County prosecutor bows out of cases
A representative of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will handle any cases pertaining to an Elyria murder.
A representative of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will handle any cases pertaining to the Jan. 23 murder of Cody Snyder in Elyria, according to Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will.
Will said he filed paperwork Feb. 13 asking Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Mark A. Betleski to appoint the Ohio Attorney General to represent the state in the cases of Kajaun J. Anderson, 19, of Elyria, a 16-year-old Elyria boy and a 17-year-old Oberlin teen. Each was charged with murder and robbery in connection to the 19-year-old Elyria man’s death during an alleged botched drug deal.
The request actually stems from an ancillary part of the whole case; that of 20-year-old Jeffrey P. Miraldi of Elyria, who is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, four counts of tampering with evidence and a single count of trafficking in marijuana in connection to Snyder’s murder.
Miraldi, who is the son of Lorain County Common Pleas Judge John R. Miraldi, is accused of setting up the fatal encounter, supplying Snyder with a firearm for the encounter and then hiding several pieces of evidence after Snyder was killed.
The younger Miraldi was released from Lorain County Jail on Feb. 12, after his $50,000 bond was posted.
His girlfriend, 19-yearold Jenna Turner of Middleburg Heights, is facing three counts of tampering with evidence after police discovered she left the hospital where Snyder was being treated in an effort to hide a bookbag filled with marijuana, the firearm supplied by Miraldi and Snyder’s cell phone.
Turner was released from the County Jail after her $2,000 bond was posted.
Will said he doesn’t think the law required him to seek a special prosecutor, but he chose to anyway.
“The judges have a standard of the ‘appearance of impropriety,’ but that’s not true of lawyers or counselors because we are an advocate,” he said. “The real bottom line is whether or not there’s actual prejudice which I would interpret as actual bias.
“We didn’t have any indication of that.”
Will said that despite the move not being necessary, he chose to avoid there being even a whiff of impropriety in how the cases are being handled.
Will said either Matt Donahue, the assistant Attorney General who heads up the special prosecutions unit, or one of his associates will handle the case.
The cases for Anderson, Miraldi and Turner currently are being reviewed by a Lorain County grand jury. There is a hearing March 14 to decide if the juveniles will face trial as adults.