Crime Scene

Under relevant Ohio law, in 2008, a defendant had the burden to prove self-defense by the preponderance (greater amount) of the evidence (ORC.2901.05). Jon was not innocent until proven guilty, he had the burden of proof. The conflicting testimony rendered the physical evidence essential to proving what happened. Incredibly, the preponderance of the crime scene (two out of three crime scene swabs) lacked enough blood to determine who was injured where.
The crime scene was in the east parking lot of Lake Effects bar and grill. There were two air conditioning units (A/C) protruding from the brick bar wall. One was directly outside the door, heading south. The other A/C unit was another thirty feet, further, down the wall with a dumpster between the two. (See Crime Scene photos). There were three areas of blood recorded and collected . Crime scene marker #1 belonged to the bar owner . Crime scene marker #2 was a blood smear about the size of a man’s head located where someone stomped Jon’s head into the blacktop . Crime scene marker #3 was a pool of blood, right next to the second second A/C unit, where several witnesses testified the bar cook was lying with his injuries including the bar cook himself who testified he collapsed between the dumpster and the A/C unit on cinder blocks . Incredibly, crime scene swab #2 & #3 lacked enough evidence for DNA confirmation. The DNA doctor who testified there was not enough blood on those swabs to see with the naked eye.

Despite the apparent crime scene, the senior paramedic, who graduated with the bar owner, testified that the bar cook was laying five feet outside the doorway to the south . This would have been adjacent to the other A/C unit, by the door, which would have been on the other side of the crime tape. The second EMT seemed a bit more hesitant to place the bar cook near the door. He testified that the bar cook was lying right next to an A/C unit, before the prosecutor spoke over him and said, “near the side door. Okay. And I’m sorry, I spoke over you.”. It seems that the EMT knew the location was wrong because he later said, “I was very surprised there wasn’t much blood on the ground.
The implication that someone was injured before Jon was cornered and being attacked, not only conflicted his self defense position, but essentially justified the mob pursuing him, pushing him into the corner, and attacking him. The detective who processed the tainted crime scene,repeatedly established blood where the bar cook was lying with his injuries for the prosecution. Then twenty minutes later, during cross exam, the same detective defensively denied knowing where the bar cook was lying with his injuries . We may never know if the DNA evidence was intentionally tainted, but we do know the detective at the crime scene collaborated with the prosecution during trial to exploit the missing evidence.

When the state legislation placed the burden of proof on the defense, certainly they did not intend state employees to sabotage that burden by tainting evidence and confusing jurors.

Crime Scene Photos

 Where Jon was forced to defend himself

Where Jon’s head was stomped into the blacktop

Where the bar cook was injured