Statement of Facts

The 11th Appellate court compared this self-defense case to “a classic Japanese motion picture, in which each character recounts a different version of the story” {¶115}. Warning: If you continue reading you may lose faith in the criminal justice system.

The appellate review of State v. Krug, 2009-Ohio-3815, neglects to mention the collaboration of witnesses, the withheld evidence, or the tainted crime scene. It presents conflicting testimony that implies Jon invited the bar owner outside, but neglects to mention that the bar owner originally told the police he pursued Jon outside because he got “lippy” with his bartender. The truth is, his bartender had already testified at the preliminary hearing that she and Jon never spoke and Jon did not cause her any trouble.

Accordingly, the bar owner’s excuse for pursuing him into the parking lot was debunked before he wrote it. The reality is, the bar owner had been sitting ring side at a local fight club earlier that evening, admitted to drinking that night, and lied about why he pursued Jon into the parking lot.

Despite the conflicting testimony implying Jon invited the bar owner outside, the Appellate Court ignores the fact that Jon stopped at the front door and said, “I don’t want any problems, my ride is around back, I’m leaving out the side door.” This was collaborated by a number of witnesses at trial, including several friends of the bar owner, but never mentioned in the bias presentation because it cancels any implication of mutual combat and demonstrates that Jon was trying to leave. The appellant review also neglects to mention that the entire bar establishment (the prosecutors witnesses) were impeached by their original statements to police. 

The bartender testified that the bar owner pursued Jon into the parking lot, toward the Dodge Durango where she believes the first punch was thrown, but claimed not to know who threw the first punch. The bar owner himself testified that he and Jon were exchanging punches when his bar cook jumped into the fight. However, the bar cook claimed he never saw the fight and denied getting involved. Like the bar cook, the bar owner’s brother also claimed not to see the fight, denied getting involved, and didn’t remember how he ended up on top of Jon when the police arrived. Despite their denial, both the bar cook and the bar owner’s brother were identified in the corner, during the melee, by several eyewitnesses, including the bartender. If the bar establishment was simply trying to break up the fight, then why not say so?

The only reasonable explanation is that they were helping the bar owner to assault Jon. 

The conflicting testimony created a reasonable doubt that Jon was being attacked by several men when he defended himself. However, under relevant Ohio law, Jon had the burden to prove it, by the preponderance of the evidence. There was evidence three or four other people joined in the fight . One witness knew when and where Jon defended himself, in the corner between the dumpster and brick bar wall. He testified that eventually the bar owner had Jon bent over the dumpster, while hitting him. He testified that at that point he felt it should come to an end, so he grabbed the bar owner by the shoulder and said that’s enough. He testified, that is when the bar cook stepped in; however the bar owner broke away and continued fighting before turning around and saying I’ve been stabbed . Both the bar owner and bar cook were injured.

Despite the self defense circumstances Jon was given an enhanced, maximum, consecutive sentence of 37 and a half years for defending himself against a mob of drunken men. Perhaps the most damning implication of the 11th appellate court was wrongly applying the (CC) definition of the R.V.O. statute. Three weeks later, the Ohio Supreme Court explicitly held that it did not eliminate the RVO specification as defined in former R.C.2929.01(DD). The CC definition did not go into effect until a year after Jon was sentenced. 

Originally, the RVO specification included a defendant who had served a prior prison term for physical harm, which Jon has not. Jon had a prior felonious assault in 1993 but the sentence was suspended due to the lack of physical harm. 

Furthermore, the amended RVO specification when Jon was sentenced still contained the judicial “fact-finding” held unconstitutional.