Date: 1993-08-04


August 4, 1993
Tom Beyerlein
Greene County Prosecutor William Schenck on Tuesday filed an emergency motion in juvenile court asking for a ruling on whether four adopted children should remain in the home of a Cedarville family where four other children have died.

"We're urging the court to act immediately," Schenck said. "We have four children who have already died in a home, for whatever reasons. I think it's critical we get this thing decided immediately." He said he hopes to arrange a conference call this morning with the attorneys in the case of Timothy and Kathleen Carroll and Judge Richard T. Cole, the retired Clark County judge who has been appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to decide the custody issue.

The Greene County Children Services Board has requested temporary custody of the four children remaining in the Carroll home: James, 17; Isaiah, 11; Hosea, 10; and Samuel, 5.

Schenck said Cole could rule on the custody motion based on the written pleadings, or request a hearing. A hearing had been set for Aug. 24, but Schenck's new motion asks for a decision within 24 hours.

"I think there could be problems in getting it decided in 24 hours," Schenck acknowledged, because the new judge will have to become familiar with the history of the case.

John Rion, the Dayton attorney representing Kathleen Carroll, said he would demand a hearing on the custody issue.

"It would be unfair to get a new judge and have him sign an order that the old judge, who had total familiarity with the case, refused to sign," Rion said.

Greene County Juvenile Court Judge Robert A. Hagler removed himself from the case Friday because of "innuendos" about his objectivity in the matter. Hagler has repeatedly refused to remove the children from the home.

Four other adopted Carroll children, ages 3 to 12, all severely handicapped, died under suspicious circumstances between Sept. 21, 1992, and June 14, 1993.

A coroner's inquest into the deaths is to continue Thursday. Schenck said officials hoped to serve subpoenas late Tuesday on Timothy, Kathleen and James Carroll, ordering them to give additional testimony at the inquest.

All have testified before, but investigators wanted more detail about when and where the children died.

"I anticipate grand jury review of some matters in the Carroll case in the not-too-distant future - probably within 30 days," Schenck said.

The prosecutor's motion on the custody question includes references to scientific testimony from the inquest indicating the four deaths were suspicious.

Hannah, 6, died of bleach burns over 27 percent of her body. The family told authorities she spilled the bleach on herself, but an expert testified last week that isn't possible.

Experts also testified it is possible the other children - Noah, 3; Mollie, 3; and Josiah, 12 - could have been smothered.


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