Murder victim’s mother seeks to keep killer in jailWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
On the anniversary of the death of University of Toledo sophomore Casey Bucher, family and friends gathered at the scene of his July 18, 2010, attack in remembrance with a candlelight vigil.
Casey was stabbed on the corner of Bancroft Street and Westwood Avenue by 24-year-old Lawrence James as he was walking home from work at Maxwell’s Brew.
James asked Casey for cigarettes or change and attacked him after he declined. He called 911 but died shortly after.
James had been released from prison 19 days before the incident, after serving a two-year sentence for stabbing another man.
“He would still be with us today if the government knew what it was doing and did it right the first time,” mother Lisa Bucher exclaimed to the crowd. “A psychopathic killer so close to the streets where our kids go to school. It should not have happened and it could have happened to any one of you. I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone, least of all Casey, a kind-hearted kid who did not deserve this.”
Bucher, who returned to the scene of the crime for the first time since the attack, blamed the government for its handling of James’ release, specifically its handling of his medication.
“My heart hurts,” Bucher said. “This should not have happened. They let a psycho loose from the prison. There was no post-release control. He was kept on meds in prison to make sure he didn’t hurt anyone else in prison but he was let loose on the public with no follow-up and this is what happens.”
James is serving 16 years to life at the Toledo Correctional Institution, with the opportunity for parole in 2026. Bucher will be doing everything in her power to make sure he isn’t allowed back into the public again.
“So long as I am breathing I’ll ask these kids, the next generation, to make sure that he never gets out after I’m gone so none of their kids die,” Bucher said. “The government is not going to change unless we make them. He will be released again with $65, a bus ticket and two weeks worth of meds.”
Bucher has also taken exception to the proximity of James’ incarceration. The Toledo Correctional Institute is just 6 miles from the scene of the attack and close to James’ family. He had originally been sentenced by a judge to serve time in Orient, Ohio.
“The judge ordered this individual to be locked up quite a ways away from here by her order,” Casey’s uncle Ryan Gephart said. “Now after a very short period of time he’s back in Toledo. There’s no good explanation for that.
“My sister never gets to see her son again. His family gets to travel to jail to see him. He gets 13 hours of free time per day, I don’t even get 13 hours of free time per day. This is wrong and somebody in the state of Ohio needs to start doing their job because this person does not belong back in this city. He needs to be serving hard time away and needs to never get out again. This is unacceptable.”
Bucher said she has recently discovered a way to petition the process and plans to do so. She noted that in 2008, before his first release, he had been incarcerated in Lebanon, Ohio.
“There’s no reason he can’t go back there,” Bucher said. “This isn’t over yet.”