What follows after murder, attempted murder and arrest is an investigation by the author that exposes the corrupt judicial practices of a system that puts Winning Above Justice!
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FEAR DID THIS!The Ben Hudach Story
By Frederick V. Hudach
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Frederick V. Hudach
All right reserved.
Chapter OneFriendships & Reservations
During the early summer of 1993, Ben Hudach, age 17, is working in his family's nursery shoveling and raking slag. Liking to work with guys his own age, Ben takes the business pickup truck and leaves to pick up a friend of his, Jason Getsy.
Upon their return, Ben introduces Jason to his father, Fred. Ben explains that Jason is just going to help him haul and rake slag for a couple of days and that Jason doesn't want paid. Ben continues by saying that Jason will just eat here. Fred, sensing that there is additional reasons for Ben picking up Jason, tells Ben, "Okay, but I'll pay Jason anyway." Fred notices that Jason is quiet spoken and is an excellent worker. After a couple of days Ben asks his father if Jason can stay at the family house for awhile because Jason and his stepfather, Bill, are not getting along. Fred asks Ben, "Why aren't they getting along?" Ben answers, "I think his parents are getting divorced. I think they need a cooling off period." Ben further explains that, "Jason is living in a small camper without lights and plumbing, plus the roof leaks."
Fred asks his wife Janice to call Jason's parents to find out what is going on and to let them know that Jason is at our house. Fred also tells Janice to tell Jason's parents that it's alright if Jason stays here but to please come over and talk to us.
Fred tells Janice that Jason seems to be a good kid and says, " If he's a runaway, he didn't run too far."
Ben, Jason, and others work on different projects at the nursery through the summer of 1993. Fred and Janice feel that both Ben and Jason are unusually obedient for teenagers and no real problem. Jason seems to be a good kid however Fred notices that Jason gets real nervous when he gives a firm correction to anybody working at the nursery. Fred tells Janice, "Jason seems to have a low threshold of fear when I make the slightest correction of how to work on a project." One day after work Fred asks Ben, "When is Jason's father going to pay us a visit?" Ben answers, "He's suppose to come over one of these days after work in the evening."
One evening in August, while Fred is working in the nursery, Bill shows up. Ben introduces Bill to Fred and leaves. Bill, a cordial and talkative individual, begins to talk about the corruption of the federal government and how he doesn't like any activity of the government. Bill tells Fred, "The government should be overthrown even if by force." Fred, patiently listening to Bill, realizes that Bill is quite informed on militia concepts and philosophies. Fred also knows that Bill is not alone in the way he thinks because some customers of the nursery also explain their views in the same way as Bill. Fred feels nervous about how people feel and asks himself, "Are we becoming a police state?" Fred concludes by thinking that there seems to be a lot of angry people in this country.
Just before school starts in September, Jason tells Fred that he is going to move back home. Jason explains that his parents are not getting a divorce and he and his stepfather are now getting along. Fred tells Jay, that if he would like to, he could work at the nursery after school and weekends. Fred is building an administrative building for the nursery. Jay says he will and thanks Fred for giving him a home for awhile.
To get out of school a little earlier, Jason signs up for a work study program at school and the teacher, Mr. Dan Modak, approves it, allowing Jason to leave school about 45 minutes early to go to work. Mr. Modak checks occasionally with Fred at the nursery on Jason's progress. Fred always makes complimentary remarks about Jason and his skills because Jason is a good, skillful worker. At times Mr. Modak expresses some doubt by saying, "Are you kidding?"
One evening in mid fall Jason, Bill and Jason's mother, Janet visit the nursery. Jason shows Fred a new rifle that Bill bought for him. The new rifle is an SKS Chinese assault rifle. Jason is real excited about his new gun. Ben asks Fred if it is all right to go back to Fred's quarry to target practice. Fred says, "Yes, but be careful. Don't shoot anywhere but into the Ritman Sand bank so there are no ricochets." Bill dressed in camouflaged military clothes with a holster on his side containing a 357 Magnum, Janet in camouflaged clothes also with a holster on her hip and a rifle strapped on her back, Jason with his new SKS and Ben with his 16 gauge shotgun leave for the quarry. Fred just thinks that the only unusual thing is that Janet is also going target practicing. Fred often sees guys with SKS rifles but seldom sees women carrying guns.
