April 23, 2014

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Defense seeking delay in Dembie murder case

William Dembie Jr. of Grafton Township appears in court in 2011. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

William Dembie Jr. of Grafton Township appears in court in 2011. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

ELYRIA — Attorneys for accused killer William Dembie Jr. have asked Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski to delay the scheduled Dec. 3 trial of their client because they want more time to counter a report prepared by a prosecution expert.

J. Anthony Rich, one of Dembie’s attorneys, said he needs more time to examine the findings of an expert that would challenge a defense report that focuses on allegations Dembie himself may have been a victim of battered spouse syndrome and his state of mind at the time he allegedly killed his wife, Holly Dembie.

William Dembie was a Lorain County Jail corrections officer when he allegedly stabbed his wife multiple times with a combat knife on Aug. 11, 2011.

Following the killing, William Dembie called the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office and reported that he had beheaded his wife. A blood-soaked William Dembie surrendered to deputies when they arrived at the couple’s Grafton Township home.

Investigators have said that William Dembie attacked his wife inside the house and she fled before plunging out of a second-story bathroom window. William Dembie then allegedly went outside and stabbed Holly Dembie twice in the neck and slit her throat twice.

Rich said Monday that the prosecution’s report went beyond providing a balanced review of Dembie’s claims that he was abused by Holly Dembie, allegations her family has vehemently denied. Rich said the report crossed the line into advocating for the prosecution.

“This is a complete railroad job,” he said.

Rich said he needs until early next year to have his own expert review the prosecution report, which is not a public document, and prepare a response.

County Prosecutor Dennis Will, however, said that the prosecution report would be used only to challenge the findings of the defense expert. Prosecutors have argued that the defense expert, Kenneth Gruenfeld, isn’t qualified to testify in the case.

Assistant County Prosecutor Tony Cillo said that it’s not as simple as putting off the trial for a few months. He said prosecutors have other cases to prepare for and also worried that if Betleski grants a delay it could touch off a cascade effect of delays in which both sides seek additional time to review new expert reports.

Rich countered that the aggravated murder and murder charges his client faces in the case could send him to prison for the rest of his life and in the interests of justice, a delay should be granted.

Betleski said he will review the prosecution report and make a ruling today.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.

  • Joe Smith

    If you are being abused, file for divorce. She or he beats you once shame on her/him if you are around for the second time, shame on you.

    That is if the accusations are true.

    • FireFlyJAM

      What if you get abused so badly, fear of getting abused even worse, clouds your judgment and causes severe trauma, prevents you from acting sensibly and leaving? Still shame on me ?

      • FireFlyJAM

        I’d like to test this proposal on the three people who thumbed up your comment.

        • Joe Smith

          Why because they have common sense?

          Being traumatised like that would take at least some time and multiple incidents and if you leave after the first time or hint of an abusive issue that won’t happen.

  • Mark B

    If they delay the trial , he should be moved to a real prison and not held at lorain county jail by his friends and former co-workers. Is this not a conflict of interest. Is it not against policy for CO’s to befriend inmates?

    • FireFlyJAM

      Yeah, that makes sense. I’m sure his former co-workers cuddle him all the time. After they found out he killed his wife. And after finding out how he did it. And them being high school drop outs and all. And after finding out why the sky is really blue.

  • Ray Venn

    In the name of justice?

    He calls 911 and claims to have beheaded his wife but we’re interested in justice for him?

    He should do us all a favor and do what Ariel Castro did…of course in the ne of justice though.

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    This is absolutely ridiculous. This monster relinquished all rights when he brutally murdered his wife. Enough with the shenanigans, it’s time to put this dog down.

    • Joe Smith

      He gives up his rights when CONVICTED not accused.
      So put the dog down after he is convicted.

      • Larry Crnobrnja

        I’m all for innocent until proven guilty; give him his day then put him down.

        Of course I don’t believe he’s denying he killed her, so put the dog down NOW.

  • Don Grantzki

    How is this not a death penalty case? This rat was twice as big as his victim and if Rich can’t pull a rabbit out of the hat, he should be getting the hot shot.

  • Macdaddyoh

    Beheading a person is straight hate for that person. One place you can experience that kind of hate is thru the prison system. Although correction officers go home after their shift, they’re in a way, in prison. Everyday 10 to 12 hour shifts. This correction officer is a product of his environment. No excuse! He cut a humans head off! Put him down like a sick dog.

  • Jamie Smith

    This is a crime this man hasn’t been taken to trial yet,, Justice for Holly Dembie and her Family. That Lady jumped from a 2nd floor window to get away from the EVIL man. He needs to sit on death row…..

  • grannyof6

    This Evil Devil is a former CO, I doubt he is in with the general population as the criminals hate CO’s so he’s protected and privileged by his own kind. Fair? Oh hell no, put him in with the rest of the murder’s and rapist then I’ll bet he’ll want his trial to get going asap. He should have been charged with Capital Murder and on his way to Death Row a long time ago. Sick, mental bast—! Hang him high so his victims family can move on and raise his child. No sympathy here.

  • Sandra Dembie

    If a genie mysteriously appeared…despite my initial wish for millions…I would defer to wish that Bill and Holly NEVER met!! These two were initially attracted to one another but they had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!!! IN COMMON!!! NORTHING!!!!

    • Brandon Light

      I’m sure you’re not alone in wishing they had never met.

      • Sandra Dembie

        I know I’m not… As a matter of fact,.. I think everyone knew that such a mismatched pair should have never been put together. a hippie county girl and a Marine Equals MISMATCH!!! I know it doesn’t look good but I shall advocate against opposites hooking up from here on out

        • Brandon Light

          Yes, murderers and non-murderers will never properly match for the good.

        • disqus_jxTTHGzcf2

          DISFUNCTIONAL vs. LOVING BALANCE=Mismatch resulting in murder

    • Jen

      Sandra, obviously they had nothing in common. He is a lazy, dark, sick psychotic murderer and she was one of the best people I have ever known with a smile that could easily light up the darkest times of my life. So, nothing in common is right.

      • Brandon Light

        Couldn’t have said it any better myself, Jen!

  • Zen Grouch

    **J. Anthony Rich, one of Dembie’s attorneys, said he needs more time to
    examine the findings of an expert that would challenge a defense report…**

    Translation: *This sick puppy still has money, so we, as responsible attorneys, need more time to up the billable hours so this sucker goes to jail penniless.*

    • disqus_jxTTHGzcf2

      Evidently two and a half years isn’t enough time to dig up enough dirt.