PDT Staff Writer
Family and friends of a man shot to death Thursday night gathered at the Scioto County Courthouse Monday morning to protest that no arrest has been made in that shooting. Steve Holsinger, 33, of 9550 Old Gallia Pike, Wheelersburg, was reportedly shot by Tyler Staker, 22, of Portsmouth, who, along with his father, Robert Staker, had gone to Holsinger’s residence to repossess a piece of equipment that was purchased from their business they say had not been fully paid for.
According to the sheriff’s report, Staker and his father had been at the location for over an hour knocking on the door in attempts to get Holsinger to return the equipment. The report goes on to say Holsinger came out onto the porch at approximately 10: 20 p.m. with a gun in his hand and very upset.
A witness told detectives that he did put the gun into his pocket for a short time, then got upset and pulled out the gun telling Staker and his father they had three seconds to get off his property. Holsinger then reportedly raised the weapon pointing it at Staker’s face. It was then, according to the report, that Tyler Staker shot the deceased several times.
No arrest was made leading to Monday’s protest.
“I’m here to get justice for Steve,” Holsinger’s mother-in-law, Connie Reynolds, said, standing on the steps of the courthouse. “There’s a wrong way and a right way to go about handling when money is owed. And they took it into their own hands when there is collection agencies – there’s other means to go around that instead of what they did. He was a very, very kind man and I don’t honestly believe that he would have pointed a gun at anybody’s face ever.”
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said deputies followed the normal protocol.
“We consult with the (Scioto County) Prosecutor every time we have a homicide, and that was the guidance given by our County Prosecutor,” Donini said. “We consulted with our County Prosecutor, and he knew what evidence we had at that time, and he preferred, based on the evidence that we had, mainly because they (Stakers) are alleging self defense. I can’t dispute it. I wasn’t there, and we have no other witnesses to say otherwise.”
“I think they shouldn’t have let them go to begin with,” Reynolds said. “I was there that night. I was on my phone. My husband heard them (deputies) reading rights, so I figured, yeah, that guy’s gonna go to jail.”
Reynolds said her daughter told her the Stakers were banging on the house’s air conditioner units to the point she thought the glass was going to break, and that is when Holsinger went out.
“My first question to her was, ‘why didn’t you call the law?’” Reynolds said. “But you don’t think about stuff like that. You don’t think nothing like that is going to happen. But they (Stakers) wasn’t scared. They went there with a gun, after dark, banging on all of their stuff outside.”
Holsinger’s nephew, Roy Parker, read a prepared statement.
“I just want to say that my three little cousins have lost their father, and will never be able to let him hold them ever again. I also want to say I love my uncle a lot. He helped me in my bad times, and now he is gone. I just hope he can see this where he is now,” Parker read. “But Uncle Steve, if you can see this, thank you for the help and I love you. God bless you all.”
Donini said the case is not over and the investigation is continuing.
“We are preparing what evidence we have right now, and we’re getting ready to take it over to (Scioto County Prosecutor) Mark (Kuhn) so he can be on board with what we actually have in hand,” Donini said. “I’m sure he’s going to wait for the autopsy (by Montgomery County). Then, we did what is called a gunshot residue test. It will take a while to get them back. The Prosecutor’s office is going to get a partial report today (Monday). When he is going to present it I don’t know. I’m sure he is going to sit down with our people and he’s going to review any video statements that we have received from witnesses or people that were involved.”
In a call to Robert Staker Monday the Times was referred to Attorney Rick Faulkner. A call to Faulkner last Monday afternoon was not returned at press time.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org