'It was self defense'

Woman tells her side of story in assault case
Cary Ashby
Mar 24, 2014

Lora Garcia wasn't convicted of an assault, but she wants to tell her side of the story.

"Lies and accusations is what this is based on," the Plymouth woman said.

Garcia alleged two Huron County sheriff's deputies lied in various reports during their investigations. She said authorities denied her an interview, written statement and "photos of bruises on my legs."

"They denied me my rights so they could get it (the case) to the law director," Garcia said.

Also, she said the sheriff's office changed its policy on releasing the recording of her speaking to a deputy. The phone conversation happened during the investigation.

"It was no longer public after they said it was public," said Garcia, who accused Sgt. Todd Corbin of committing several "cover-ups and lies."

Garcia had called the sheriff's office and asked how she could obtain a copy of her phone conversation with a deputy. She was told she needed to submit a written request.

"A week later is when Patrick said it was no longer public," Garcia said, referring to Chief Deputy Ted Patrick.

Garcia said a call with Sgt. Tod Wagner lasted 28 minutes and was the time when she gave her statement of the facts, but the deputy's report indicates Garcia "immediately terminated the phone call."

Garcia was charged with felonious assault in connection with an Oct. 18 incident at the Willard American Legion. The case originally was filed in Norwalk Municipal Court, was presented to a Huron County grand jury only to have grand jurors transfer the case back to municipal court for possible prosecution on a misdemeanor assault charge.

Ultimately, Garcia was charged with two counts of assault. Both charges were in connection with incidents involving Jessica C. Blue, 27, of Willard and another woman. Authorities said Blue was being "loud and boisterous" and "somewhat combative."

"The tried to hand me a plea deal without hearing my side. Nobody wanted to hear anything from me," Garcia said.

The cases were dismissed March 5 -- one week before a Norwalk Municipal Court hearing was scheduled.

"They had insufficient evidence to convict me," Garcia said. "I had 20 witnesses against their two supposed victims."

"No one wanted to hear from me," she said again, but deputies reportedly didn't give her a reason.

Norwalk Assistant Law Director Scott Christophel outlined why he dismissed the two assault charges.

"The defendant provided some discovery to the state," he said, referring to about 18 witnesses for Garcia.

Christophel said 10 of the witnesses provided written statements in which they corroborated Garcia's story that Blue and the other woman instigated the situation. He said the witnesses reported the other women started the situation and Garcia was defending herself.

"Jessica Blue was highly intoxicated," Christophel said. "There was not enough evidence to convict (Garcia)."

 

The initial investigation

Sheriff's dispatchers received an anonymous 9-1-1 call at 12:18 a.m. Oct. 18 about two women accused of fighting at the Willard American Legion. Deputies responded to 3096 Ohio 99 and first contacted Blue.

"She was bleeding from the head and had a cut on her eye. She said she was hit by a beer bottle," Patrick told the Reflector soon after the incident. "She (Blue) was inebriated and somewhat combative."

The chief deputy said witnesses filled in some gaps for the suspected sequence of events and they reported there was an altercation between Blue and Garcia in which Garcia reportedly hit the other woman with a beer bottle.

"The altercation started over Miss Garcia's ex-boyfriend (whom) Miss Blue was showing some interest in," Patrick said.

Blue went to Fisher-Titus Medical Center for treatment of her injuries. She received 12 stitches to her face near her temple.

Garcia said Blue made up the allegations about the boyfriend and being hit with a beer bottle.

"Boyfriends didn't have anything to do with this. No boyfriends -- no beer bottles," Garcia said.

By the time deputies arrived, Garcia had left the American Legion.

Three days after the incident, prosecutors filed a felonious assault charge against Garcia. Judge Erie Weisenburger issued a warrant for her arrest.

Garcia was in Port Clinton on business when a deputy came to her house the first time. When a deputy arrived later, she was sleeping when her daughter answered the door.

"They made it look like I was running," Garcia said.

Sgt. Wagner is quoted in a report saying the only way to interview Garcia was by issuing an arrest warrant.

