September 16, 2014

Elyria
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57°F
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Jonathan Rosenbaum is shot

AMHERST TWP. — Former Chief Assistant County Prosecutor Jonathan Rosenbaum was in critical condition Saturday night after being shot in the back while skeet shooting at a local gun club.

The incident happened about noon Saturday at the Sportsmen Gun & Reel Club on Middle Ridge Road, where Rosenbaum, 54, was skeet shooting with his two sons.

He was taken to Amherst Hospital and was later flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where he was listed in critical condition late Saturday, according to a nursing supervisor.

Rosenbaum

Lorain County Sheriff’s Capt. Rich Resendez refused to release many details about the case, other than to confirm that it was Rosenbaum who was shot and that deputies aren’t looking for a suspect.

He said deputies plan to interview Rosenbaum today about what happened.

But others in the law enforcement community — many of whom worked side-by-side with Rosenbaum when he was the lead prosecutor during county Prosecutor Greg White’s long tenure — said he was shot by one of his sons at close range with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Rosenbaum’s family declined to comment Saturday.

For years, Rosenbaum’s name was associated with the major criminal cases in Lorain County — he was the prosecutor who handled nearly all the politically difficult or headline-generating cases.

Rosenbaum unsuccessfully prosecuted former Lorain Police Chief John Malinovsky after accusing him of trying to curry special favors for his daughter.

He handled the controversial Head Start case, which resulted in two people being sent to prison, although questions have since been raised about how the investigation was conducted.

He also was farmed out for his expertise — being tapped as a special prosecutor in Youngstown, a position he served in for a year before being dropped from the job by a visiting judge after he refused to hand over evidence to defense attorneys as required by that county’s courts.

In 1987, Rosenbaum was named outstanding assistant prosecuting attorney for the state by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association.

In 1990, he received special recognition from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for coordinating and prosecuting an interstate gun-running ring.

Over three years, 22 people were prosecuted, hundreds of guns were confiscated in New York, and drug dealers’ assets were forfeited in Lorain and Ottawa counties.

Rosenbaum worked for White from 1981 until he resigned from White’s staff in 2000. He is now in private practice and maintains an Elyria office.

Robert Rousseau, who earlier this year stepped down as head of the Lorain County Republican Party, said Rosenbaum was a great asset to the Republican White’s staff.

“He’s tenacious,’’ Rousseau said. “He was — for a long time — ‘the man’ over there (in the prosecutor’s office.)’’

Contact Jason Hawk at 329-7148 or jhawk@chroniclet.com.