Sandusky Murder: First victim's father speaks out

7:35 AM, Sep 12, 2012   |    comments
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FOSTORIA, Ohio -- Robert Keckler somehow knew this day would come. 

"Might have surprised some people, but didn't surprise me," he said.     

The man who killed Keckler's 18-year-old daughter Misty is accused of killing again. 

Curtis Clinton, 41, is charged with strangling Sandusky mother Heather Jackson, 23, and her two children, Celina, 3, and Wayne, 18 months. 

The murders last Saturday happened six months after Clinton's release from prison for the death of Misty Keckler.

In 1997, Keckler's body was found strangled in a bathtub full of water inside a Fostoria mobile home.  Her hands and feet were bound with cord. 

At Clinton's murder trial, his defense called the death a "sexual misadventure." Prosecutors accepted a plea deal and Clinton was sentenced to 13 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

"It was a plea bargain, but no one ever told me about a plea bargain," said Robert Keckler. "If they would have done what they should have done to begin with, guess what? The mom and two kids would be alive today."    

Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson did not return phone calls from Channel 3 News. 

However, he told the Toledo Blade newspaper: "We prosecuted the case as diligently as we could." 

He added that no one could have foreseen what happened in Sandusky.

Meanwhile, Sandusky police say circumstance kept them from arresting Clinton for a rape that happened just four days before the murders. A 17-year-old accuser balked at pressing charges against Clinton.

"We didn't talk to him initially because of her fear of retaliation," says Lt. John Orzech. "We really didn't have anything concrete to lock him up and incarcerate him without her pressing charges."

Clinton now faces aggravated murder charges. A grand jury meets next week to determine whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

Robert Keckler says he hopes justice once denied will finally be served.

"The man deserves to die," Keckler said. "He should have died when he killed my daughter."


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