Garcia turned herself into the sheriff's office at 11:06 a.m. Oct. 23. She was transported to the Huron County Jail, where she was released upon posting a $20,000 bond.

While the case was pending, Garcia was prohibited from having any direct or indirect association with Blue.

"She convinced the cops she needed a protection order," Garcia said.

Soon after the incident, she said Blue sent her "30 separate texts" which reportedly were threatening.

"She was just harassing me," Garcia added.

 

'Self defense': Defendant's POV

Garcia was at the Willard American Legion with her two daughters, 18 and 23, and her niece Oct. 18.

"I avoided the girls all night. They were taunting me," Garcia said, referring to Blue and the other woman.

"I wasn't expecting any kind of fight. ... We tried to avoid them all night even though they were taunting me," Garcia added.

The first woman confronted Garcia when she was outside of the American Legion speaking to other people.

"She put her finger on my nose. I smacked her hand away," Garcia said. "She (then) ran inside the building. ... Everyone heard her screaming."

Blue then "came out screaming" while three men held the door closed to keep her inside, Garcia said, and she eventually pushed the door open.

"She was longing to get out," Garcia added. "She ran at me and hit me."

Garcia backed up twice when Blue reportedly tried to hit her. It was during the second attempt that Garcia took action.

"I immediately wrapped my hand around her hair and down she went. I held her there until she calmed down," Garcia said.

Garcia said she eventually let go of Blue once she stopped kicking and thrashing and Blue's boyfriend then grabbed her by the feet to a chainlink fence about 20 feet away.

"He tried to calm her down by smashing her in the face," Garcia said, referring to Blue's face hitting the fence.

Garcia suspected those are the injuries that resulted in her being charged with felonious assault.

"But the cops made it that way. They wanted it that way," she said.

"I had to go back inside. She (Blue) looked like someone murdered her; that's what witnesses said," Garcia said, adding that witnesses reported Blue had blood splattered on her face.

Garcia said if deputies had listened to her side of the story, they would have arrested Blue and the other Willard woman.

"There were no ramifications; it was self-defense," Garcia said.

Comments

Everyone is fam...

Well she's had plenty of time to concoct a story line. If she was so convinced she was innocent surely an attorney would have made sure her side was heard, whether paid for or public defender. There were many witnesses that confirmed she was the aggressor and apparently she's been known to act out this way many other times, usually due to jealousy over men. So not worth it.

erleuchten

Sounds like Lora has a lil' penile envy a goin on.

JakeMac25

"...surely an attorney would have made sure her side was heard, whether paid for or public defender"

Thank you, I needed a good laugh. Haha...public defender! You've obviously never been in trouble in this area.

Everyone is fam...

You're right. I tend not to act like a douche bag to the point of needing arrested or an attorney. She owns a business, so if the public defenders in the area suck at life, she should have paid for an attorney. Especially as strongly innocent as she feels.

KURTje

Lora you are a ******* & **********. Officer Corbin is NOT a liar. But again you are ******* & ** too.

JakeMac25

I'm not saying that anyone lied or didn't lie. Obviously someone did lie or the outcome would had been differently. With that said, I don't think people understand how this system works. Officer Corbin (even though it wasn't him in the article), along with every other officer you've ever met, sadly enough has probably lied. As an officer they can legally lie. There ARE certain times when they have to tell the truth, like when they're under oath. Other than that, the US Supreme Court ruled that police can use lies and deceit during a criminal investigation. Its not always a bad thing,even though it might not seem like it is. If they told a drug dealer that they were an officer before making a controlled buy, the controlled buy wouldn't take place.

Here is an attorney (that looks like an ambulance chaser) explaining it;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E...

Prosecutors, can legally lie too.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Connick v. Thompson virtually gives license to prosecutors to lie, fabricate or withhold evidence, since they apparently can’t be held accountable for knowingly or intentionally sending an innocent man to prison and even death row.

It said Officer Tod Wagner, not Officer Corbin.

hambone

PEOPLE WILL NEVER BELIEVE SOME LAW ENFORCEMENT IS CROOKED!