One day in late fall, Jason is dropped off from school at the nursery. Fred can not help noticing that Jason is heavily under the influence of drugs. Fred immediately talks to Ben about Jay and says he cannot work here anymore and states firmly, "I told everybody, you're done if I detect any drugs around here." Ben feels bad but understands the rule.
Fred calls Bill a few days later and asks Bill to come to his house to discuss Jason's problem. Bill says that he will. Approximately a week later, Bill pays Fred a visit. Fred explains to Bill the strict policy, that policy being, "If you are involved with drugs, you are out." Bill says he understands and explains to Fred that Jason has a psychological problem. Jason accidently killed a 14 year old boy when Jason was 16 years old. Jason had shot the boy in the head with a pistol. Fred says no one ever told him. Fred continues by saying that nothing is forever and because Jason is a good person that he will help him in any way he can. Bill then cuts the meeting short and leaves. Fred is stunned by what Bill told him and sits staring at the wall and thinks to himself, "Who the hell put that SKS rifle in Jay's hands? Is everyone nuts!"
A few days later, Fred talks to Ben about Jason accidentally killing a 14 year old boy with a gun. Ben's only comment is, "It was an accident Dad." Fred asks Ben, "Why didn't you tell me Ben?" Ben answers, "I didn't think it mattered since it was an accident." Fred tells Ben, "Jason can't come here until I can straighten some things out." Ben sadly answers, "Okay, I'll tell Jay."
Several weeks later, Fred meets with Mr. Modak and asks, "How can we help Jason Getsy?" Fred further elaborates about Jason coming straight from school one day high on drugs. Modak answers, "I don't know how to help Jay." Fred asks Mr. Modak to set up a meeting with the school psychologist and Jason's parents to see how we can help Jason. Mr. Modak says he will try.
Fred again instructs Ben that he can see Jason, however, Jason is not allowed in any of our vehicles or on our property until Jay is helped.
A month later, Ben, an outdoorsman, asks Bill if he will take him to a gun show and help him get an SKS. Bill says yes and early in the spring of 1994 Ben buys an SKS Assault Rifle. Ben, other teenagers and adults often go to the quarry at the nursery to target practice.
Chapter TwoThe Apartment
June 5, 1995. Sitting in the nursery administrative office, Ben says to his mother Jan, "Mom, I'm 19 now and I think it's time I get my own apartment and try to make it on my own." Jan replies, "I understand your feelings. When I was 19, I felt the same way. But, I ended up moving back home in just a couple of months because it was not easy to live alone or keep up with expenses." Ben says, "Well, I feel I'm being treated like a child here and I want to be a man. I'll always be the kid here." Jan asks, "Are you still going to work for your father?" Ben answers, "When Dad needs me just call, but I want to get a job on my own to prove to everybody I can make it." Jan says quietly, "Okay, but make sure you explain things to your Dad." Ben says, "Of course, and I hope you realize I love you both, I just hope the business don't go bad because I'm not always going to be here."
Jan informs Ben's father Fred that Ben wants to get his own apartment and try to make it on his own. Fred, not saying anything at first, studies what Jan has said. Then Fred says, "I guess all the baby robbins have to leave sooner or later. Besides, even though it hurts, I think it will be good for Ben to work for someone else for awhile. Let him see what it's like out there. I'll let him know he's welcome back anytime."
Fred leaves Jan at the office and walks into the nursery where Ben is working. Fred tells Ben, "Mom explained to me what you want to do. When you get a chance let's talk privately in the office."
