‘Marlina’s March’ honors victim of Kirkersville shooting, calls for change

NEWARK, OH (WCMH) — Friends of Marlina Medrano organized a march and rally in downtown Newark Thursday to raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence.

Medrano was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend Thomas Hartless in Kirkersville May 12. Medrano had filed several charges of domestic violence against Hartless.

Police say Hartless killed Medrano, Cindy Krantz and Kirkersville Police Chief Eric DiSario before turning his shotgun on himself.

About 75 people attended the rally on what would have been Medrano’s 47th birthday.

Kim Littlejohn says the system for handling cases of domestic violence in Licking County must change.

“Mistakes are made, Rules aren’t followed, people die,” Littlejohn said. “Something’s got to change in the good-old -boy way things are done down here.”

Brandie Phillips says she and her son were victims of domestic violence and that the system was too lenient on her abuser.

“The laws have got to change,” Phillips said. “They’ve got to take this more seriously because every day for almost three years of my life I watched my back.”

Judge Michael Higgins has acknowleged that in the case of Thomas Hartless, mistakes were made, not all procedures were followed and new procedures are now in place.

Darla Scaffide, one of the organizers for Thursday’s event, says changing procedures while also acknowledging procedures weren’t followed is not good enough.

“I’m happy that he accepted his responsibility in this because make no mistake – I hold him responsible and I know a lot of others do,” Scaffide said. “They need to know that we are going to hold them accountable and we don’t think these new procedures are going to matter if they’re not going to follow procedures.

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