Lawyer: Ohioan didn't use trash to mask smell of girl's body

AP News
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Posted: Aug 14, 2015 12:08 PM

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man charged with corpse abuse after a cable technician found his daughter's decomposed body in a crib didn't put garbage in the room to mask the smell or plan to flee the state as alleged, his attorney said in a request for a lower bond.

Those points and Eric Warfel's lack of a criminal record should be taken into account and his $1 million bond should be decreased, attorney Michael O'Shea said in the request filed Thursday in Medina County court.

Warfel was arrested after the body of 21-month-old Ember Warfel was discovered in late July. A medical examiner hasn't ruled on how or when she died.

Warfel, 34, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on charges of corpse abuse and tampering with evidence. He was expected to undergo a psychological evaluation.

The new bond request says police provided misleading information about Warfel to a municipal court magistrate who set bond. Warfel denies telling police that he left trash in the room to hide the smell and that he intended to flee, the request said. Relatives told police Warfel had indicated he was considering moving to Illinois, but the reason was to get better government assistance for his children, the filing said.

O'Shea said he has reached out to authorities to discuss bond and documentation in the case but hasn't received a response or copies of police documents and photos.

"There is little question that the state of Ohio cannot provide any empirical reason to justify a $1,000,000 bond," O'Shea wrote.

County Prosecutor Dean Holman acknowledged the allegations about the trash might be incorrect but said Warfel still deserves a high bond, The Medina County Gazette reported.

"Even if my office was unintentionally provided mistaken information, the fact remains that there was trash in the apartment that had the effect of masking the smell," Holman said.

He also suggested Warfel should be considered a flight risk, noting that Warfel was unemployed and had talked about moving and that Ember's autopsy results are pending, the newspaper said.