Dear Editor,

There is no better statewide example to force merit-based selection of judges and prosecutors than with the prosecution of juveniles, Jordan Buckley and Jaden Churchheus.

These three elected public officials, Hocking County Prosecutor Fickel, Juvenile Judge Saving and Common Pleas Judge Wallace, have only compounded the tragic death of Victoria Schafer, with shear legal incompetency.

Please understand that this missive is not to defend the indefensible conduct of the teenage boys but to aggressively attack the filing of the charge of murder. A charge that a first-year law student would know could not be proved under any legal scenario. Yet a charge of murder in clearly a manslaughter case which begs the motivation of Prosecutor Fickel if not sheer incompetence.

Then add the insanity of a $100,000 cash or surety bond imposed by Judge Saving for two juveniles. Unfortunately, the law in Ohio allows the cowardly determination of this Judge to bind these teenagers over as adults, but this action was not required, nor warranted from the facts available to the public.

And curiously you now have a Common Pleas Court Judge, continuing this ridiculous bond instead of correcting the incompetency of the Juvenile Court Judge. A real Judge, whether at the Juvenile Court level or with this Common Pleas Judge, would have questioned the filing of this murder charge.

After both the victim’s family and the defendant’s families are put through this arduous legal process and one or both of the defendants are convicted of the lessor charges or appropriate charges, please ask yourself if the conduct of this prosecutor and these judges were competent and appropriate under the law.

I believe you will find not and remember their incompetence at the ballot box as I will.

Bret Adams


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