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AG's Special Prosecutions Team Secures Justice in Northwest Ohio Cases


(COLUMBUS, Ohio)  — The Special Prosecutions Section of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office secured justice in three felony cases since the weekend, reinforcing the breadth of expertise and assistance that the office provides local law enforcement agencies.

The AG’s Special Prosecutions Section seeks to offer prosecutors statewide the resources necessary to consistently excel in their work. Seasoned prosecutors from the section are appointed to cases on behalf of the local prosecutor, typically when a conflict exists or additional expertise is needed.

“When appointed by a county prosecutor, our Special Prosecutions team steps in and steps up for victims,” Yost said. “And when we step up, we don’t stand down.”

The three cases recently handled by the section – one each involving murder, public corruption and rape – were based in northwest Ohio counties:

Champaign County

On Friday, a decade-old cold-case homicide ended in the conviction of Josiah Mathews of Springfield.

Mathews assaulted 87-year-old Louis Taylor on Oct. 24, 2011, in Taylor’s home in Urbana before stealing his vehicle. Taylor died of his injuries on Nov. 17, 2011.

A Champaign County Common Pleas Court jury found Mathews guilty of two counts of murder, aggravated robbery, robbery, felonious assault, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and tampering with evidence. He will be sentenced on Jan. 20, 2023.

The case was investigated by the Urbana Police Department and Yost’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

Auglaize County

 On Saturday, an Auglaize County Common Pleas Court jury found former Wapakoneta Mayor Tom Stinebaugh guilty of theft in office, a fifth-degree felony; having an unlawful interest in a public contract, a fourth-degree felony; and three counts of conflict of interest, each a first-degree misdemeanor.

Stinebaugh was sentenced to 18 months in prison; the sentence was stayed pending appeals.

Stinebaugh’s mayoral duties were previously suspended under Ohio Revised Code 3.16, which authorizes the suspension of a public official who has been charged with a felony in a state or federal court when the felony relates to the performance of the official’s duty. Under R.C. 2961.01, Stinebaugh’s felony conviction would prohibit him from holding public office.

The case was investigated by BCI and the Ohio Ethics Commission.

 Crawford County

On Monday, in Crawford County Common Pleas Court, Galion resident Jason Tupps, 47, was sentenced to 5 to 7½ years in prison after being found guilty of rape. Tupps must register as a Tier III sex offender with his county sheriff and verify his home address, work address and vehicle information every 90 days for the rest of his life.

The Crestline Police Department handled the investigation.

Steve Irwin: 614-906-9113


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