See UPDATE below:1-27-2010 Ohio:
NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio - Daniel Kovarbasich is 16 years old and was a student at North Ridgeville High School. But on a day when his classmates were at school, Daniel was being arraigned in Lorain County Juvenile Court on charges that he murdered 55-year-old Duane Hurley at Hurley's home last Friday.
His fellow students are stunned by his arrest. Krissy Buckner says "I can't believe he would do something like that, it doesn't seem like anything he would do."
According to court documents, Daniel Kovarbasich is accused of stabbing to death Duane Hurley.
Those who know Daniel say he was one of several young men who hung around Duane Hurley's home and did odd jobs for the 55-year-old.
Krissy Buckner says "he would just like mow his grass and just walk his dog, wash his car."
The attorney for the 16-year-old tried to convince a judge that he should be released to his father pending a probable cause hearing.
But one of Duane Hurley's neighbors says she is still frightened in her own home by a crime that robbed her of her best friend.
"Denise" says "it hurts me everyday because I have to look out my front window and I see his home. He's not here anymore and it really hurts."
But other neighbors wonder what went on inside the home of Duane Hurley, a former Avon Lake city employee, who was convicted in 2004 of bribery, falsification and theft in office. Prosecutors say Hurley accepted bribes from convicts to reduce the amount of time they had to serve for community service.
And they wonder what brought Daniel Kovarbasich into Hurley's life and what sparked the violence that took Hurley's life.
John Buckner says "I don't know, why would a 16-year-old boy stab a grown man, I mean we can only think."
"Denise" says "that's baloney, that's pure garbage, he was not that kind of man."
The 16-year-old is currently being held in the Lorain County Juvenile Detention Home. A probably cause hearing on the case is scheduled for February 12th. ..Source.. by Staff
BREAKING NEWS: Daniel Kovarbasich gets five years probation (for killing molester)
ELYRIA — Daniel Kovarbasich, 16, was sentenced to five years of probation for the Jan. 22 slaying of Duane Hurley inside his North Ridgeville home.
Lorain County Common Pleas James Burge also ordered Daniel remain incarcerated until he can be placed in a treatment program.
Daniel, who was tried as an adult, was convicted earlier this year of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. He had originally been charged with murder in the case.
Daniel did not speak before Burge handed down the sentence, but Jack Bradley, one of Daniel’s lawyers, argued that his client should receive probation.
Bradley said Daniel needed treatment for the sexual abuse he suffered at Hurley’s hands.
During his trial, which Burge decided instead of a jury, Daniel testified that Hurley, 55, had molested him for months before the killing.
Hurley’s niece, Marcy Utlak, called Daniel the “epitome of evil.”
“We saw not one bit of remorse in his testimony or his actions. None,” she said.
Utlak said that Daniel lied about using two of Hurley’s sports cars in exchange for sexual favors. She also said that the pornography found on Hurley’ computer — much of it appearing to feature underage boys in graphic sexual positions — was downloaded by other people who used the computer beside her uncle.
Assistant County Prosecutor Tony Cillo argued for the maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
He said if there was a sexual relationship, it was one where Daniel received things from Hurley in exchange for sex.
On the day that Hurley died, Daniel testified, the older man wanted sex from him. Daniel said he clubbed Hurley once with large pickle jar before a melee between them broke out.
Daniel said he punched, kicked and repeatedly stabbed Hurley until he stopped moving. He then called his father, who picked him up, took him to the hospital and called 911.
Prosecutors said during the trial that Hurley was struck three times with the jar as he lay on his bed, blows that would have been fatal even if he hadn’t been stabbed. He was stabbed 55 times, an autopsy determined. ..Source.. Brad Dicken
Teen reaches out to millions on Oprah
CHICAGO — Sixteen-year-old Daniel Kovarbasich had the opportunity yesterday to reach millions of people and tell children to speak out if they become a victim of sexual abuse.
Daniel, his parents, Terry and Donna, and brother, Gregory, were guests on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” where Daniel described to Winfrey the details behind the slaying of 55-year-old Duane Hurley.
Terry Kovarbasich told Winfrey he remembered Jan. 22, the day his son killed Hurley, as a typical day when he dropped his son off at Hurley’s home. About a half-hour after dropping Daniel off, he got a call from Daniel, who was “freaking out,” he told Winfrey. He would soon find out Daniel hit Hurley in the head with a pickle jar and stabbed him repeatedly.
“Daniel told his parents that Duane had attacked him and he was acting in self-defense, but that is not what happened,” Winfrey said. “The real story begins more than three years earlier when Daniel was just 12 years old.”
Donna Kovarbasich, with Daniel’s help, then described for Oprah and her viewers they researched Hurley and thought he was legitimately a nice man and welcomed him into their home. Then, Daniel chronicled how about a year into the friendship, Hurley began using incentives like his cars and money to engage in sexual acts with Daniel.
Kovarbasich told Winfrey he didn’t consider his relationship with Hurley a “sexual relationship” because it wasn’t consensual, but he also didn’t realize he was being molested. Daniel told her he didn’t know how to tell his family and Hurley made him feel like the abuse was his fault.
“So the grooming process is ... if a sexual molester is any good at his job, his No. 1 job is to make the child feel that they are part of it so that they don’t tell, because once you tell, his game is up,” Winfrey said of the sexual abuse. SClBTerry Kovarbasich told Winfrey how he now understands why police almost always assume sexual abuse starts inside the home because it usually comes from someone trustworthy.
“If my son ended up missing, if this went the other way and my son ended up missing, my wife and I would be standing right with (Hurley) looking for our son and would never know that he did anything. That’s how much we trusted him,” Terry said to Winfrey.
Winfrey asked Daniel if he had any remorse and the teen said, “I do on some extent. I mean, I feel — I do know I killed a man, you know. That’s not right. I mean, I don’t feel great for killing someone. I know that’s wrong. I feel — I feel relieved, though, now, if you can understand what I’m saying. I feel relieved because everything is done, but I feel bad to an extent.”
Terry and Donna also gave advice to parents and other children in the world who might be going through a similar situation to know the signs of grooming and abuse and Daniel said for children to “man up” and speak out if they are being abused.
In addition to the Kovarbasich family, Winfrey also spoke with Ellie Nesler, who killed her child’s sexual abuser in a courtroom in 1993. ..Source.. by KELLY METZ