PDT Staff Writer
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini has sent a certified letter to a Scioto County special deputy, removing his status, after that special deputy was indicted by a Scioto County grand jury for burglary and criminal trespassing with a firearm specification.
James D. Litteral, 45, of South Webster, a special deputy, was indicted on those charges along with Ralph E. Litteral, 47 and Christopher J. Litteral, 19, both also of South Webster for burglary and criminal trespassing. Ralph Litteral is James Litteral’s brother and Christopher Litteral is James Litteral’s son.
“The basic allegation is that on April 19, 2012, they (the three defendants) went into the victim’s (Jay and Bonnie Foster) residence on Carey’s Run Pond Creek Road to get children pursuant to a court order that Ralph Litteral had for his children, and the Fosters are related to his estranged wife at the time, Dorcas Litteral,” Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn said. “They got an emergency custody order and decided to go in on their own and get these kids. There were guns drawn but no shots fired.”
Kuhn said what upsets him is the use of guns around children.
“We’ve had enough shootings in this county,” Kuhn said. “We don’t need some kid shot in the crossfire when people decide to engage in self-help in their custody order.”
“Once I was aware that the grand jury actually issued an indictment, which was yesterday (Tuesday), I then took action to immediately terminate his commission and his unpaid employment with the sheriff’s office,” Donini said. “It’s unfortunate. I think it was a domestic situation that got out of control, but in this particular case, what was most aggravating was that with both parties there were guns involved and there were children involved.”
Donini said once the incident was reported his office immediately responded.
“My understanding is the incident occurred where one party tried to forceably take the children from the other party, who apparently wasn’t entitled to the children legally, and they used force,” Donini said. “We responded to the call, made an informational report, forwarded it to the (Scioto County) Prosecutor for his review, and an indictment was issued.”
Meanwhile, the day after the incident, Miller placed Litteral on administrative leave on April 20, 2012.
Donini said a special deputy is a non-paid employee, but who is commissioned and sworn by the sheriff’s office. His suspension restricted his ability to make arrests, carry a firearm, or enforce the law.
“Shortly after that incident occurred, my understanding is that the party that was legally entitled to the children did, in fact go back to the court, and did, in fact get another entry that was directed to the sheriff which had some language which said that the sheriff was to enforce this order to what extent necessary, including force if necessary, or including arrest,” Donini said. “We did, and we didn’t have any confrontation.”
Kuhn said the arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2012 in the courtroom of Scioto County Common Please Judge Howard H. Harcha, III. They will have the opportunity to enter a plea, and the case will then continue through the normal process.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext.