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Published: 1/17/2007

Attorney in caged kids case seeks new trial

BLADE STAFF

NORWALK, Ohio An attorney for the Huron County parents who were convicted of abusing their 11 adopted children by forcing some of them to sleep in cages said today he has filed a request for a new trial, based on a missing report from the state and possible perjury.

Kenneth Myers, one of two attorneys for Michael and Sharen Gravelle, said he filed the request with the Huron County Common Pleas Court as part of an earlier motion asking Judge Earl McGimpsey to overturn the jury s verdict. Michael and Sharen Gravelle, who were on trial for forcing some of their 11 adopted children to sleep in homemade wire and wood cages, were each found guilty last month of child endangering and child abuse.

The Gravelles were each convicted of four felony counts of child endangering, two misdemeanor counts of child endangering, and five misdemeanor counts of child abuse. Each was acquitted of 13 charges. Sentencing is set for Feb. 12.

Mr. Myers said today that the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services investigated the county agency in November 2005 and faulted the Huron County department for several violations. The lawyer said the jury should have been allowed to weigh that report as part of the evidence.

He also cited allegations by Margaret Kern, the ad litem attorney for the 11 Gravelle children, that members of the county department perjured themselves during the trial.

Mr. Myers said a hearing on his request is set for 10 a.m. on Jan. 25.

Read more later in The Blade and online at toledoblade.com.



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