July 31, 2014

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Dembie sentenced to 20 years to life for wife’s slaying

William Dembie listens as the judge reads his sentence. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

William Dembie listens as the judge reads his sentence. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — A member of Holly Dembie’s family angrily tried to charge her killer just before William Dembie Jr. was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

Other family members were able to restrain the man and force him out of the courtroom of Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski.

Dembie was convicted of murder and other charges in the case following a two-day trial earlier this month.

Cherly Foldes, Holly Dembie’s mother, called William Dembie “evil” and a “monster” for killing his wife rather than ending their estranged marriage as her daughter had wanted.

“She died in fear and hopelessness,” Foldes said of her daughter’s unheard calls for help as William Dembie stabbed her to death in August 2011.

“I can’t understand how and why I did what I did,” Dembie said later during a lengthy speech.

Dembie went after his wife with a KA-BAR combat knife during an argument at the Grafton Township home. She tried to flee out a second-floor bathroom window and fell to the ground outside. Dembie told deputies he went outside and killed her before calling to report he had almost beheaded her.

Dembie said he hadn’t planned to be alive when deputies arrived. But he stopped short of getting a pistol after thinking about his children.

He said living rather than committing suicide was the harder choice.

Read Tuesday’s Chronicle for more on this story.

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    Dembie blamed Holly, even in his speech at the sentencing. Betleski was a fool for allowing this animal to live.

    • Razorback Twou

      Betleski had no choice, the guidelines didn’t allow for the death penalty in this case. Your energy would be better spent to change laws you don’t agree with. I’m sorry for her and her family also but we are a country of laws. 20 to life is a long time to think about what he did (or didn’t do). God would have no problem reaching Dembie where he will be. Forget him.

      • Larry Crnobrnja

        Don’t be silly (you were trying to be silly, yes?). There was sufficient evidence for the judge to find him guilty of aggravated murder; Betleski chose to judge him guilty of the lesser charge of murder. I explained this to you at least once before, please try to keep up.

        • Razorback Twou

          I’m sorry, where did your law degree come from? One more time, he CAN NOT be given death under the law! Your opinion does not change that. Opinions are like as$holes, everybody has one, Yours, in this case, doesn’t matter.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            If Betleski had found him guilty of aggravated murder, he could have imposed the death penalty. Do you agree or disagree with that statement?

            I get that Dembie was a friend or relative of yours, but don’t let that get in the way of sound reasoning.

          • Razorback Twou

            Never met or even seen the man. As to the question, I’m not certain that an aggravated murder automatically carries the death penalty. I thought the prosecutor had to show extenuating circumstances to win the death penalty in Ohio, such as a police officer was killed. Dembies use of a weapon while committing a felony may fall into that category. The killing, stabbing, and D.V. terrible as they are,may not fit the death penalty criteria. I’m not up to speed on the facts of the case nor do I wish to retry the case here. I do know that what he WAS found guilty of doesn’t merit he death penalty in Ohio. That, my friend, is the law. That is my point. If Betleski had found him guilty of being a terrorist, maybe, but he didn’t. If he was found guilty of serial murder, maybe, but he didn’t. If he was found guilty of child molestation, maybe, but he didn’t. If, if, if. If my grandmother had wheels would she be a wagon?

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            2903.01 of the Ohio Revised Code describes the requirements for an aggravated murder conviction.

            “(A) No person shall purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the death of another…”

            The prosecution apparently argued there was sufficient time for pause between the initial “impulse” act and finally the fatal attack.

            Of course the judge is given the discretion to rule (just like that moron in Texas who gave the 16 year old probation based on Affluenza) and the constitution gives us all the right to voice our disapproval of the judge’s ruling. I’m merely exercising my right to point out this judge is a disgrace, in my humble opinion.

            You can research the penalty phase by yourself.

          • Elisabeth1981

            I have to agree. In Ohio you can earn the death penalty by: murder for hire, Killing of a child or law enforcement officer, killing of one prison inmate by another, murder involving serious offenses like rape and kidnapping, killing of a crime witness to prevent testimony.

            It is also the prosecutor’s job to ask for that punishment if the above happened.

            I would have to do more research but wasn’t Dembie also charged with kidnapping?

            I have to wonder if Holly ever called the police on William. I know he was a law enforcement officer and she might’ve been afraid they’d take his side over hers.

            Having had domestic violence in my family I know the importance of calling the police and pressing charges and having a paper trail. Again I can understand why she would’ve been afraid to do so. Laws need to change.

  • Kelly Cooper-Ludwig

    I hope he dies a brutal death in prison. Nothing but a piece of garbage in my book!

    • luvmytoaster

      Thank you Kelly – you expressed my thoughts exactly – what a piece of trash! I hope that the other inmates give him what he deserves…..a slow death………

  • Klynk117

    This monster doesn’t deserve our thoughts any longer. The energy should be spent on remembering Holly and praying for young William.

  • Don Grantzki

    “He said living rather than committing suicide was the harder choice.”
    Just thinking about himself, again. It may seemed that way to the rat. But the rest of us who will be forced to provide food and shelter for him for the next forty years or so, disagree. I used to think that providing for the horde of illegal aliens would be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
    But now, I feel it will result from the decisions of our public parasites which will do us in.

  • pray for justice

    He lied again, after he murdered Holly, William Dembie got a flashlight and a gun. He went through the woods and came into my home. We were at the movies and he went upstairs looking for us. Every light was on in our home and a winter coat was lying in the hallway leading to the upstairs. The coat was left formed in the shape of a tripod. It is evident that he did not plan to kill himself but instead came to our home to cause more death and loss of lives.