SCIOTO — Scioto County Prosecutor Shane A. Tieman released a statement Friday concerning the death of Michael Mearan.
On October 23, 2020, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Scioto County Prosecutor Tieman announced the indictment of Mearan on 18 felony counts related to human trafficking spanning 15 years. The charges stemmed from criminal activity in southern Ohio that occurred from 2003 to 2018 and involved at least six victims. On Friday, Nov. 26, Mearan was pronounced dead after suffering from “health complications.”
On Friday, December 3, 2021, Tieman released a statement about the prosecutor’s involvement in the case and where the county stood with the trial now after Mearan’s death.
“The Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office was involved initially in an advisory role with local law enforcement in the investigation into Mr. Mearan. As the scope and depth of the investigation developed, our local law enforcement asked for and received assistance from State and Federal partners,” Tieman said. “Based upon the limited resources of the office and concerns over potential conflicts of interest, based upon Mr. Mearan’s position as a local attorney, the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office requested assistance.”
The release stated the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office requested the Attorney General’s Office assume responsibility for the review of the investigation and subsequent prosecution of any charges arising from the investigation.
“The Special Prosecution through the Attorney General’s Office permitted this office, which has a limited number of criminal prosecutors, to continue to address the robust criminal caseload that has developed over the last several years as a result of the opioid epidemic,” Tieman stated in the release.
On Friday, November 26, at 7: 14 p.m., AG Yost posted that he was told Mearan had died on his Twitter account. Mearan’s Attorney Michael Siewert of Siewert & Gjostein Co. LPA in Columbus confirmed Mearan’s death, telling media outlets Mearan died Friday afternoon surrounded by family after “health complications.” A trial date for Mearan was set for January 18, 2022.
“Mr. Mearan was ultimately indicted for various charges and a trial was set for January of 2022. A prosecutor, at his or her core, is considered a “minister of justice.” Justice takes place when all the parties in a case have their day in court so that their voices can be heard in a fair trial and a jury can render a just verdict,” Tieman said. “With Mr. Mearan’s passing, this will not occur for any and all parties involved in this matter. It is very important to note that this investigation arose from local law enforcement officers, who took the time to listen to the concerns of some of our most ill-used citizens and the courage of those citizens to speak out.”
In the release, Tieman encouraged anyone who is being subjected to trafficking, abuse, or neglect of any kind to seek help.
“In addition to our local law enforcement agencies, a person can contact Appalachian Voices Unite, part of the Scioto County Health Coalition or the Ohio Attorney General Human Trafficking Initiative,” Tieman said.
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved