Lucas County prosecutors have offered to negotiate a plea agreement with the mother of an East Toledo toddler whose death was ruled a homicide and with the mother’s boyfriend before the case is presented to a grand jury, court records show.
“... If plea negotiations are going to occur prior to seeking an indictment, time is now of the essence,” Robert Miller, chief of the special units division for the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, wrote in a letter dated Friday to attorneys for Angela Steinfurth and Steven King II.
Mr. Miller also advised Pete Rost, who represents Mr. King, and Jane Roman, who represents Ms. Steinfurth, that he was sending them copies of the coroner’s report and two anthropologist reports concerning the remains of 18-month-old Elaina Steinfurth.
The coroner’s office last week declared her death a homicide and found that she had sustained “nonaccidental trauma,” including five bone fractures.
While declining to comment specifically on the homicide case, Mr. Miller said Wednesday it’s not unheard of to negotiate a plea agreement before a case is presented to a grand jury.
“A lot of it depends on the nature of the case, the evidence that has been accumulated against the defendant or defendants — the strength of the case,” he said, adding, “Sometimes it’s better to negotiate at the early outset.”
Mr. Miller said prosecutors at times engage in preindictment talks with defense counsel when there are evidentiary concerns in a case.
Both Ms. Steinfurth, 25, of 329 Valleywood Dr. and Mr. King, 23, of 704 Federal St. are being held in the Lucas County jail on a charge of obstructing justice, accused of lying to police about the disappearance of Baby Elaina in June.
Her decomposed remains were found in a box inside a garage at the Federal Street address in September.
Mr. Miller said he hopes to see indictments against the pair “in the near future,” but said that would depend on whether plea negotiations take place first.
Both Mr. Rost and Ms. Roman declined to comment.