Three of the four charges filed against prominent Jackson area resident Ancil Cross have been dismissed in Jackson County Common Pleas Court because a judge agreed they failed to meet the statute of limitations.
Cross, who is a long-time Jackson City Board of Education member and the owner-operator of Cross and Sons Farm Equipment near Jackson, had faced four charges as a result of an indictment by a grand jury.
Cross was indicted February 8, 2012 following a lengthy investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, which focused on a series of hateful and derogatory unsigned letters sent to multiple persons associated or connected with the Jackson City School District.
Those charges against Cross included a felony-level charge of Intimidation, two misdemeanor-level charges of Aggravated Menacing, and one misdemeanor-level charge of Menacing.
However, in a hearing conducted Wednesday afternoon, October 24, in Jackson County Common Pleas Court, the assigned judge in the case, William Corzine of Ross County, ruled the three misdemeanor charges should be dismissed because they failed to meet the statute of limitations.
A statute of limitations is an enactment in a common law legal system that sets the maximum time after an alleged event in which legal proceedings based on that event may be initiated.
Defense attorney Justin Skaggs of Jackson had filed a motion with the court to dismiss the three misdemeanor charges, arguing that the alleged acts which resulted in the indictment occurred more than two years before the indictment was issued.
For many crimes and situations, the statute of limitations is typically two years, and Skaggs noted the Cross indictment referred to alleged acts which occurred in a time frame of October through December 2009. Thus, this period was a little more than two years before the February 2012 indictment.
On the other hand, the indictment for Intimidation referenced alleged acts which occurred in the time period of November 2009 through January 2010, part of which, at least, is within the normal 2-year time period for the statute of limitations.
The state, which was represented by attorneys Matthew Donohue and Sarah Schenck of the Ohio Attorney General's Office, argued the Cross case fell under allowable exceptions to the statute of limitations, including that Cross is a public official and used his office in committing the crimes.
The case against Cross is scheduled to go forward with the one remaining charge of Intimidation still intact. Trial dates have been set for Monday through Wednesday, December 17-19.
Judge Corzine was assigned to hear the Cross case after Jackson County Common Pleas Judge Leonard Holzapfel recused himself April 3.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office stepped in to the case during the criminal investigation phase when former Jackson County Prosecutor Jonathan Blanton asked for the assistance of the Special Prosecutions Unit of the state office. Donohoe and Schneck have been involved with the prosecution of the case since the indictment was sought.
Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013
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I have known mr. cross all my life & he has allways been a very kind considerate man who would never do any thing to hurt any one or do any thing in that nature. These Alligations toward Mr. Cross are just nieve in who ever started them. Personally I think the Sheriffs Department should have done more investigating before they they accused an outstanding citizen like Mr. Cross.