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Friday, August 18, 2006

"Football Justice" served in Ohio

A judge in Ohio is allowing two teenagers who pulled a prank that left one man physically disabled and his friend brain-damaged to serve their 60 day sentences in juvenile detention after they finish the upcoming high school football season.

Judge Gary F. McKinley (shown here) told those in his standing-room-only courtroom that he knows allowing the standout out Kenton High School athletes to play sports before serving their sentences will be unpopular saying, "I’m cutting you somewhat of a break here, and the court will get criticized for this." Admitting he waffled on his decision, the judge added, "I shouldn't even be doing this."

Gee, you think? Allow me to start the criticism by saying what complete and utter crap! This is so wrong I don't even know where to begin.

Last November, the two football players and three others (who are awaiting trial) stole a decoy deer, painted obscenities on it then placed it in the middle of a darkened rural road to see what would happen when drivers approached.

When Robert Roby, Jr., who was 18 at the time, swerved to miss the decoy, his car rolled and he crashed into a pole and fence. He broke his neck, collar bone, arm and leg. His mother said he's facing his 11th surgery.

The passenger in his car, Dustin Zachariah, sustained brain damage. According to his mother, he now has the cognitive ability of a 6th grader.

Medical bills for the two have reached $700,000 and are expected to top $1 million.

In the courtroom Tuesday, as soon as it became obvious the two football players would be getting special treatment from the judge, relatives of the injured teens began to sob.

Even more suprising to me was the fact that one of the guilty football players had two previous juevenile court convictions. So it wasn't like the first time he was in trouble with the law. What a great example to teach these two kids -- if you're good at football, the normal rules of society don't apply to you. I wonder if the sentence would have been as lenient if the kids were on the swim team?

Not surprising, the Kenton schools Superintendent, Doug Roberts, said he supports the judge's decision. "Being a small school and a small community, we look at these things as a small family, and when your family has problems, you try to help them, rather than turn your back on them," he said.

Riiiight. That and the fact that Kenton hasn't won a state title since 2002.

Thanks to MZone reader E.Mac for the tip.

43 comments:

Brad said...

Wow. Just wow. Seriously, is there some way to just expell Ohio from the U.S.? Maybe we can sucker Canada into a straight up trade for Quebec.

Anonymous said...

BUCKSTACHE B*TCH!!!!! The buckstache of the judicial system

eric said...

WOW... What complete, utter horseshit. I'd be suing the whole damn state of Ohio if I were those victims' families

Allaha said...

This is appalling. There is no doubt that if these guys were on the debate team they would be going straight to juvenile detention. . . . BTW, 60 days vs. $1 million in medical bills and 11 surgeries is obscenely disproportionate. . . . The perfect ending to this story will be their being recruited to play for the Fulmer Cup winner.

War Eagle In Fla said...

did he yell 'fuck michigan' after the verdict?

Can't spell Lloyd without 2 "L's" said...

War Eagle,

That's funny!

You know, after reading this, at first I was ticked that the sentence was suspended until after football season. Then it dawned on me that their sentence was ONLY 60 freaking days in a juvie?!?! With two prior issues for the one kid? How about 2000 hours each of community service to be served, I don't know, helping out the kids they hurt and/or their families?

I could understand a little more if the judge was just a complete idiot and thought it was the right thing, but the fact that he actually says he shouldn't do it, and still does anyway just fucking reaks. I'm done.

Anonymous said...

although i agree that this whole thing just 'stinks' of injustice....

...it must be said that the driver of the car was traveling at about 85 mph, was drunk & stoned.

this doesn't make the other side of the story any less 'wrong', just thought that these facts should be reported as well.

Go Blue, Eh! said...

Sorry Brad, but as much trouble as Quebec can be to us, there is no way we would ever take Ohio in a trade. Minnesota or Wisconsin maybe but not the land of the Buckstache.

Anonymous said...

What can you expect from an OSU law grad (what other law school would let an obviously stupid judge) in?

Yost said...

Anon 5:28am,

Where did you get those facts? I linked to two stories about this and not ONE of them mentioned that. Not one. So if you have any proof of that besides "a friend of a friend said" I'd sure love to see it.

Anonymous said...

Have these two been rated by Rivals yet? Two stars? Three stars? Four stars? Is length of sentences in Ohio in inverse proportion to how highly touted as FB prospects the offenders are?

DevilGrad said...

I weep for the Homeland.

DG (Allen County, OH native)

Anonymous said...

the driver being under the influence as well driving at an excessive speed was discussed at length on talk radio over the last night or so. many of these discussions were brought to the surface by residents of Kenton.

sure these are likely 'alleged'.

CaliGirl said...

This is so sad! At what point to we actually PUNISH someone for their behavior. Make them accept the consequences for their actions? The underage drinking and use of illegal substance has punished the driver and his passenger. However, 60 days?!?! for the damage these others caused...

