There's an old saying -- attributed to both William Penn and William Ewart Gladstone -- that "justice delayed is justice denied."
And we have all seen and heard of trials that drag on forever or take months, even years to get finished.
Well, I think this trial in Medina County is in the running for some kind of record.
According to the Medina County Gazette, the trial of Kenneth Alex Grad, 43, of Lakewood, was continued Tuesday for the 20th time.
Grad is accused of brutally abusing his infant son. According to Medina County Common Pleas Court records, Grad was arrested July 16, 2008; was arraigned July 18, 2008; had his first trial date scheduled for Sept. 15, 2008; and his first (of many attorneys) attorney Jay Milano asked for the first continuance on Sept. 3, 2008.
Milano then withdrew as Grad's attorney on Oct. 1, 2008. Milano was just the first of at least 10 attorneys listed in court records.
This latest continuance was at the request of Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier, after Collier watched Grad, who is now representing himself with a court-appointed "stand-by" counsel, start the jury selection process.
According to the Medina County Gazette, on March 20, Grad asked Collier to delay his trial because he did not want to represent himself and was "placed into this position" because his latest attorney -- Youngstown attorney Dennis A. DiMartino -- was ill.
Now Collier has set a new trial date -- Sept. 8, 2014, almost six years to the day when the first trial was scheduled.
Court records show the trial date changes are because of plea changes, a judge's recusal, an attorney illness and because he's had at least 10 attorneys who each needed time to prepare before going to trial.
Ten attorneys? TEN ATTORNEYS?
This guy may or may not be guilty of what he's been charged with but he didn't commit the crime of the century. Grad, of Lakewood but formerly of Montville Township, is still charged with five counts of endangering children, three second- and two third-degree felonies, and three counts of second-degree felonious assault.
If found guilty on all, he could be in prison for 30 years.
What did he allegedly do? Police say he abused his month-old son's body in May 2008, lacerating the infant's scrotum and breaking more than two dozen bones. And what about Grad's wife through all this? Well, court records show Laura Grad was convicted of similar charges in a trial in 2009.
Court records show she was sentenced to five years in prison, but an October 2012 appeal dropped one of her convictions and reduced her prison time by two years. The Medina County Gazette says she was released from the Marysville Reformatory November 2012 and is on parole until 2014.
Know that the boy is now with foster parents.
There is no way for me to figure how much has been spent on this trial so far and I am not suggesting that Grad not be tried. But at some point, doesn't someone -- state, local, whatever -- step in and get things moving? I am a patient woman and I have been a lady-in-waiting but there comes a point when you have to realize that no one is promised a tomorrow.
Can someone step in and get this moving?
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