manner that would be suitable to all the SR readers. It wasn't and you can't change what happened, you can learn and move forward. I'm confident that is exactly what's happening. Can the community learn from this as well? Absolutely. I've learned several things since following this story. Like I didn't know it was legal for a person under 21 to own a handgun. I also didn't know that even if they owned the weapon they are NOT allowed to buy ammunition for it. If under 21 you are NOT permitted to obtain a conceal carry permit. Also learned that it's ILLEGAL to transport a loaded weapon without a permit. So, in my opinion, there were mistakes all the way around I'm this case, not just by LE.

Simple Enough II

Matt, The sheriff was a detective.

SKULLNBONES

Shameful judicial misconduct. They should be removed. Thanks to the SR for staying on top of this.

mikesee

It is interesting that 99 percent of those blogging on here hate the current Sandusky County officials. How do they keep getting elected back into office?

Centauri

"How do they keep getting elected back into office?"

Courtesy votes for unopposed candidates perhaps? Most voters have no clue. There are many videos online to support this. For example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q...

Licorice Schtick

"How do they keep getting elected back into office?"

By scratching the right backs. Final answer.

Nicely argued editorial, BTW.

Jmschmidt812

Might be because those 99 percent aren't from Sandusky county

Truth2u

There is no way an editor can please everyone, Matt has upset me more than a few times. However, I have repeatedly stated that he has been the ONLY one, and I mean ONLY news agency that would not let this case rest, even with many on this forum condemning him and posting to let Jake rest in peace and move on, but then the facts came out and people realized Matt was right in his assumptions.

I believe this will be Matt's defining accomplishment, he has been diligent on this topic, even demanding answers from Judges.

I hope he continues this venture, he does the have power to change things for the better, and on this issue he IS the reason the investigation went forward.

BabyMomma

Yea, Matt done good on this one.

Ctwhalers

Well said Truth2u