Report may have triggered jail standoff

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Court documents are shedding new light on what may have prompted a nearly six-hour hostage standoff that ended peacefully at the Trumbull County Jail Wednesday.

After a harrowing six hours on the fourth floor of the Trumbull County jail, corrections officer Joe Lynn is said to be doing fine. He talked by phone about what happened when two inmates attacked him as he was making rounds.

“They took me by surprise, brought me into a cell and tied me up,” said Lynn. “They never harmed me. They gave me water. They loosened the restraints and put me into handcuffs.”

Investigation into Trumbull County Jail hostage situation begins

The question now is why David Martin, Richard Ware and Kevin Johns held the officer. An investigation is underway by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Court documents are also shedding new light on the situation.

In February, Lynn filed an incident report at the jail stating that Martin threatened deputies and corrections officers. Lynn reported that Martin said, “When I go to trial, I am going to grab the first gun I can when I get the chance. I am not going to death row.”

The comment was reported by the media. It also prompted prosecutor Chris Becker to file a motion to have Martin shackled for trial.

Trumbull County Sheriff Tom Altiere said an internal investigation was conducted into the threats and report filed by Lynn.

“You can say whatever you want, but that doesn’t give you the right to go out and kidnap somebody and hold them hostage,” said Altiere. “As far as we are concerned that is inconsequential to what happened yesterday.”

Trumbull County Jail press conference

According to a telephone call placed by Martin Wednesday during the standoff to the CBS affiliate in Cleveland, the report may have been what triggered the incident.

“The C.O. who I got now he is willing to take a polygraph test to tell the news media and to prove to the courts outside of my case that I never made that threat they had me in the newspaper, making me look bad in my case,” said Martin. “It is bad enough I am facing the death penalty.”

All three men have been transferred out of the jail to the maximum security prison in Youngstown, which was one of their requests during the standoff.

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