Friday, July 14, 2000

Lab report frees murder suspect

By Dan Horn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The detectives who questioned George Laub last month were sure he strangled his girlfriend.

        The prosecutor, the coroner and a Hamilton County grand jury all reached the same conclusion a few weeks later.

        At times, even Mr. Laub thought he might have done it.

        But at a court hearing Thursday, a judge decided everyone might be wrong.

        He freed Mr. Laub from jail after reading a new laboratory report that cast doubt about his involvement in the crime. Prosecutors say the report revealed other health problems — like drinking a quart of whiskey a day — that could have led to Cheryl Simpson's death June 14.

        “If a guy isn't guilty, it's a no-brainer,” said Common Pleas Judge Thomas Crush. “You let him out.”

        He said the coroner's report indicated Mr. Laub's girlfriend may not have been strangled after all.

        Coroner Carl Parrott would not discuss his report, saying only that it showed a “significant abnormality.”

        When Mr. Laub's attorney, Tim Cutcher, told his client the news, the Lower Price Hill man began to sob. “Thank you, thank you so much,” he said.

        Hours later, he left for Indiana with his parents.

        Prosecutor Mike Allen said he would decide soon whether to dismiss the murder charge.

        Mr. Laub, 42, was arrested after he reported finding his 41-year-old girl friend dead in her bed. Police found some blood in the bed and bruises on her neck. Mr. Laub explained that Ms. Simpson sometimes became violent, forcing him to restrain her.

        Because of heavy drinking, Mr. Cutcher said, his client was unsure what had happened. He said Mr. Laub once told him: “I didn't do this. But if I did, I don't know it.”


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