Rep. Dave Burke
June 2010
In This Issue
Tire Slashers
Threat of Violence
Rapist Convicted
Stabbing Results in Conviction
Community Watch
Marysville Police need your help identifying persons responsible for a series of tire slashings in the City.  
Vandals have slashed the tires of over 100 vehicles in the City of Marysville, as well as in the County.
Law enforcement is actively pursuing an investigation, but needs your help. 
If you see suspicious activity near your home - call 911.  

If you have  information regarding these crimes, please call the Marysville Police Department at (937) 642-3900.

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In this time of lean budgets, we are re-evaluating how we do business.  With the case load increasing, we had a choice to hire more people to meet the demand, or work more efficiently.  I have chosen the latter course.
Criminal cases are processed in what I will term "the old-fashioned way." Law enforcement does an investigation, entering information into their records management system (RMS).  They then print out the case and  bring us a paper file.  We open a file, and enter the same information into our case management software.  After indictment, we take pleadings to the court, where the clerk enters the same information into her case management system.  Later, the adult parole authority spends hours poring over and copying our paper files.  During much of this time, the defendant is sitting in the Tri-County jail at the expense of the Union County taxpayer. All of this is duplicative and inefficient.
There had to be a better way.
With the cooperation of law enforcement, the courts, and the County Commissioners, we are implementing a new integrated software system - called "Matrix" - for criminal case management.  The system will enable everyone - from the police to the courts - to operate more efficiently.  This system has saved Cuyahoga County over $8 million in jail and other costs.  Union County will be the first small county to implement this software system, which should begin to come online by July, 2010. 
This will revolutionize the way cases are processed at a net savings to the taxpayer in jail costs, labor costs, postage and paper costs - while enabling my office to clear the backlog of criminal cases which currently exists.
We are excited to implement this new system.  Union County is serving as a model - other counties are very interested in learning from us how they too can improve the efficiency of their criminal justice system. 
Watch for more on this in the coming months.

