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Lab results delay accused murderers' trials

By Tandem Media Network • Updated Dec 10, 2018 at 10:53 AM

The trials for two men accused of the murder of Michael Sheppard Jr. in 2003 have been delayed as the court awaits lab results.

Scott D. Hall, 46, of Clyde, and Adam J. White, 36, of Sandusky, each face charges of murder and aggravated robbery. The case is being prosecuted by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Their jury trials were scheduled for Tuesday in the Huron County Common Pleas Court, but both have been pushed back to March 5.

“Some laboratory test results are still pending, which caused the trials to be rescheduled,” said Jill Del Greco, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.

Sheppard’s remains were never recovered, but in October the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations conducted a search for his body just outside Norwalk. It’s unknown at this time if the lab results are related to the search or on human remains.

“We cannot provide any additional comment at this time,” Del Greco said.

Perkins police initially investigated Michael Sheppard Jr.’s disappearance in May 2003 as a missing person’s case, but it was eventually turned over to the bureau in 2009.

When agent Tom Brokamp took over the investigation, Sheppard’s family had spent years feeling ignored by law enforcement whose apathy toward the case let the trail go cold.

Brokamp spent years investigating and eventually came to the conclusion that Sheppard was killed during a drug dispute at a home near the Erie-Huron county line.

His investigation led to the indictments of Hall, White and Joshua W. Stamm, 37, of Florida, in May 2017.

In October, Stamm accepted a plea agreement, pleading guilty to a reduce count of involuntary manslaughter and providing investigators with details on what happened the night Sheppard was killed.

Common Pleas Court Judge James Conway sentenced him to the recommended sentence of three years in prison to be serve at the same time as his sentences for unrelated weapon charges in Florida.

Three days after Stamm’s conviction and sentence, Oct. 25, authorities were digging in the area of Fox Lane — a private road located off U.S. 250 between Norwalk and Milan, just south of the Erie County line. The Norwalk Reflector witnessed a BCI team using a small excavator to dig up an area covering about 60 yards in a ravine off Fox Lane.

Spokespersons for the Ohio Attorney General’s office could not confirm they were searching for Sheppard’s body, but Texas Equusearch were called in and confirmed on their website that the search was for his remains.

Milan resident Rosalie Gottwald is the mother of Sheppard.

“They are still waiting for some DNA results, but not from the dig,” Gottwald told the Reflector on Friday when asked about the excavation work.

“No one believes he (Sheppard) was even buried there,” she said. “The experts don’t believe he was buried there and the family doesn’t believe he was buried there.”

The victim’s mother declined to elaborate, but said she doesn’t believe authorities found anything.

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