Jerrod Metsker Pleads Not Guilty To Rape And Murder Charges In Reann Murphy Case

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Normal Jerrod Metsker Pleads Not Guilty To Rape And Murder Charges In Reann Murphy Case

Post by TerryRose on Sun Dec 15, 2013 3:03 pm

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Another child joins the all too large a group of innocents in Heaven.  Rest in peace, Reann, with God and the angels.

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Normal Re: Jerrod Metsker Pleads Not Guilty To Rape And Murder Charges In Reann Murphy Case

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:12 pm

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Normal Re: Jerrod Metsker Pleads Not Guilty To Rape And Murder Charges In Reann Murphy Case

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:53 am

December 27, 2013

An attorney for a Smithville man accused of killing and raping a 9-year-old girl pleaded not guilty for his client Thursday in Wayne County Common Pleas Court.

Jerrod Metsker, 24, 5912 Akron Road, who is charged with two counts each of aggravated murder and rape, along with three counts of kidnapping in connection with the death of Reann Murphy, was arraigned via video in Judge Corey Spitler's courtroom.

Metsker, wearing a reddish jumpsuit, sat on a metal stool in a cell at the Wayne County Justice Center. He slouched against a wall, with his court-appointed attorney, Larry Whitney, standing very close to him as Spitler asked about Metsker's financial condition and if he had received a copy of the indictment.

Whitney told Spitler his client was indigent and received a copy of the indictment. Whitney also said he discussed all of the charges and specifications with Metsker. At this time he was entering a not guilty plea. However, Whitney reserved the right to enter a written plea later.

Read: Reann Murphy's father 'wants to know why'

"That's fine," Spitler said.

Though Whitney did not state it specifically, the move allows him and co-counsel, Kirk Migdal, to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, if so warranted. That plea must be entered in writing.

Because the two aggravated murder charges include specifications, Metsker could face the death penalty if a jury or three-judge panel decides it is an appropriate sentence.

Bond was continued at $1 million, and as of Thursday, Metsker remained incarcerated in the Wayne County Jail.

Prosecutor Dan Lutz alleges Metsker caused the death of Reann, who was younger than 13, with specifications that include he did so with a sexual motivation; while kidnapping her, or attempting to kidnap her; while committing, or attempting to commit, rape; and he did so to escape detection, apprehension, trial or punishment for kidnap or rape.

The second count of aggravated murder alleges Metsker caused Reann's death in connection with kidnap and rape, and it includes the same specifications.

In the three counts of kidnapping, the prosecution alleges Metsker removed or restrained Reann in order to rape her, in order to terrorize or inflict serious harm or in order to engage in a sexual activity against her will.

Metsker's two charges of rape allege he engaged in sexual conduct with the girl and caused serious physical harm.

Metsker called 9-1-1 on Dec. 14 to report Reann missing. Family, friends, neighbors, law enforcement and firefighters searched in and around the Akron Road mobile home park where both lived. Reann's body was found hidden in a trash bin in the center area of the park at 1:35 a.m. Dec. 15, where Metsker was seen playing with Reann.

Wayne County Coroner Dr. Amy Jolliff's preliminary report indicated Reann died of strangulation.

Following the arraignment, Lutz said he is very confident in the strength of the case and the evidence, but he again refrained from speaking about the specifics.

Generally, the next step would be to arrange a pre-trial hearing and then set a trial date, but Lutz said in a capital case there are a lot of motions, so he is not sure what will happen next.

As for whether there might be a plea deal, Lutz said it is unlikely.

Lutz praised the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation and his staff for working so swiftly. Because of their efforts, Lutz was able to bring the case to a grand jury quickly, he said.

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