VerbalKint

Some in law enforcement are crooked; Sgt. Corbin is not.

ladydye_5

The key word in your statement is SOME law enforcement are crooked. SOME are not. I will add to your statement that in todays society it is getting hard to try and defend the are nots. But there are still some that are NOT.

VerbalKint

Corbin was doing his job, and the sky would have to turn green before that man would purposely act unethical, immoral, or negligent.

hambone

Very nice to read that.

Everyone is fam...

And if it were such a trying evening of being taunted and harassed, a normal person would probably have left or asked for the others to be removed. Lora loves confrontation and drama. She thrives on it and always has. What's the saying..."doth protest too much"?

jkjka1978

Well said! You must know her very well.

dontcare

Not to criticize anyone but why weren't statements taken from witnesses before the arrest. The officers statement about the only way to get a statement from the defendant was by getting a warrant is not a reason to get a warrant. If Garcia came up with 10 statements on her own, law enforcement should have gotten those prior to the point of arrest. Regardless if Lora likes confrontation it appears she was falsely accused and arrest, in this particular case. I don't think this is indicative of the Sheriff's department's work but there appears to be a lack on investigation in this case, causing a huge injustice.

Kottage Kat

Taking lessons from Sandusky County, perhaps?

NWalk99

I am happy the newspaper has done this article. Police fabrication and corruption is on the rise - and everyone deserves to be heard. if there is a phone call that 28 minutes long and the report says it was terminated immediately - to me - that shows deceit on law enforcement side. I am not saying the accused did nothing wrong, but do believe she deserves to be heard. We innocent people being released every day that have spent decades behind bars for being wrongly accused and sentenced. Until we stand up for our rights to law enforcement, we will continue to be robbed of them.

rickross2

I thought the NSA had EVERY phone call stored somewhere? That recording is somewhere. If they won't produce it, there's a reason for it you can bet on that.

jkjka1978

This lady Lora could not tell the truth if her life depended on it. No matter what happens to her it is always someone else fault, and she will lie to make everyone believe that. She loves Drama. Every time she says something the story changes, because she can not remember the lie she said before. And it is always someone's out to get her. I have heard from several people the story about what happened that night, and it is not what Lora is saying here. She always says the cops are out to get her. And it is always I am being taunted and harassed. Wonder what will be her Drama next Week?

Yall Make Me Sick

Lora, I'm glad you got to tell your side of the story. Good job girl!!!

yogi bear

She had me up until the time she said Todd Corbin lied! He is one of the very few trustworthy people at that dept. I would never trust any of the upper levels of that administration or the "detectives".

VerbalKint

Exactly!

Everyone is fam...

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

dontcare

Ok, I don't know her and she might be all those things you say, however she has 10 written statements saying she is innocent. Unless all 10 people are lying for this lady, who apparently isn't well liked something is wrong. I have absolutely nothing against the Sheriff, in fact, I think they do a good job, I believe this will be investigated and a determination will be made if anyone dropped the ball, if so learn from it and move on. Not to minimize anything but mistakes that are learned from are called experience.

jkjka1978

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

BBgunn

because some of those 10 people that wrote out statements weren't even there.

rickross2

Such a sweet thread to read. All these women are trash if you ask me. I couldn't ever imagine my mother out fighting in a bar at 12:30 am. SMDH.........You ladies need to grow up and quit acting like children. Have a little class and self respect for Christ sake!

NWalk99

The law is not supposed to discriminate. Without gathering information from all involved - this reeks of a bias decision. Innocent until proven guilty is the first phrase that comes to mind. People truly need to wake up. If you liked the person - you would be arguing for their constitutional rights. Put aside the emotional aspect (feelings towards the girl telling the story), and no matter how you look at it - her right to be heard was violated.

jkjka1978

Yes it is her right to be heard, but we are only hearing her side of the story, We do not know that happened, this is her everyday life, she says this about everything, so it is hard to believe her. Another day in her life. That is what I am saying. I can't believe a word she says. If she was discriminated against, more power to her,And YES she needs to be heard, but she has always said that in everything that goes on in her life. You can call wolf, just so many times. Then?

Everyone is fam...

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

jkjka1978

AMEN!

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