Letter to the editor
Chris Dunham, PDT Sports Writer
I am the mother of Jennifer Holsinger. She is the mother of three children, and a widow as of July, 12, 2012. I was outraged when my son-in-law was shot dead with precision markmanship by a young businessman over a claimed debt. Steven Holsinger was gunned down in front of my daughter as a result of two businessmen coming to my daughter and son-in-law’s home and harassing them.
On July, 12, 2012, Robert Staker and his son, Tyler, came to my daughter’s home and began engaging in harassment, menacing and taunting of Jennifer and Steve. Inside the home were three children, a newborn, three year-old and a nine year-old. The Stakers would not leave. They had no legal right to be upon the property. This was not a repossession because the Stakers had no lien, the debt was disputed and they had no court order.
I presumed that this would all be brought out into the open, but I now feel foolish for relying upon Mark Kuhn and the Scioto County Prosecutor’s office. Mark Kuhn was asked if he would explain to the grand jury the Stakers did not have a lein or security interest in the lawnmower. He was asked to explain to the grand jury the Stakers had no court order or legal right to repossess my daughter’s lawnmower. He was asked to explain to the grand jury that had the Stakers taken the lawnmower, they would be stealing. Mark Kuhn expressed that he was not going to turn this into a repossession case.
Three elements of self defense must be met and if they cannot be proven, the self defense argument is not available. Tyler Staker did not meet the three elements and is not entitled to the claim of self defense. He created the situation. He could have retreated.
Obviously Mark Kuhn did not want Tyler Staker indicted. Who testifies before the grand jury is the prosecutor’s decision. Why would the grand jury not be informed Bob Staker and Tyler Staker had no right to “repossess” this lawnmower. Why allow Tyler Staker to come and cry before the grand jury when Mark Kuhn knew he was not entitled to a self defense instruction? Mark Kuhn knew that the relationship my daughter and deceased son-in-law had with the neighbor witnesses was antagonistic. There was a large pickup truck owned by the Stakers parked directly between the two houses and it was pitch black outside. Clearly, Mark Kuhn knew that what he was presenting to the grand jury was not going to lead to an indictment against these businessmen. Could Mark Kuhn obtain an indictment on “reckless homicide” at the very least?
Mark Kuhn was asked before the grand jury met to emphasize the fact the Stakers had no right to be on the property. Mark Kuhn was asked to emphasize Tyler Staker and Bob Staker had no right to repossess anything because they had no security interest or lein.
This is a huge injustice and grief Jennifer, myself and Steve’s parents suffer cannot be described by words. Then, with the facts set forth above, to have the Prosecutor’s office instill confidence and belief in me that Tyler Staker will be indicted for intentionally trespassing onto my daughter’s property and killing her husband and then have Mark Kuhn intentionally sabotage the proceedings is gut wrenching.
I want to thank the Portsmouth Daily Times for covering this senseless killing and reporting to the best of its ability. It is not the Daily Times’ fault Mark Kuhn did not choose to inform the grand jury or newspaper of the fact the Stakers had no lein/security interest. The Stakers were trespassing. Assuming the Stakers had a right of repossession (which they did not), a legal repossession must be done without a “breach of peace.” The Daily Times was not informed that Tyler Staker had no right to claim self defense or that the neighbors were not credible witnesses. Mark Kuhn, a trained and licensed attorney, knew these things.
I cannot tell you why Mark Kuhn handled this case as he did nor can I tell you why the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office did not arrest Tyler Staker. I do not wish this episode on any other family in our community and hope those involved do some serious soul searching.
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