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A Florida man wanted in connection with a decade-old murder case in Huron County was denied a motion that would have prevented his extradition back to Ohio and will meet before a local judge this week.
Joshua W. Stamm, 36, of Sneads, Fla., and two local men are accused of the 2003 murder of Michael Sheppard Jr., whose body was never found.
In January, Stamm filed a motion to prevent his extradition back to Ohio for the trial. It appeared they succeeded when he initially signed an extradition waiver, meaning he agreed to be extradited to Huron County. However, the motion was denied and Stamm is scheduled to appear before the judge for his arraignment at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Huron County Common Pleas Court.
He is charged with two counts of murder and aggravated robbery.
The other suspected co-defendants — Scott Hall, 44, of Clyde, and Adam White, 34, of Sandusky — were arrested soon after being indicted in May 2017.
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.
Stamm has said the state of Ohio doesn’t have sufficient evidence to prosecute him for the suspected murder and is violating his rights by trying to extradite him. He argued the state can’t prove Sheppard is dead since his body hasn’t been found. He also implied Sheppard was an informant and may be in the witness protection program, court records stated.
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.
Sheppard, of Perkins Township, was last seen alive in Huron County nearly 15 years ago — May 8, 2003. He was 34 years old at the time.
The case languished for years with no arrests and no closure for the family. Over the years, several area law enforcement agencies contributed to the investigation, including the Erie County and Huron County sheriff's offices and the police departments in Huron, Kelleys Island, Norwalk, Perkins Township and Sandusky. In 2009, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office took over the investigation.
Authorities and the Sheppard’s mother have said they 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.
There was a seven-day search for his remains at Rattlesnake Creek in 2010. The area is just inside Huron County near the Erie County line. The crew, after having searched five different locations of water using sonar, left the area May 5, 2010.
Specialized teams and cadaver dogs were unable to locate Sheppard’s body, which remains missing to this day.
Stamm, Hall, and White each were indicted in 2017 in connection with the murder.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sandusky Register reporter Michael Harrington contributed to this story.