Gravelles ask for more time, again

Date: 2007-08-30

HEATHER CHAPIN-FOWLER

The court reporter hasn't finished transcribing the lengthy trial held late last year, said attorney Ken Myers, who represents Sharen Gravelle.

Depending on how many pages the transcripts include, the cost could range between $8,000 and $10,000, he said.

"If they were sitting in prison, I'd have a big problem with it," said Myers. But, Myers and the Gravelles are being patient as the court reporter has other responsibilities to handle in addition to preparing the transcripts, he said.

The Gravelles "are OK. It's still some good days and some bad. The time the process takes sometimes frustrates them, but they know the process takes a long time," Myers said.

The Clarksfield Township couple was granted a bond that keeps them free from their two-year prison sentence while the appeal of their convictions for four felony and two misdemeanor counts of child endangering and five misdemeanor charges of child abuse is pending.

The conviction stemmed from their treatment of 11 adopted children who were ages 1 through 14 when they were removed from the Gravelle home.

Authorities said the couple forced some of the children to stay in "cages" made from wooden slats surrounded by chicken wire.

They were also accused of other forms of mistreatment such as forcing a child's head in the toilet.

If the court grants the couple another extension, they will likely get another 30 days to file the transcripts.

Meanwhile, the Gravelles are leaning on donations solicited from the public to pay for both their legal expenses and attorney fees, said Myers.

Their two homes on St. John Road were for sale until recently, but were taken off the market so they could apply for a home equity loan, which was denied, said Myers.

The Gravelles were stripped of their parental rights in Huron County Juvenile Court before their criminal trial and have lost or been denied appeal hearings on the state level.

The Gravelles haven't decided yet whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The deadline to file that appeal is Sept. 20, said Myers.

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