Jerome Ogletree did not murder Jazmine Trotter and judge over case has his own legal problems
Cops humiliated after Ashley Lesyeski's body was found while Ogletree was behind bars and another suspect turns out to be a dud
CLEVELAND, OH – Jerome Ogletree’s arrest for the murder of 21 year old Jazmine Trotter made big headlines when Cleveland cops made him suspect number one and got a $1 million bond against him.
Ogletree’s story didn’t make the same headlines last month when cops and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty were forced to face facts that the guy they’d held for 47 days without a lawyer wasn’t the killer. The majority of greater Clevelanders still believe detectives got the right man.
Ogletree was released and sent home, but was only out for a day after he posted a $5000 bond, reported to his probation officer and found himself re-incarcerated, according to his court assigned attorney, Robert Dixon.
Cops got McGinty to bring drug charges against him that had nothing to do with the reason they secured a warrant for Ogletree’s arrest and authorization to search his home on April 2 in connection with Trotter’s murder. He’d only been out of prison since March 14, 2011 for less than two years when he was arrested on suspicion of Trotter’s murder after doing five at Lake Erie Correctional Institute.
Judge Nancy Fuerst accepted a “motion to terminate” from McGinty but wrote in her order that “the state reserves the right to refile these and any other charges.”
Like many defendants who are held in police custody, Ogletree – after his arrest and constitutionally-troublesome 47 day detention – was not represented by legal counsel. U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder has criticized the nation’s judges and courts for routinely violating the 6th Amendment rights of indigent American criminal defendants.
Now Ogletree’s back in jail and his case is being heard by Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Elba Jackson. Online records uploaded by the Board of Elections show Jackson may be holding office illegally.
Section 3517.11(D) of Ohio’s Revised Code prevented Jackson from “entering upon the performance of the duties of the office” of judge until after he “fully complied” with campaign finance reporting deadlines of 12 days before and 38 days after primary and general elections. Jackson’s reports were turned in more than a month after he took office, as he and his campaign committee totally ignored the state-mandated filing deadlines.
Despite Jackson’s possibly illegal involvement with Ogletree’s criminal trial, the alleged DNA evidence that cops claimed connected him to Trotter was discredited during his 47 day incarceration. It’s now glaringly apparent that they wasted time concentrating their investigative energies on him instead of looking for someone else.
The late spokesman for Cuyahoga County’s Medical Examiner, Powell Ceasar, told this author he was concerned the DNA from Trotter may have been planted onto Ogletree, and suggested that a public records request be made for information about it. It’s the same accusation attorney Brett Mancino leveled at Cleveland cops when he defended Daniel Hines in the Shakira Johnson murder trial in 2005.
Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson’s administrator, Hugh Shannon, told Cleveland Challenger in writing that DNA records were not public according to Ohio Revised Code 149.43. Like Ogletree, Cleveland cops rushed to convict Hines before Johnson’s body was even found.