Thanks to the persistence of his legal team, Jeffrey Wogenstahl has successfully accessed what is asserted to be the full and complete Harrison Police Department file on his case. Until May 2016, most of this information had been withheld from him by both the Harrison Police Department and the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office.
The extent of the potentially exculpatory and impeaching evidence in the file is astonishing. Examples are given near the beginning of a motion filed on Friday*:
- Both the victim’s mother, Peggy Garrett’s, and brother, Eric Horn’s, memories were improperly refreshed via hypnosis by a Patrolman with the Harrison Police Department [who was neither qualified to hypnotize nor independent];
- The victim kept a diary in which she wrote the following concerning her life and her mother: “I hate myself. I hate my life. I hate my classmates. . . . Sometimes I just feel like running away or killing myself. . . . Just yesterday before I came to school my mom beat me she was punching me in the back. She just would not stop”;
- The police received reports that the victim’s mother may have sold the victim to an individual to whom she owed money for drugs;
- The victim’s brother [Eric] had stated that he hoped the victim was dead and lied about his whereabouts on the evening in question;
- Bruce Wheeler, the State’s jailhouse informant, lied when he testified that he did not receive any consideration for his testimony against Wogenstahl;
- Wogenstahl drove a brown sedan at the time of the murder. An eyewitness saw a small red vehicle at the time of the victim’s disappearance in the immediate area where her body was found;
- The victim’s mother frequently held parties at her residence at which illegal drugs where rampant and the mother permitted the male attendees to inappropriately touch the victim;
- In May 1991, the victim had been attacked by a male (Wogenstahl was incarcerated during that time);
- In the summer prior to her death, an adult male stalked the victim including standing outside her bedroom window;
- The victim’s mother and brothers were actively involved in the sale and possession of illegal drugs;
- The victim’s brother, Justin Horn, lied to the police concerning his whereabouts at the time of the victim’s disappearance and murder;
- The blood found in Wogenstahl’s apartment was consistent with his testimony that the source of the blood was his cat;
- The prosecution proceeded on the theory that Wogenstahl abducted the victim from her bed in the early morning hours. However, the victim was wearing her “church clothes” when her body was found instead of her pajamas.”
Jeff has a separate, but related case (Case No. 1995-0042), where he explains that his trial should not have been held in Ohio. The motion filed on Friday is for Case No. 2016-0423, in which Jeff has previously asked for a new trial, based on the flawed hair evidence presented at his trial.
Friday’s motion announces his intention to file yet another application for a new trial, based on the suppressed evidence in the police files. Based on the extent and impact of the suppression, it is unimaginable that the court will refuse. We trust that, at long last, justice will be done.