ELYRIA — Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will has requested and been granted the appointment of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office to handle the prosecution of all cases related to the shooting death of Cody Snyder.
According to court documents, Will made the request Monday afternoon, which was granted the same day by Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski.
“This application is based on the fact that there may be a perceived conflict or the appearance of such in the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office and any prosecution by this office involving this particular criminal matter due to the possibility of claims of bias or favoritism being made against this office,” the filing by Will said.
The special prosecutor will handle “the criminal investigation and/or prosecution” regarding Jeffrey Miraldi, Jenna Turner, Kajaun Anderson and two juveniles who face charges in connection with Snyder’s murder, due to Miraldi being the son of Lorain County Judge John Miraldi.
“I do not believe there was an actual conflict and there was not any actual prejudice, which are the standards (for requesting a special prosecutor),” Will said. “The appearance of impropriety doesn’t apply to a counselor; it applies to a judge. From the standpoint of whether or not we absolutely had to get off, I don’t believe that was true. In light of some of the statements that were made at the perception so that there is not even a center of someone claiming some kind of bias, we’re going to step down and let the Attorney General’s office handle it.”
The 19-year-old Snyder was shot last month during what police are calling “a drug deal gone bad.” Anderson, 18, and the two juveniles have been charged with aggravated murder. The state has filed a motion to try the two juveniles, ages 16 and 17, as adults.
Police say Jeffrey Miraldi, 20, was in the driver’s seat of a 2014 Ford Focus, which is registered to John Miraldi, when Snyder, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was allegedly shot in the chest by Anderson. Jeffrey Miraldi, along with Turner, 19, drove Snyder to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center, where he ultimately died from his injuries.
Jeffrey Miraldi has been charged with involuntary manslaughter with a gun specification, trafficking in marijuana, also with a gun specification, and four counts of tampering with evidence. Turner faces multiple charges of tampering with evidence in connection with the incident, as well.
It is expected that the Lorain County Common Pleas Court General Division will request a visiting judge to handle the cases, but a spokesperson with the Ohio Supreme Court said the Court hasn’t received the request yet. The Elyria Municipal Court did request a visiting judge to handle Jeffrey Miraldi’s arraignment on new charges last week, which was handled by visiting Judge Ronald Adrine.
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