Man found not guilty of tampering with a body
One of the men accused of tampering with a body was found not guilty by a jury this week, while the second defendant awaits sentencing after pleading guilty.
Robert J. Tovarnak, 44, of East Midlothian Boulevard, was found not guilty Wednesday by a jury of seven women and five men in front of Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Tovarnak was facing charges of abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence in the death of William Lewis, 47, who was found dead of a drug overdose in a car on Griselda Avenue on Feb. 24.
David L. Jenkins, 43, of East Ravenwood Avenue, pleaded guilty in July to the same felony charges that Tovarnak faced. A sentencing date has not been set for Jenkins.
Judge Sweeney has ordered a pre-sentencing investigation, and prosecutors have recommended community control with the Community Corrections Association of America, according to court records.
A 17-year-old city male also was charged, and his case is in juvenile court.
Police said the defendants were accused of having “treated a human corpse in a way that would outrage reasonable community sensibilities” by injecting Lewis’ body with a saltwater solution, pouring cleaning fluid in his mouth and stealing about $400 from him. Lewis’ body was discovered three days later.