TIMELINE: New report details gunman's early release before Kirkersville shooting


The Licking County Municipal Court Adult Probation Department has released a timeline of events leading up to the early release of Thomas Hartless.

In the report, the department has details from the first complaint against Hartless to the fatal shooting last week.

Authorities said Hartless killed Kirkersville police chief Steven Eric DiSario before entering the Pike Kirk Care Center and killing Marlina Medrano and Cindy Krantz. Hartless then took his own life.

The murders were the culmination of months of abuse against Medrano, whom Hartless was in a relationship with.

The purpose of the timeline was to determine what processes or procedures were missed or need to be changed, according to the probation department.

Complete: Probation Department Investigative Report

Timeline of Events

December 5, 2016 – Thomas Hartless committed domestic violence against Marlina Medrano.

December 19, 2016 – A warrant was issued for Hartless for domestic violence.

January 6, 2017 – Hartless pleads not guilty to domestic violence. Judge Stansbury releases him on own recognizance bond. Hartless ordered to have no violent contact with Medrano and take all medications as prescribed.

January 14, 2017 – Hartless committed domestic violence against Medrano. Hartless arrested in connection with second incident. As a result, Hartless was in violation of the bond condition with the first domestic violence.

January 17, 2017 – Hartless appeared for his initial arraignment hearing regarding the second domestic violence incident, pleads not guilty. Judge Stansbury sets $5,000 bond. Hartless is ordered no alcohol or drug usage and no contact with Medrano. A civil protection order was granted to Medrano against Hartless. There was a notice about firearms and other deadly weapons included in this protection order.

January 26, 2017 – Prior to the second stage protection order hearing, Medrano made an oral motion to dismiss the petition. Judge Frost terminated the protection order issued on January 17.

March 6, 2017 – Hartless committed domestic violence and criminal damaging against Medrano. After the third incident, Hartless was in violation of the bond conditions regarding the first two incidents.

March 7, 2017 – A warrant was issued for Hartless for domestic violence and criminal damaging. A civil protection order was granted to Medrano against Hartless. There was a notice about firearms and other deadly weapons included in this protection order.

March 23, 2017 – Medrano submitted a hand-written letter to the court. The letter was file stamped on March 23, 2017. She stated the following in the letter:

“I never intended Tom to be jailed for his actions.” She also state, “I am most confident we can and will over our struggles and relive stress between us.” She further stated, “First and foremost I want the Court to know that I have always intended to work with and help Tom with this anger issue and accompany him through this transition.”

Hartless was sentenced by Judge Higgins on all charges relating to all three domestic violence cases. All jail sentences were ordered to be run concurrent with one another. 180 days were imposed, 90 days were suspended and Hartless was ordered to be under probation supervision for two years after he served 90 days in jail. Judge also ordered for Hartless to attend the Woodland Batterer’s Group.

April 5, 2017 – The Senior Probation Officer assigned to Hartless asked for one of the intensive supervision probation officers to interview Hartless for possible early release from the jail. The senior probation officer sent the ISP officer the spreadsheet with Hartless’ name on it. The ISP officer was required to have a recommendation to the senior probation officer by April 12, 2017.

April 7, 2017 – A second stage protection order hearing was scheduled for this date. Prior to the hearing, Medrano move to dismiss the petition and at the hearing she reiterated her wish to dismiss. Judge Frost termination the protection order on April 10, 2017.

April 11, 2017 – Judge Higgins signed an early release entry that was prepared for him by the senior probation officer based on the ISP officer’s recommendation. The entry referenced all three case numbers regarding Hartless at the top. The entry stated, “The defendant is to be released from the Licking County Justice Center Wednesday April 12, 2017 at 9 a.m.” His jail sentence is suspended and placed on probation for one year.

April 12, 2017 – The senior probation officer submitted the completed updated early release from jail spreadsheet to both judge at 4:24 p.m. Hartless’ name was not on this list because Judge Higgins had already signed the jail release entry pertaining to Hartless. He was scheduled to attend a probation intake appoint with the ISP officer on May 1.

May 1, 2017 – Hartless shows up for his probation intake appointment. ISP officer went over all standard terms of probation with Hartless and one additional term the ISP officer chose to impose (no weapons). The ISP officer failed to impose the term regarding Hartless attending the Woodland’s Batterer’s group. The ISP officer also completed a test that deemed Hartless a moderate risk. The ISP officer had the option to complete an override on the test based on violent tendencies, past criminal history, etc. The ISP officer chose not to override. The ISP officer failed to complete another assessment, which is mandatory at intake which helps determine the offender’s readiness to change. Hartless is scheduled to return on May 30, 2017.

May 4, 2017 – Medrano made an official domestic violence complaint with the Licking County Sheriff’s Office against Hartless. She made the complaint while at work in Kirkersville.

May 5, 2017 – Medrano made an official domestic violence complaint with the Newark Police Department since the incident reported to the sheriff’s office happened in Newark. Magistrate Rickrich granted a civil protection order was granted to Medrano against Hartless. The magistrate ordered that Hartless turn over all deadly weapons and concealed carry license. According to the sheriff’s office, service of this protection order was attempted once at 328 Oakland Avenue Utica, Ohio on May 8, 2017 but was unsuccessful due to Hartless no longer living at the address. A probation officer received a call from Medrano and informed the officer of the protective order, new domestic violence incident and new police report. The officer attempted to contact Hartless by phone unsuccessfully. The report was passed staffed Hartless’ case with the senior probation officer. The senior probation officer advised the officer to file an affidavit for a warrant if Hartless doesn’t show up for his next appointment. The new incident report violated Hartless’ probation.

May 8, 2017 – An email was sent to the Newark Police Department probation staff with a report of the new domestic violence incident between Hartless and Medrano.

May 10, 2017 – An ISP officer attempted to make contact with Hartless again by phone unsuccessfully. The same officer mailed a letter to Hartless ordering him to report to the Licking County Municipal Court Adult Probation Department within five business days.

May 12, 2017 – Hartless killed three victims and himself at the Pine Kirk Care Center. The ISP officer was asked why additional terms were not ordered. The officer replied saying “The Court did not impose any terms.” Officials asked ISP officer for a copy of 30 + Jail Day Report regarding Hartless. The officer did not use 30 + Jail Report. Instead, took notes on a piece of notebook paper.

May 17, 2017 – Officials had a conversation with the General Unit Probation Officer regarding the conversation with Medrano on May 5, 2017. The officer was asked what information they gave Medrano and responded by saying “I advised her to call the police if Hartless attempts to contact her.” The officer was asked why didn’t they make a home contact on Hartless after receiving a new report. The probation officer said they did not have a good address on Hartless. The ISP officer was asked why Hartless was recommended for early release stating the letter field by Medrano on March 23, 2017 weighed heavily on the decision for early release. The ISP officer was asked if read all three reports of domestic violence, the ISP officer responded “I read two out of three reports.” The officer was asked if he read all three Court files and responded “I did not review any of the Court files.”

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