These are the type of kids that grow up to be Maurice C's or worse Terrell Owens. Thinking they are hot $h!t because they are star athlete, yet display horrible behavior, are an embarrassment for their actions, but that's ok!!! Let's reward these guys because they play a good game of football.

Who cares if your team suffers a bit, what kind of example are you setting by giving an easy sentence AFTER the season, warnings, probation or better yet, millions of dollars to these people that have no regard for anyone except themselves.

What ever happened to a good ole' spanking instead of these lousy time outs???

The judicial system fails again!

Can't spell Lloyd without 2 "L's" said...

I wonder if Sweatervest was under the bench giving a little lip service to the judge, since based on the criminal activity, these players will most certainly end up at tOSU.

Maurice Clarrett said...

I am calling my lawyers today to see if I can get my trials changed to Hardin County. Clearly this is a man that understands the balance between justice and ohio football...

Buy your FREE MO t-shirts at my link !!!!!!

tdawg said...

The real question is will the sentence get reduced? So the two can enroll to Ohio State in time for spring ball

jim masterson said...

What Devilgrad said.

Laettner Stomp said...

CaliGirl you honestly think T. Owens is worse than Maurice Clarett? Wow, has the media done a number on you. Last I checked TO was a law abiding citizen. Seems like your priorities are out of whack just like this judge.

Anonymous said...

As much as you may want to believe that this endemic is quarantined in OH and your criticisms of this judicial decision come from the infallable moral center of the universe, both are, in fact, false. These atheletes are creations of the society in which we live, (there is suprisingly little difference between the culture of MI and the culture of OH)and though we may criticize behavior and subsequent punishments in these episodes, we, as fans of our respective schools and teams, are indirectly responsible for both because of the money and attention we devote them. If you want to change this organize a protest, a mass protest; boycott the team, don't tune in, don't buy tickets, and live as though the game of football was never created. But until you do something about it don't get up on your soapbox and claim moral authority over how one locality deals with it's monsters created by the money/fame engine that we, as fans fuel with our passion.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure nothing like this--a stupid judicial decision--ever happens in the state of Michigan!

Give me a break.

Somewhere there's some kid, also a football player, doing something asinine and probably criminal inside the borders of the holier-than-thou state of Michigan.

Your cops are just too stupid or too lazy to catch them.

You guys at the M Zone must be bored silly these days to come up with fluff like this, let alone the feigned outrage. Better I think to just keep sitting around and wait to take you three losses again this season; including, another one to the “infidels” at OSU.

Anonymous said...

for anyone wanting to voice displeasure at this judge, the phone number for his probate court is:

(937)645-3029

Anonymous said...

Yet another reason to hate Ohio. Them douchbags.

Yost said...

I love how our apparently Ohio readers first response is -- "I'm sure it happens in Michigan, too!" -- instead of being appalled at the decision.

Yes, I'm sure things like this do happen in places outside Ohio. And we would be disgusted no matter where it happened. But this is the one we know of.

As for the guy talking about the soapbox, first off, how is voicing my opinion on something I think is wrong claiming "morol authority." I would venture to guess that a VAST majority of people who see that story will feel the same way. That's not moral superiority, that's an expectation, or at least a hope, that the laws apply evenly.

Also, you imply that I'm not even supposed to comment on it until I do something about it. But isn't publishing this post and shedding light on it doing something in some small way? Since I don't live anywhere near Kenton, OH this is the best I can do. Would you like me to call for a boycott of Kenton HS games? Ok, fine. Everybody from Kenton who reads this, show your disgust and don't go to the games this fall. I sure won't.

There, do I know have a right to voice my opinion or is that still too "soapboxy"?

The Great CliffX said...

Ohio sucks. Columbus is cool, but boy, does O-H-I-O B-L-O-W

CaliGirl said...

Laettner Stomp,

I don't think TO has done anything illegal, I was referencing his behavior...it seems no matter how horrible athletes act, we will still reward them with multi-million dollar contracts.

I apologize if I didn't make myself clear.

Anonymous said...

In Michigan, at Farmington Hills Harrison high school, the school that produced Drew Stanton, running back Marcus Woods of Mizzou, and countless other standouts along with 12 state championships, just kicked off its starting QB for drug possession on a team picked to win the state title, and a couple years back shut down their star running back for a whole year because he was .1 point below the minimum gpa, so you Ohio backers should quit trying to work around the fact that a judge just said taking away the lives of 2 people is worth 120 total days of 2 others....wait a minute, i just read the article. Yost, your a moron. They did get fairly punished. I mean, they had to write a 500 word essay on "Why I Should Think Before I Act". 500 is a lot of words to people in Ohio.

Anonymous said...

I take it tosu has already offered the two a scholarship?

Yost said...

Anon 8:47am,

Yeah, sorry to say, but gossip on talk radio doesn't mean much in my opinion. I would think if that was even remotely true, it would have come out in at least one of the legit news articles.

Anonymous said...

