Opinion — Baumhower: Don’t victimize Angela SteinfurthWritten by Jeremy Baumhower | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether or not you feel that Angela Steinfurth “deserves” to be allowed to attend the funeral services of her daughter Elaina, I feel Judge Gary Cook was wrong in denying her motion. I would strongly recommend appealing his decision.
In this country we are innocent until proven guilty. As heinous as this crime is, Angela Steinfurth is currently charged only with Obstruction of Justice — nothing more.
After hearing numerous reports about the condition of the remains found, I expect the coroner not to be able to determine the actual cause of Elaina’s death. It is also been reported that Steven King made some confession-like statements which led to Baby Elaina’s body being discovered. Successful prosecution without plea agreements and confessions will be nearly impossible in this case. The reason we have not yet heard an official cause of death is likely due to the prosecutor’s office trying to get both.
Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates has stated in regards to this case that she needs the who, what, where, when, how and why this death happened. If the coroner can not determine the “how”, “what” and “when”… how does the prosecutor’s office decide who faces what?
The only reason Angela Steinfurth is currently in jail is because she is poor. She nor her family has the money/means to pay her $100,000 bond or even pay a bondsman 10 percent. If she or her family had the money, Angela Steinfurth would be free and be allowed to attend the funeral proceedings. Judge Cook’s ruling is class discrimination — the poor are not being treated legally the same as wealthier people. If someone posted her bond today, she would be able to go tomorrow, but they can’t.
As inflammatory as this seems, the request was not to attend the funeral, but for a few private moments on Friday, all while supervised by Lucas County Sheriffs. Not knowing the outcome of the case, wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?
Angela Steinfurth has not been tried or even charged with her daughter’s death in any capacity. Her not being allowed a furlough for a private showing is prejudicial; it feels emotional.
I, like you, have no idea what happened in those final moments and hate to even think of them. Nancy Grace’s show and her HLN network is not a Lucas County Courtroom. Just because it has been discussed and speculated on a TV show, does not make it evidence that has been entered in the case against Angela Steinfurth.
We can not trample on someone’s rights because of hate, speculation, prejudice and especially lack of wealth. Let’s not turn Toledo and this process into Salem, especially without any additional charges filed. I don’t want to be on the wrong side of history here, but there is constitutionally protected due process that everyone, including the most-hated is entitled to.
This has been my least favorite thing I have ever penned. I do feel that Angela Steinfurth holds some responsibility for the death of her daughter, but our judicial system is designed to remove “feelings” from the equation. I hate defending the most hated person in this city, but I am not. I am defending our legal process.
As a father of four, this crime is unimaginable. I fully understand the sentiment of those angered after reading this piece… However someone needs to stop this prejudicial mentality and allow those without the means to have the same rights as those with, especially when it comes to a loved one’s funeral.
Let’s not victimize Angela Stenfurth… allow her to go.