Hours after he allegedly choked his girlfriend several times, Thomas Hartless walked into Ohio’s Licking County Municipal Court Probation Department and was not told he had to stay away from her. It is just one of several lapses in protocol and judgment in the case of the man who shot and killed Kirkersville Police Chief Steven DiSario, nurse aide Cindy Krantz and nurse Marlina Medrano before taking his own life last week, reports the Newark (OH) Advocate. Judge Michael Higgins said new procedures have been put in place after multiple errors were made in the release of Hartless on April 11. He had served less than three weeks of a 90-day jail sentence Higgins issued on March 23.
Higgins’ review examined the case in its entirety, starting with the first charge of domestic violence filed against Hartless in December. An investigative report by probation director Kevin Saad, identified several issues with the handling of the case. Those included lack of checks and balances on the early release process, the fact that an early release recommendation fell solely on the shoulders of the interviewing probation officer, that no hearing was held on the matter and that no input was sought from Medrano, who filed the domestic violence complaints against Hartless.