You think this is a legal travesty try this on for size. A district court judge in North Platte Nebraska recently sentenced a man to three months in county jail for raping a little boy. The guy should have done the 10-15 that the crim warrants. The judge said that because the accused was under 5 feet tall he wouldn't stand a chance in prison and therefore shouldn't be sent to the state penn. At least the kids father only has to wait three months to get his hands on this guy. The accused had prior sex offenses and was somewhere around 50 years old.

Anonymous said...

Whaaaat...the...fuuuuuhhhh...?

Wow. I hope these kids aren't seriously thinking about playing football after this? Please tell me they've decided to quit in disgrace?

CrimeNotes said...

Not that this is any, any, justification for the judge's sentence, but it looks like, in fact, alcohol and marijuana may have been factors in the crash. At one point there was a motion to suppress evidence about the extent to which the driver was under the influence. Article available here.

I agree with the comments that the 60-day sentence is a bigger travesty than postponing the jail term.

the evil one said...

Interesting that the Lima article points out that Judge Gary McKinley was retired (must have come out of retirement for some reason) and that he knows the family of 1 of the 5 teens.

Shouldn't knowing the family of any of the teens been reason enough for him not be involved in the trails?

- Enrique

Anonymous said...

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

yost 7:31am, there you go.

again, not that this makes it any more heinous a decision, but there's always another side to the story & each side should be broadcast so each can come there own conclusion

Anonymous said...

also, possibly a little sidenote should be added to the main story on front page of the blog.

maybe not?

CrimeNotes said...

Why would a sidenote be warranted? Just because something you heard on talk radio happened to be right? His post wasn't about the dangers of intoxication, it was about an unjust sentencing decision. Whether the driver was sober doesn't related to football's impact on criminal sentencing. Way to lose sight of what matters.

Anonymous said...

i'd imagine yost will see things differently. he seems very level headed and would, if history has any impact, want all the 'facts' posted in the story.

again, this isn't to lessen the horendous injustice that the decision amount to.

just another 'turn' in the story.

we'll see

Anonymous said...

Again...who cares? I think its safe to say that Ohio and Michigan have more jus about everything in common and not much of it is all that good. Focus on your football team Michigan fans. You got some serious worries there. This whole diatribe--mostly from the comments--makes Michigan fans look like ND wannabees.

Anonymous said...

I agree that you need to see all the facts. If a 15 year old girl goes to a party, starts drinking and smoking and such, and gets raped, yes its a HUGE deal that she got raped and said rapist should be sentenced to the harshest extent of the law. BUT you do need to mention the fact that a 15 year old girl was drinking and smoking. The 2 victims in this case are not at fault for what happened, but it does need to be said whether or not they were intoxicated while driving. Does it make what the kids did in any way shape or form acceptable? Heck No. But the facts have to be presented .

CrimeNotes said...

What a bunch of non-sequiters and claptrap. Too bad I left my original comment.

Anonymous said...

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
||||||||||||||

boo hoo!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I agree that you need to see all the facts. If a 15 year old girl goes to a party, starts drinking and smoking and such, and gets raped, yes its a HUGE deal that she got raped and said rapist should be sentenced to the harshest extent of the law. BUT you do need to mention the fact that a 15 year old girl was drinking and smoking. The 2 victims in this case are not at fault for what happened, but it does need to be said whether or not they were intoxicated while driving. Does it make what the kids did in any way shape or form acceptable? Heck No. But the facts have to be presented .

August 17, 2006 8:22 PM

-----

I'm sorry for being off topic (to an extent), but your analogy about a 15 year old girl being raped after a night of drinking/smoking is imperfect.

If the drivers of the car that had the accident were driving under the influence and at a high rate of speed, then were injured as a result of the prank, then they are responsible for choosing to get behind the wheel of the car in a compromised position, which happens to be a crime. IF that's true (not sure where it says this), then it actually does makes the pranksters less culpable for their injuries. Presumably they didn't mean for anyone to get hurt--they just thought they were being funny (as stupid teenagers often do). If the drivers weren't under the influence, they might have had better reaction time and avoided the accident in the first place.

A girl who has been out partying and who is raped, however, is the victim of a violent crime by a person who deliberately chose to assault her. Yes, she is also in a compromised position because she is intoxicated, which makes her an easier target for attacks, but she is a totally innocent victim. One should be able to be in a vulnerable state and not have to worry about being assaulted. Raping a drunk girl is no different than sexually molesting a child or a senior citizen in a nursing home--a drunk girl is a vulnerable person. Getting drunk may not be a smart thing to do, but it's not a crime.

Anonymous said...

Well there's the kicker, it is a crime. Underaged drinking is a crime, anmd shouldnt just be brushed off. Does this make the rapist right in any way shape or form? Absolutely not, but it still needs to be stated. It is in no way comparabnle to molesting a young child because that child is 100% innoscent, while this girl is already in the act of wrong doing anqd is indeed PUTTING HERSELF in a vulnerable position.