David Phillips
Union County Prosecutor
Law Enforcement Responds to Threat of Violence
Conklin Dairy Briefing
By now, many of you have read or heard about or seen the Mercy for Animals 'undercover' video of alleged animal abuse.  Since the matter is actively under investigation and prosecution, we cannot comment on that.  But, we did want to mention the threats to the farm, and to the Conklin Family, and explain law enforcement's response.
Immediately following the release of the video on the Internet, the Prosecutor's office (as well as the Sheriff, City of Marysville, Plain City, City Police) began to get e-mails and phone calls from concerned persons - from as far away as South Africa, Australia, England and other countries - demanding prosecution of those involved.  Among those communications were calls from several "hard core" animal activists.  Some of those activists  promote violence against farmers, medical researchers and others.  Threats were made against the Conklin family, as well as towards the farm.  Some people advocated the destruction of the farm; even going so far as to call for the murder of persons associated with it.
The prosecutor's office began to receive intelligence concerning a man named Gary Yourofsky, an activist from Michigan.  Mr. Yourofsky has a long record of what he terms as "direct action," including the release of 1,500 mink from a farm in Canada.  He brags about his arrest record on his website. (Adappt).  Yourofsky began to call for hundreds of animal protestors to descend on the farm, and to dismantle it on Memorial Day.  (The post has now been removed, but was at the NIO website.)  
Yourofsky wrote, "The unjust legal system that controls the lives of animals is NOT worthy enough to dole out proper punishment to Conklin and his psychotic cohorts. * * * I am not asking you to harm anyone if it is NOT in you to harm someone... Also, you might want to be prepared to use the device you bring to protect yourself (SELF-DEFENSE) from Conklin, his violent cohorts and the police department. Whatever you are comfortable with." 
Coordinated intelligence among law enforcement and others convinced us of the legitimacy of a threat of a riot - rather than a permissible and legitimate peaceful protest. Among this intelligence were reports from those in the animal rights movement who were concerned with the possibility of violence.
Law enforcement planned a well-coordinated response to the threat.  Yourofsky apparently learned of this, and called the Sheriff's Office.  He then published an article indicating he was calling off the protest.  However, animal rights websites and activists still called for the protest, and some for action against the farm.  Yourofsky said he was not coming to Ohio.  (This was not true, he was found on the farm later during the evening.  His stated purpose was to "liberate" a calf). 
Local law enforcement, aware of this potential threat, responded appropriately.  At the briefing that morning, Union County Prosecuting Attorney David Phillips reminded law enforcement of the protestor's right to assemble and to free speech - rights which all of us cherish, protect and defend.  We were not, however, going to permit laws to be broken or violence perpetrated in our county, no matter the perceived "justice" in their cause. 
The response worked, and no violence occurred that day.
Local Man Found Guilty of Rape
John Wallace (Courtesy Tri-County Jail)
Wallace (Tri-County Jail)
After six hours of deliberation, a Union County jury found John T. Wallace, of 630 Poppy Lane, Marysville, guilty of the rape of a local woman. The woman, who was an acquaintance of Wallace, had gone to the home at Wallace's invitation.  "The victim made it clear she did not wish to have sexual intercourse with Mr. Wallace," said David Phillips, Union County Prosecuting Attorney, "but he was not to be dissuaded."  Wallace allegedly forced the woman's legs apart to engage in sex. "He told her that, 'She needed to be pushed beyond her boundaries,' to get over her estranged husband," said the prosecutor, but she did not consent. The physical evidence was consistent with the woman's story.  The prosecutor noted that the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner found bruising on the interior of the woman's thighs.  According to the physician who testified, this bruising is consistent with forced sexual intercourse. The woman also had bruising on other areas of her body. 
The victim testified that she prayed that Wallace would not be able to perform the act, "I kept begging God, 'please, you are supposed to be able to do anything... please just get him off me."  Physicians and nurses testified that the woman was consistent that the sexual intercourse was forced and unwanted.
Marysville Police Detective Tony Brooks and a BCI Investigator later interviewed Wallace.  According to the testimony, Wallace eventually admitted that he engaged in intercourse after the woman said "No." When investigators asked Wallace if he had "gone too far," they said Wallace began crying and admitted that he had.
The jury did not hear that the BCI Investigator was also polygraph operator, or that Wallace was found to be deceptive on the issue of force during the polygraph. Polygraphs are generally not admissible as evidence in a criminal trial.  The jury had asked for the complete transcript of Wallace's interview with the detective and BCI Investigator. "We could not give that to the jury," noted the prosecutor, "since much of the questioning involved Wallace's being deceptive in the polygraph examination" said the prosecutor.  Nonetheless, the polygraph was an important investigative tool.
Wallace is currently incarcerated at the Tri-County Regional Jail.  He faces a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 10 years in prison for the rape. He will be sentenced at a later date.

 Jury Convicts Man In Stabbing Case

Shoopman (Tri-County jail)
Shoopman (Tri-County Jail)
A jury convicted a Brookville Man of felonious assault and tampering with evidence after he  stabbed a Mechanicsburg  man at Little Tony's Pizza in Marysville on February 22, 2009.  When Marysville Police responded to the restaurant, they found one of the patrons wounded and bleeding.  Other patrons and employees of the restaurant later identified Jackie W. Shoopman, Jr, 28, of Brookville, Ohio as the knife wielding assailant.
The two men had apparently been arguing after the Defendant's brother took offense to a comment another highly intoxicated person had made concerning the brother's wife.  The man approached the intoxicated patron; the victim interceded to break up the fight, and an altercation ensued outside between the victim and Shoopman's brother. 
After learning of the fight, Shoopman returned to the establishment with a knife, and stabbed the victim in the shoulder.  Shoopman then threw the knife onto the adjacent lot, where it was later recovered by Marysville Police.
The victim was treated at Memorial Hospital of Union County.  Doctors found a "very significant"  deep flesh wound to the left shoulder.  
Doctors stated that the  wound would have been life-threatening had it been in a slightly different location.
Shoopman tried to tell police that the victim had stabbed himself.  Doctor's testified that was improbable, given the depth and angle of penetration.  Shoopman later tried to say that someone else stabbed the victim from behind. 
Sentencing is scheduled for July.