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Murder suspect argues against extradition

Michael Harrington • Updated Jan 28, 2018 at 4:53 PM

NORWALK — A Florida man wanted for a decade-old murder case in Huron County filed a motion to prevent his extradition back to Ohio for a trial.

In May 2017, a grand jury indicted Joshua Stamm, 35, of Titusville, Fla., and two local men for the 2003 alleged murder of Michael Sheppard Jr. whose body was never found.

The local men — Scott Hall, 44, of Clyde, and Adam White, 34, of Sandusky — were arrested soon after the indictment. Their trial is scheduled for Feb. 6.

When U.S. Marshals arrested Stamm in Florida, they found a concealed handgun in his possession. He is serving a three-year prison sentence in Florida after he pleaded guilty to charges of possessing a weapon under a disability and carrying a concealed weapon.

The Ohio Attorney General’s offices tried securing extradition back to Ohio when he was arrested so Stamm can stand trial in Huron County.

It appeared they succeeded when Stamm initially signed an extradition waiver, meaning he agreed to be extradited to Huron County, but he is now fighting the extradition attempts.

On Tuesday, he filed a habeas corpus motion to argue Ohio doesn’t have a right to detain him, Ohio attorney general spokesman Dan Tierney said. 

In the motion, Stamm said fraud was committed by “judicial officials” when obtaining his extradition waiver, which he claims has now expired, according to Jackson County court records.

He also claims the state of Ohio doesn’t have sufficient evidence to prosecute him for the alleged murder and is violating his rights by trying to extradite him.

Stamm argued the state can’t prove Sheppard is dead since his body hasn’t been found. He also implies Sheppard was an informant and may be in witness protection, court records stated.

The state of Florida has until Feb. 6 to respond to the motion. If the state rules in Stamm’s favor, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office can then argue its case for extradition.

A cold case

Sheppard disappeared in May 2003 just before Mother’s Day. Perkins police originally believed the disappearance to be a missing person case.

The case languished for years with no arrests and no closure for the family. In 2009, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office took over the investigation.

Authorities believe Sheppard was killed in a drug dispute in Huron County. They ran extensive searches at the property where they believe Sheppard was shot and buried.

Specialized teams and cadaver dogs were unable to locate Sheppard’s body, which remains missing to this day.

Stamm, Hall, and White were each indicted in 2017 for the alleged murder.

Reach reporter Michael Harrington at [email protected], follow the Register at Facebook.com/SanduskyRegister

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