Licking County makes probation and early release changes after Kirkersville shooting

NEWARK, OH (WCMH) — NBC4 is asking questions after a Licking County Municipal Judge let Thomas Hartless out of jail early after multiple domestic violence incidents.

Thomas would later kill his girlfriend Marlinda Madrano, Kirkersville Police chief Eric Disario, and her co-worker Cindy Kranz last weeks after his release.

In the documents, it stated, after a thorough review of the facts, authorities identified multiple areas of concern surrounding Hartless’ release.  For example, it states the general unit probation officer failed to give community resource information to Ms. Medrano on 5/5/17 that could have helped her stay safe.  Documents also state the judge or the ISP probation officer did not order a “no violent contact order” or a “no contact order” with the victim.

The document also states the general unit probation officer failed to give community resource information to Ms. Medrano on 5/5/17 that could have helped her stay safe.  Documents also state the judge or the ISP probation officer did not order a “no violent contact order” or a “no contact order” with the victim. According to the documents, the ISP officer did not read all three incident reports pertaining to Mr. Hartless’s domestic violence incidents nor were any court documents reviewed except for two incident reports.

The investigation found a number of other areas of concern leading up to the shooting.

Tap here to read the entire document.

According to the document, a three-tier system of checks and balances was implemented, effective Wednesday.

Under the new procedures, offenders eligible for early release will have their case reviewed by a probation officer. The offender will then be interviewed at the jail by the probation officer. The case will then be reviewed by a senior probation officer or director. The case will then have a formal hearing before the presiding judge in the case.

The court also plans to implement the following standards when dealing with domestic violence cases:

  • Administer a lethality risk assessment on all victims of Licking County Municipal Court domestic violence cases if the offenders are eligible for early release. This would be done prior to release from the jail. If the offender is not incarcerated the assessment would be administered prior to the probation intake appointment.
  • Administer a Domestic Violence Inventory (DVI) on all domestic violence offenders placed under probation supervision with the Licking County Municipal Court Adult Probation Department prior to early release from the jail or at the probation intake appointment.
  • All domestic violence cases would have a no violent contact order or a no contact order with the victim in the case imposed by the Court or the Court’s Probation Department.
  • All offenders placed under probation Supervision with the Licking County Municipal Court Adult Probation Department for domestic violence would be ordered to complete a domestic violence treatment program. They would also be ordered not to possess Weapons.
  • Within 7 days after the initial probation intake appointment, the Supervising probation officer would complete a home contact on the offender to specifically search for weapons. If weapons were found, they would be confiscated and referred to the City of Newark Law Director’s Office.
  • Mandatory for all domestic violence offenders placed under probation Supervision with the Licking County Municipal Court Adult Probation Department to wear a GPS monitoring device in appropriate circumstances.
  • A community resources letter would be prepared by the Probation Department secretarial staff on every victim in domestic violence cases where the offenders were placed under probation Supervision with the Licking County Municipal Court Adult Probation Department. These letters would list community agencies that may be able to help them. These letters would be mailed to the victims within 15 days after the offender is placed under probation Supervision.
  • Continued training would be provided to the Licking County Municipal Court Adult Probation Officers regarding policies/procedures/processes of the department and the Court, regarding the ORAS-CST, and regarding the Court’s computer system.
  • The Licking County Municipal Court Adult Probation Officers would be required to perform home contacts on all offenders under probation Supervision if they receive a complaint of violence.

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