Hurt, anger for those mourning Kirkersville victim Marlina Medrano

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Marlina Medrano was 46 years old, a mother and a nurse.

"Marlina was the sweetest, free-spirited, most beautiful girl," said friend Niki Arter. "She touched everybody. If you ever met Marlina, you remembered her forever."

"She was a very beautiful girl," said Robyn Sattelmyer. "Her smile always stood out."

What she brought to the world and to the lives of those who lined up to remember her at her visitation Thursday, was stolen by a man who stalked, terrorized, and brutalized her.

In March, her boyfriend Thomas Hartless pleaded guilty to three different domestic violence cases related to three different assaults on her.

A judge sentenced him to 90 days in jail but released him early after just 20 days.

On May 5, Medrano went to police saying Hartless had beaten her twice more, and she feared he would kill her.

He was still free on May 12, when he shot and killed Medrano, Cindy Krantz, and Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric DiSario.

"I want to know how this happened," said Arter. "I mean, how? It doesn't make any sense that everything that they found, and they knew, how they could let this person go."

Thursday Licking County Municipal Court Judge Michael Higgins released an internal investigation pointing to failures with the county Probation Department that recommended early release for Hartless.

"They're already gone. It's already too late," said Sattelmyer. "These things should have been taken care of before it happened. She's had numerous cases, numerous reports, numerous filings, numerous talks with the police. Now she's gone. She can't defend herself. She can't fight back. She can't describe anymore how big of an animal he was."

"I know she would want us to change, so this doesn't happen to someone else," said Arter. So some other family doesn't have to feel what her family had to go through."

The report issued Thursday by the court includes policy changes for more thorough review of cases before prisoners are released.

Marlina Medrano will be laid to rest in a private service Friday.

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