THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo
BONO, Ohio - A single count of murder has been filed in Ottawa County Municipal Court against the man accused of killing his father, stepmother, and stepbrother Sunday.
The one count is enough to hold William J. Liske, 24, until the case is presented to a grand jury, Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan said at a news conference Monday morning.
The suspect is scheduled to be in court at 2:30 p.m. Monday and is expected to be transported back to Ottawa County later that day.
He is accused of killing his father, William E. Liske, Jr., 53; his wife, Susan M. Liske, 46, and Mrs. Liske's son, Derek L. Griffin, 23, at their home along State Rt. 2 in Ottawa County's Benton Township near the Lucas County line.
Ottawa County Sheriff Detective George Byington said during a Monday morning news conference that the suspect's stepbrother Devon Griffin, 16, had spent the night at his father's house and came home Sunday morning to change his clothes for church.
Det. Byington said Devon saw his stepbrother and then left for church. He said it is possible but not known whether or not the family members were already dead at that point.
It was when Devon arrived home from church that he noticed something was suspicious in the home and went to the Liskes' bedroom, where he found his mother deceased.
He then called his aunt, who came to the home and placed a 911 call to authorities.
The story below is the original, and more detail is included
BONO, Ohio - Three family members were found dead Sunday in their two-story home along State Rt. 2 in Ottawa County's Benton Township near the Lucas County line, and a suspect later was apprehended in Carroll County in east-central Ohio, authorities said.
Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton identified the victims as William E. Liske, Jr., 53; his wife, Susan M. Liske, 46, and Mrs. Liske's son, Derek L. Griffin, 23.
Deputies were called to the scene at 1:57 p.m. Sunday. About 3 1/2 hours later, William J. Liske, 24, was arrested by Carroll County sheriff's deputies in a family cabin in that county's Perry Township, about 170 miles away in east-central Ohio.
Mr. Liske, who is a son to William E. Liske and a stepson of Mrs. Liske, was held last night in the Carroll County jail. Ottawa County detectives were processing an arrest warrant last night for three homicide counts, Sheriff Bratton said. Court records list Mr. Liske's most recent address as a motel at 3230 Venice Rd., near Sandusky.
Carroll County Sheriff Dale Williams said no weapons were recovered during the arrest, but warrant applications had been made to search the cabin and a pickup.
The murder weapon has not been identified, but the sheriff said a preliminary examination by Ottawa County Coroner Jerome McTague indicated that the deaths appeared to have been caused either by gunshot or by a blunt object.
Carroll County Sheriff Williams said his agency received an alert describing the suspect and his truck at about 2:50 p.m. that listed the family cabin on Poker Road as a site to which the suspect might flee.
The sheriff's office dispatched two patrols to the area and one of the deputies spotted the suspect's pickup. The suspect, Mr. Liske, came out of the cabin and surrendered without resistance, Sheriff Williams said.
The victims' bodies had been found by another son of Susan Liske, Devon Griffin, 16, who had arrived after spending the night elsewhere, the sheriff said.
Initially unaware of what had happened, young Griffin went to a bedroom to play video games.
When he discovered his mother's and stepfather's bodies, he first thought the scene was a joke left over from a Halloween party in a barn at the house Saturday night. Then, Sheriff Bratton said, he realized it was all real.
The Liskes lived on about 100 acres at 7054 State Rt. 2 with their two-story farmhouse set back about 200 feet from Route 2.
The bodies of the elder Mr. Liske and Mrs. Liske were upstairs and Derek Liske's body was found downstairs, Sheriff Bratton said. Sheriff's Sgt. Kent C. Davis said there was no clear evidence of a struggle and all three victims were found in their beds.
No information about a possible motive for the slayings was released, but both the sheriff's office and court records indicate the younger William Liske had repeated run-ins with law enforcement that included both jail time and mental health treatment.
"There was enough [evidence] presented to officers here that we knew he was someone we wanted to talk to right away," Sheriff Bratton said.
Sergeant Davis said authorities had been summoned numerous times to the Liske residence because of disturbances involving the younger William Liske.
"We've got a lot of history out here," Sergeant Davis said. "He's got a violent past."
The younger William Liske has faced a series of criminal charges in courts including Oregon Municipal Court, Lucas County Common Pleas Court, and Sandusky Municipal Court.
On Dec. 29, 2004, when he was 19, he was charged in Oregon Municipal Court with felonious assault and robbery stemming from an incident in which he allegedly struck his stepmother with a coffee cup and then took her car keys.
At the time, he was ordered to have no contact with her. Mr. Liske was indicted in January, 2005,, in Lucas County Common Pleas Court with one count of felonious assault and two counts of robbery, both second-degree felonies.
Two months later, Mr. Liske was found incompetent to stand trial on those charges and a not guilty by reason of insanity plea was filed on his behalf.
In September, he was found competent to stand trial, but the next month, the state dropped the charges.
This year, a series of misdemeanor counts have been filed in Sandusky Municipal Court against the younger William Liske, mostly for disorderly conduct.
Mr. Liske pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct in both April and June, with the first case handled as a minor misdemeanor and the second as a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
In August, an obstruction of justice charge against him was dropped, but Mr. Liske was found guilty yet again of disorderly conduct. Sergeant Davis said Mr. Liske had an outstanding arrest warrant in Oregon for assault at the time of the slayings.
The slayings were the first homicides in Ottawa County this year, and before a murder last year the county had gone nearly eight years without a homicide, he said.
Blade staff writer Jim Sielicki contributed to this report.
Contact Jane Schmucker at: