Prosecutor's subpoena halts release of Kyle Plush death investigation results

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A subpoena from Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters halted Wednesday morning's scheduled meeting to reveal the results of the Kyle Plush death investigation.

"We want to review everything from the Cincinnati Police Department including videos and still pictures. We also want to review the administrative report from Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil. We expect our review of this matter will be completed by early next week and our decision announced then." Deters said.

The photos in-question show students who were standing close enough to the minivan to hear Kyle pounding inside.

"I wanted our staff to see everything they had and to make a determination whether or not we should move forward in any direction whether it's criminal or otherwise," he said.

Deters said there's a minimal chance that criminal charges will be filed in connection with the case.

Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman said during the 9 a.m. meeting the council has been in 'active communication' with the Plush family, updating them along the way and they continue to extend their condolences.

"The Plush family has been fully debriefed with everything that happened according to my request yesterday, so they have everything, they know what is happening. We continue to put them first and continue to keep that family in our thoughts and prayers." Smitherman said.

The Vice Mayor said that he was going to learn about the results of the investigation today along with everyone else.

Smitherman declined to comment when asked if it was true that the Plush family told Deters that they'd learned of things he was unaware of and that caused Wednesday's delay.

"The message that I get from them [the Plush family] is that they want the 911 center fixed and they want to make sure this doesn't impact any other family member." Smitherman said.

According to the subpoena, the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office is requesting all interviews, videos, and photos obtained from any and all sources regarding Plush's death. The subpoena also stated that the information received would be called before a grand jury to testify.

Deters said he doesn't expect to find any surprises when he reviews all the evidence.

"We pretty much know what happened, and, you know, it's sad as can be," he said.

"my conversations with the prosecutor last night, I would say that I asked him to make it formal and make it clear and I thought that was the right thing to do because of the community interest, even the national interest in what is happening, that I wanted something formal from the prosecutor's office." Smitherman said.

There is currently no date to reschedule the Law and Public Safety Committee meeting to discuss the findings in the 16 year old's death.

"When we schedule the next meeting it will fall after the prosecutor has cleared us to move forward. We know that will not happen until after Tuesday due to my vice chair's (Amy Murray) schedule and other members of council's schedule so it will happen later in the week next week at the earliest time." said Smitherman.

Investigators were supposed to present the findings during a special Law and Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday morning.

Smitherman said he was not prepared to respond to questions ab out whether he thinks the police response was adequate after Plush called 911 for help.

The 16-year-old was found dead in the parking lot of Seven Hills School by his father on April 10, hours after he became pinned by the third row seat of his van.

Plush called 911 twice for help but officers never found him. A coroner's report found that he died from asphyxiation.

The Law and Public Safety Committee met Monday to discuss and announce their action plan for the 911 call center.

Acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney, police officials and others said their 12-month plan includes more staff and training. The plan also includes a team to oversee hiring and training; an outside review of operations and assessing whether 12-hour shifts for dispatchers are most effective.

In light of Kyle's Plush's death, Mayor John Cranley and other elected officials have called for a review of the city's 911 center, which they say has been plagued with issues for years.

"I think there are going to be questions around that [technical issues with the 911 center] but I think the public will also find out some other information that might explain some of that too. I don't think that it's as clear and I think we're going to have to wait for that information to be presented. I have some more information that I can't really talk about but I think it's going to be a combination of both." said Smitherman Wednesday.

This review was tasked by City Council after concerns that there may have been issues with the receiving and transmitting of information during the Plush incident.

Smitherman said he thinks anyone who currently called 911 for help in the Cincinnati and Hamilton County shouldn't have any worries about the response they will get from dispatch and officers.

"I think that we have the system, we're fully staffed, that they're going to get a response, that we're already operating within the national norm of that 95, 96 percent response time when someone calls. So I'm very confident in the leadership changes and what we've done already today." Smitherman said.

Wednesday, the committee was to be briefed on the Kyle Plush death investigation and possibly take action in reference to the findings.

The committee had invited the Plush family to speak at the meeting, no word if they intended to.

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