Article published January 13, 2007
Jailed mom wins DNA testing request in child's death
By ROBIN ERB
BLADE STAFF WRITER
In a rare move, investigators have cracked open - ever-so-slightly - the files in a 23-year-old Toledo murder case, even though they feel they long ago caught the killer.
Ed Skelly isn't so convinced.
Golebiewski was convicted on charges of felonious sexual penetration and involuntary manslaughter.
Mr. Skelly and Ed Simons, a retiree from Bethlehem, Pa., who has become a pen pal to Golebiewski, argue the case against her was largely circumstantial and hinged on testimony from a woman with a long rap sheet and no credibility.
The two men have requested court transcripts, old police reports, and file notes in the case.
Several years ago, Mr. Simons enlisted the help of private investigator Martin Yant, whose work has overturned several convictions.
A recent study, Mr. Yant said, shows that wrongful convictions often hinge on testimony from "jail snitches."
"It just goes to show you that people will give false testimony, even if somebody's life is on the line," he said.
Mr. Yant and others acknowledged that Golebiewski's request for the DNA review is a long shot. It's not clear the old evidence even contains human tissue. More troublesome, even if DNA suggests someone else assaulted the child, it wouldn't rule out the mother's involvement.
"Frankly, I don't know how it would exonerate the defendant. [But] once she raised the issue, our office is going to do the right thing," said Jim Vail, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor.
Nevertheless, DNA tissue from someone other than the mother or child might just be enough to prompt a judge to review the 1983 conviction.
Mr. Simons, having traveled by train to get to Toledo, attended a hearing in the case Thursday in front of Judge Charles Doneghy of Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
Mr. Simons was jubilant to learn that prosecutors have requested that the evidence be tested.
"It has been a productive day," he said.
For as convinced as Mr. Simons is of Golebiewski's innocence, however, Mr. Ross is equally unwavering in his belief that the North Toledo woman killed her child.
Now an investigator for the Lucas County prosecutor's office, Mr. Ross assisted the prosecutor in reviewing the case and suggested that several pieces of evidence, including the toy gun and two swabs from the child, be tested.
He said he's far from concerned about any review of the case.
"I think it will fortify what I already believe," he said.
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