Mahoning County courthouse security to be mulled in wake of suicide

Staff report


The Mahoning County commissioners will discuss courthouse security with Sheriff Jerry Greene following the 43-foot suicide leap of capital murder suspect Robert Seman on Monday in the courthouse rotunda, the chairman of the commissioners said Thursday.

“You plan on the norm, not the exception,” observed David Ditzler, chairman of the commissioners, adding that Seman is only the second person in the 106-year history of the building known to have committed suicide there in this manner.

“Maybe they’ll change the process of how they enter and leave the courthouse,” with prisoners, Ditzler said of the sheriff’s department.

“I don’t think the security of the courthouse is in question as a whole,” he added.

Ditzler said he did not know why no video image of Seman’s leap and its aftermath was available from the building’s first floor.

A fourth-floor security camera captured video of the start of Seman’s fatal leap.

A camera “definitely needs added” on the first floor, Ditzler said.

“That’s more important than the ones on the other floors because that’s where people are coming through the metal detector,” at the building’s main entrance, Ditzler observed.

Ditzler was in the rotunda as Seman’s shrouded body lay on the marble floor near the building’s main entrance after his fatal jump.

The commissioners approved Thursday a $52,250 professional service agreement with CT Consultants Inc., a Youngstown civil-engineering firm, for the revitalization of downtown Lowellville.

That project has received a $300,000 grant from the Ohio Developmental Services Agency Office of Community Development.

The project seeks to give the village’s business district a facelift through street paving, new curbs and installation of decorative lighting.

The commissioners’ next meeting will be at 10 a.m. April 20 in the Boardman Township Administration Building, 8299 Market St.

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