5. Doctor: Child's death a homicide

5. Doctor: Child's death a homicide

There are 5 comments on the The Times-Reporter story from Jun 10, 2007, titled 5. Doctor: Child's death a homicide. In it, The Times-Reporter reports that:

In testimony Friday, Dr. George Sterbenz, the chief deputy medical examiner for Summit County, called the death of 2-year-old Noah A. Shoup a homicide. via The Times-Reporter

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Times-Reporter.


Fort Huachuca, AZ

#1 Jun 25, 2007
Dr. George Sterbenz.
Funny how he says what he does is work..
and I find it to be complete bullshit. The Chief Deputy Medical Examiner?
I think people in Summit County need to stop overlooking this man.

United States

#2 Jun 26, 2007
Did he consult with Dr. House, M.D. first?

United States

#3 Jun 26, 2007
My God! Did he consult with Dr. House first?

Raleigh, NC

#4 Jun 27, 2007
This poor excuse for a man preys on the innocent and on tragic circumstances. I witnessed his presentation, his pictures, his ilustrations, his acting out with a mannequin and his blatant, self-serving accusations.
He did not prove a damn thing.
He made his money and left the courthouse smiling to himself; clutching his briefcase..........
No bruising grab marks, no scratches no handmarks no fingerprints, no evidence, no witnesses, no confession.
I pray for the family that lost the boy, I pray that they can accept the truth and let go of this man's death grip.

Raleigh, NC

#5 Feb 8, 2008
02/08/08 Times-Reporter
‘Jury lost its way’- Mills attorneys say trial errors led to conviction
Attorneys for Marsha J. Mills have filed 30 pages of legal arguments they hope will convince the 5th District Court of Appeals to reverse Mills’ murder conviction.
Four alleged violations of Mills’ constitutional rights are included in the seven errors set forth by Mills’ defense team– attorneys Paula Brown, William Bluth and Richard Parsons of Columbus.
The trio studied the 1,500-plus page transcript and cited various errors they said were made by Tusc.Co. Common Pleas Judge Elizabeth Lehigh Thomakos, Asst. Prosecoter Michael Ernest & Public Defender Gerald Latanich during the 12-day jury trial.
Had the errors not been made, the outcome of the trial would have been different, defense attorneys argue in their brief.
After 5 hours of deliberations on June 15, jurors found Mills guilty of 2 counts of murder, 1 count of felonious assault and 1 count of child endangering as a result of the May 2006 death of 2-year-old Noah A. Shoup of New Phila. Prosecutors maintained the boy died a violent death at the hands of his baby sitter, while Latanich tried to prove the boy fell down a short flight of outside steps and landed on concrete.
On June 22, the 56-year-old Dover grandmother was sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 15 years are served.
Several things contributed to how “the jury lost its way,” according to the defense. Chief among them were 72 gruesome photos repeatedly shown to the five-woman and seven-man jury, Thomakos’“unwarranted restrictions” on defense experts,“unwarranted leeway” given to prosecution witnesses and the “failure of the treating pediatricians to stay current on the pathology of trauma to children.”
The photos were prejudicial to Mills because they showed numerous bruises, which occurred either prior to the alleged incident, during medical intervention or during organ harvesting, according to Mills’ attorneys. Those should have not been shown because they were irrelevant, the attorneys argued.
Defense attorneys also stated Thomakos limited the testimony of one of the defense witnesses by not allowing the witness to show a video made by a woman in which her grandchild fell a short distance onto concrete and died. Thomakos also is criticized for allowing a prosecution witness to talk about an experiment he did with Play-Doh without conducting a required hearing on the information’s admissibility.
The defense team also maintained the jury arrived at its guilty verdicts despite reasonable doubt having been established by Latanich.
“In the end, two forensic pathologists, Drs. Plunkett (defense) and Sterbenz (prosecution) testified and disagreed as to the cause of death, but both admitted that each other’s theory was plausible,” the defense document states.“The lead detective called the incident what it is, an accident.”
The Columbus attorneys criticized Thomakos for failing to record all of the proceedings in the case. They state that none of the multiple in-chambers discussions regarding objections were recorded and “months later, no one can remember what was said.”
The defense team also criticized Latanich’s representation of Mills at trial, claiming he failed to object to various pieces of evidence offered by the prosecution and failed to effectively cross-examine the prosecution’s expert witnesses.
Before deciding whether to vacate the conviction and possibly send the case back to Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court at New Philadelphia, the appellate judges must consider Ernest’s legal analysis of the case. His brief must be filed by March 28. A reply brief on Mills’ behalf will be filed in early April.
A three-judge panel from the appellate court likely will hear oral arguments in the case this summer and issue their decision in writing later.

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