YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) – A northeast Ohio sheriff says his office isn’t changing its prisoner transport procedures after a suspect being led from a Youngstown courtroom jumped to his death from a fourth-floor courthouse balcony.
Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene tells Cleveland.com that the defendant was handled differently and not shackled at the time because of a court order that deviated from what deputies usually do with prisoners headed to and from courtrooms.
A defense attorney had argued that seeing 48-year-old Robert Seman Jr. in jail clothes or handcuffs could improperly influence jurors.
Seman killed himself Monday, the day before a scheduled trial in his potential death penalty case. He was accused of raping a 10-year-old girl and setting a fire that killed her and two grandparents shortly before the scheduled rape trial.