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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Ottawa County Common Pleas Court Judge Bruce Winters will grant a request to have William J. Liske, Jr., 24, undergo an evaluation to determine if he is mentally competent to stand trial.

Liske’s attorney, Adrian Cimerman, informed the court Wednesday he intended to file a motion requesting the evaluation. He entered pleas of not guilty on behalf of Liske, who’s been indicted on charges of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery of three family members.

During Liske’s arraignment, Judge Winters set bond at $3 million and informed Cimerman he’d approve his motion for the evaluation.

Liske is charged with killing his father, William E. Liske, Jr. 53; his wife, (the younger Liske’s step-mother) Susan Liske, 46, and her son. Derek Griffin, 23, at their home along North State Route 2 in Benton Township.

Their bodies were found by family members on Oct. 31 and Liske was apprehended later that day in Carroll County.

Except for responding to questions from the judge about his employment and financial status, Liske sat silent during his arraignment and showed little emotion. Judge Winters declared him indigent and eligible for a court-appointed attorney.

Judge Winters read each count in the indictment, which includes six counts of aggravated murder.

 

Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan, in a prepared statement, said Liske is charged with one aggravated murder count for each victim and another count for each victim because the alleged murders were committed during an aggravated robbery.  The murder counts for Liske’s father and step-mother include firearm specifications.

Each count could result in the death penalty being imposed. Liske could also be sentenced to life in prison without parole, or parole after 20, 25, or 30 years in prison if he is found guilty.

Attorney Gary Kohli, Oak Harbor, has been appointed guardian for Liske and Toledo attorney John Thebes has been appointed co-counsel for the defense.

Liske was originally charged with one count of murder in Ottawa County Municipal Court and held on $1 million bond until evidence could be presented to the grand jury.

His case was transferred to the common pleas court after he was indicted by the grand jury. He is being held in the county detention facility.

Ken Egbert, of the Ohio Attorney General’s office, is assisting the prosecutor’s office in the case.

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