July 29, 2014

Elyria
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Judge OKs ministry visits by elder Petric to son

ELYRIA — A county judge has ruled that a Wellington pastor whose wife was allegedly killed by his son can act as his son’s minister, but anything the two discuss is admissible in court.

Common Pleas court Judge James Burge ruled Thursday that the Rev. Mark Petric can have contact with his 16-year-old son, Daniel, in jail, but confidentiality agreements normally recognized between clergy and inmates would not apply.

“The court holds that such visits cannot be protected by the privilege afforded in (the Ohio Revised Code),” the ruling states.

County Prosecutor Dennis Will filed a motion Wednesday asking Burge to deny a request by Daniel’s lawyer, James Kersey, to allow Mark Petric to visit.

“One of the reasons was because we didn’t want what they said to each other to be confidential,” Will said.

Kersey also asked that Daniel’s $1 million bond be reduced. Burge has not ruled on that.

Daniel is accused of fatally shooting his mother, 43-year-old Sue Petric, and his father the night of Oct. 20. Mark Petric, 45, spent 27 days in the hospital.

Daniel allegedly told his parents to close their eyes because he had a surprise for them just before firing a 9mm handgun he took from his father’s gun case, according to Will’s motion. He then placed the weapon in his father’s hand, the motion states.

Will said Daniel had been arguing with his parents about how he was being raised and had moved out of his family’s Brighton-Township home, where the shootings took place.

Contact Adam Wright at 329-7151 or awright@chroniclet.com.