A half hour later, Ben in the office with Fred, explains his feelings to his father. Ben also reassures Fred, "If you need me all you have to do is call me." Fred asks, "Where are you going to stay?" Ben answers, "Right in Hubbard, the address is 24 1/2 South Main, right near the center of Hubbard. I'm going to move in with a guy I know, just for a little while, until I can get my own place." Fred asks. "Where are you going to work?" Ben answers, I have a job with John McMonigle doing construction. I need a pair of work boots. I'll get them after I get paid today." Fred says, "Okay, but remember don't be afraid to come back home if anything goes wrong." Ben replies, "Dad, I'm only going to be in Hubbard, I'll be seeing you all the time." Ben finishes up what he was working on that day and moves to the apartment the following day.
The apartment that Ben moves into is a second floor apartment, 150 feet from the center of Hubbard and right next to the Hubbard City Police Department.
Ben paid Rick McNulty half of the rent so that he could live there for at least one month. Rick had already lived there for five months and teenagers that Ben already knew would stop there frequently.
Ben knows people like Rick knows people. A lot of people smoke marijuana in Hubbard. It is not uncommon for teenagers to smoke marijuana anywhere. Some even smoke it at the apartment.
Hubbard is a small city with a little more than 10,000 people and sets in the middle of Hubbard Township which has 8,000 people. The city has its own police department and the township has its own police department. The city of Hubbard is in Trumbull County, Ohio. The Hubbard area is not known in any way as a crime area, however to some, drugs are easily purchased from dealers who hang around the local but fairly large truck stop, off Interstate 80, in Hubbard Township, called TruckWorld.
Chapter ThreeSantine's Lawn Maintenance & Landscape Company
Charles "Chuck" Serafino, his mother Ann and his sister Nancy Sarafino, owned SCAN Inc. which owned All Green. All Green was created in 1988 and was a lawn maintenance and landscape business. Chuck ran the business and employed about seven people during the spring, summer and fall seasons.
During May of 1995, Chuck having lunch near his shop at the Village Tavern ran into an old friend of his by the name of John Santine. John and Chuck talked for awhile about business. John Santine mentioned to Chuck that he would be interested in buying into Chuck's business. Chuck needing money, became interested in John's offer to buy into his business and in a elementary way both John and Chuck agreed that John would buy 45% for $40,000 to $50,000. So much down and so much per month was the deal but nothing yet was truly "cast in stone".
John started to visit All Green more often to get more acquainted with the business and towards the end of May borrowed $2,500 from his father, Ben Santine, to put into All Green to get the business going. Shortly after John put this money into the account of All Green, Chuck took $1,500 out. Chuck felt the money was his.
Chuck, having two bad habits, those being crack cocaine and writing bad checks, ended up in the Trumbull County Jail June 1st. on a passing bad checks charge and a probation violation for having a crack cocaine pipe.
John, now left with running the business, got angry when he found out from Tina Stoneburner, Chuck's secretary, that Chuck took most of the money that John had put into All Green and also left John with past due bills. There was no money in the account to pay anybody. John now felt that he should take over the business and did so by creating a new company, Santine's Lawn Maintenance and Landscape Co.
John and the landlord, Bill Jugenheimer created a new lease, John took over Chuck's tools and equipment and even Chuck's trucks during the first week of June. John had Ann Serafino sign over the lease from an annual lease to a monthly basis. Ann, not consulting an attorney, later found out that All Green was not part of the lease - Santine's Lawn Maintenance and Landscape Co. now had the lease. John then fired a few of Chuck's employees but kept Tina as secretary and Mike Dripps 17 and Rick McNulty 19 to cut grass. Now to keep the business going, John had to hire more people to do the work. John asked Rick and Mike to see if they could find people for him to hire.
As soon as Ben moved into the apartment and talked with John McMonigle about the construction job, John informed him that all they were doing right now were roofing jobs. Ben did not tell McMonigle then that he would rather frame buildings than put on shingles, but it was a job and he was willing to do it.
