Why didn’t accused Cleveland cop killer serve jail time for prior violent crimes?
LORAIN COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Tamara McLoyd, now 18, had an extensive criminal background even before the murder of Cleveland police officer Shane Bartek. She was wanted for a violent robbery in Cleveland, and she confessed to a violent robbery in Lorain County.
Court records show McLoyd committed her first crime when she was just 13 years old.
Over the next five years, she would become a regular in the Cuyahoga County juvenile court system.
In October of 2020, when McLoyd was 17, she was accused of robbing a Lorain County man she met on an online dating site. McLoyd was initially going to be charged as an adult in this case, but court documents show the prosecution decided to try McLoyd as a juvenile after she agreed to testify against her co-defendants. Her charges were reduced, and ultimately, she did not have to serve time in jail.
19 Investigator Kelly Kennedy went to the Lorain County prosecutor’s office to try to find out why the teen wasn’t given a harsher sentence.
“We cannot talk on juvenile cases,” said Jim Burge, Chief of Staff for the Lorain County prosecutor’s office. “We’re forbidden to talk about juveniles.”
Just four days after McLoyd’s sentencing in the Lorain robbery, Cleveland police say she was involved in a violent armed robbery at Happy’s pizza in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.
Then on New Year’s Eve, police said she shot and killed Bartek.
19 Investigates then tried to speak with Judge Frank Janik, who signed off on McLoyd’s plea agreement in Lorain County.
He was not at work, but Emily Kirsh, Lorain County domestic relations court administrator, said, “We cannot comment on a pending matter at this time.”
McLoyd was sentenced to five years of probation last October for the robbery in Lorain that was supposed to transfer to Cuyahoga County. 19 Investigates discovered the whole thing was dropped because Cuyahoga County didn’t consider McLoyd a serious youthful offender, which is surprising since, in June of 2020, McLoyd was facing felony assault and weapons charges, but the case was never prosecuted.
The victim, in that case, didn’t show up to testify. The prosecutor’s office says there isn’t enough evidence to try the case without the victim.
Under her plea agreement in Lorain County, McLoyd would serve three to four years in prison, but only if she committed another serious crime. It is possible once she’s done being tried in Cuyahoga County for murder, she could go back before a judge in Lorain County to face that sentence.
19 News did speak with Judge Frank Janik briefly on the phone. We are going to follow up with him later this week.
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