Attorney Adam Stone of Eyer Stone, LTD has filed for the total dismissal of his client’s murder and kidnapping charges after it was discovered that the prosecution may have inadvertently tampered with the key piece of evidence in the case: the body of the alleged victim.
Mr. Frederick Saunders, Jr. was arrested and charged with the kidnapping and murder of his father, Saunders, Sr. When the body of Sr. arrived at Galion Community Hospital, doctors there originally ruled a “massive heart attack” as the official cause of death. When the Lucas County Coroner’s Office studied the body of the deceased some days later, it declared that homicide was the cause of the death. As one is a natural act and the other the result of violence, there was quite clearly a problem with one or both of the medical examinations.
Despite the discrepancies, the prosecution approved Sr.’s remains for cremation before the defense even had a chance to perform its own examination. Now that the most critical component of the criminal charges have been destroyed, Attorney Stone sees any trial as a violation of Jr.’s right to a fair trial and due process. Even if the prosecution approved the cremation out of respect for Saunders, Sr., the decision has dramatically altered the validity of the case in a way that heavily disfavors the defense. Attorney Stone has been quoted as saying, “[…] the state destroyed a corpse that was the subject of an ongoing murder case.”
Mr. Saunders, Jr.'s wife was also charged with murdering and kidnapping Saunders, Sr. She faces the same charges but through a different case and jury process. Attorney Stone has also filed for the dismissal of her charges on the same grounds.
How the court will react to Attorney Stone’s filing is yet to be seen. The case is scheduled for a jury trial in July and the decision to dismiss the charges or not in light of the destroyed evidence could be delayed until the day before the initial hearing. For updates on this ongoing and important story, be sure to visit our blog frequently. If you require a Bucyrus criminal defense attorney for your own criminal case, you can contact us today at (419) 610-2032.