On June 7th, early in the morning, Rick wakes Ben up. Rick asks, "Do you want a job where I work?" Ben asks, "Doing what?" Rick answers, "I work for Santine's Lawn Maintenance and Landscape Co. and my boss is looking for a guy who knows how to do landscaping. I told him, I knew just the guy and told him your father owns a nursery." Ben tells Rick, "McMonigle was suppose to get back to me on working with him, but I really don't like roofing. How much does this job pay?" Rick answers, "Talk to John about it. His name is John Santine, he's the new owner. He told me if you're interested to go see him at the shop. It's right down the road on North Main Street."
Ben gets dressed and drives the couple of minutes that it takes to John Santine's shop. Ben introduces himself to John and tells John that he knows a lot about plants because he worked in his father's nursery. John tells Ben that he is hired and that they are just starting in the landscape business. John continues by saying that they are mostly cutting grass right now. John tells Ben he will pay him $4.50 per hour when he is cutting grass and $7.00 per hour when he is doing landscaping jobs. John further states he is working on getting health benefits for everybody. Ben accepts the job and is to start the next day. John tells Ben to check in with Tina Stoneburner, so she can tell him what jobs have to be done.
Ben leaves Santine's shop and drives to his father's nursery to tell him about his new job. Fred tells Ben to learn everything he can about lawn maintenance. Fred says to Ben that he will start a new division and back him with funds if Ben likes the lawn maintenance end of the business. Ben says he will learn everything that he can so he can run it.
Ben starts to work the next day, June 8th, and meets Tina Stoneburner, Tina's husband Robert "Stoney" Stoneburner, the mechanic and Stoney's son Robby. Ben already knows Mike Dripps and John Yohman from Hubbard High School.
Within a week after being hired Ben becomes foreman because he knows horticulture more than anybody else. Ben is also able to get landscaping jobs for John Santine. Ben tells his father he is going to make sure that all of the landscaping material is going to be bought from his nursery. Over the next two weeks, Fred sees his son three to four times a week when purchasing plants and supplies. Ben also stops at the house in the evening about three times a week to visit with his parents and also to eat. Fred asks Ben if he is learning anything. Ben answers yes and is proud that he is teaching everybody horticulture.
Tina is strict when it comes to business, especially since both she and her husband work for John Santine. Tina knows quite a bit about the business because she had worked for Chuck. Tina is pregnant and due in December.
Stoney, a forty year old, smaller framed man, who had worked as a mechanic for years, started working for John about June 7th.
Rick and Mike Dripps work with Ben while John Yohman and Beamish work with Robby Stoneburner. Eric Beamish started to work for John June 12th.
Excerpted from FEAR DID THIS! by Frederick V. Hudach Copyright © 2011 by Frederick V. Hudach. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1. Friendships & Reservations....................1
2. The Apartment....................5
3. Santine's Lawn Maintenance & Landscape Company....................7
4. The First Two Week s Incidents....................10
5. The Informant....................14
6. The Last Two Week s Intimidation....................15
7. Trapped (Coersion & Duress)....................21
8. The Shooting....................34
9. The Apartment After The Shooting....................37
10. The Police Investigation Begins Rick McNulty's First Statement....................39
11. The Charade Uncertainty....................42
12. The Police Investigation Continues McNulty's Second Statement....................44
13. McNulty's Third Statement....................46
14. McNulty's Fourth Statement....................55
15. The Charade Part II Uncertainty....................66
16. The Police Taped Set Up Call....................68
17. The Arrest....................74
18. Ben's Videotaped Statement....................77
19. Jason's Videotaped Statement....................92
20. John Santine's Arrest....................108
21. The Affidavit The Grand Jury Decision: The Arraignment....................109
22. Initial Gathering of Evidence....................116
23. First Pre-Trial Hearing The Courtroom Charade....................124
24. The Defense Investigation Begins The Unlevel Playing Field....................128
26. Conspiracy - Coercion - Duress - Fear - Non Involvement....................137
27. The Chronology....................147
29. To Find The Truth....................159
31. Diverse Activity With Direction....................214
32. The Jason Getsy Trial Revelations....................263
34. The Midnight Hour....................277