Inmate threatens staff, is found guilty of retaliation

An inmate at the county jail has been found guilty of retaliation after threatening harm to a police
sergeant.
Jose Reyes was found guilty by Wood County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Pollex on Friday, following a
one-day trial.
Reyes, 20, an inmate at the Wood County jail, was facing the seldom-used charge due to a February
incident in the jail.
A strip of the inmate’s cell blanket was found in a jail shower. After being placed under a suicide
watch, Reyes admitted to telling a medical staff member he was not going to use it to kill himself, but
rather in some fashion on a sergeant at the jail.
The sergeant had previously reprimanded Reyes for his actions in an unrelated incident. The defendant
admitted on the witness stand to being angry at the sergeant, but testified, "I just told her that
so she’d leave me alone."
He said he was going to use the strip off the blanket to tie the doors to the cell bubble together, in
effect, to disrupt things at the jail for a short time.
Reyes, of Perrysburg, also admitted on the stand he actually tore two strips off his blanket, with the
second strip being flushed down a toilet.
Defense attorney William Hayes called as a witness a former jail resident who is now in custody in prison
in Marion. The prisoner was returned to Wood County to testify.
However, when asked by Hayes what he knew of the incident, he claimed he had no knowledge.
"This is a surprise," Hayes said after dismissing the witness who offered nothing for the
defense.
Hayes argued his client "had a reasonable expectation of privacy" during the conversation with
the medical staff member, even though a jail officer was with her when she talked with Reyes.
He also told the judge in his summation, this was not about facts, but about the law.
Melissa Freeman, an assistant prosecutor for Wood County, told the judge in her summation, that Reyes
"purposefully retaliated" against the sergeant.
The judge ruled based on case law that a threat does not have to be communicated to the victim to be
valid.
"This defendant clearly had retaliation in mind," Pollex said.
The judge ordered a pre-sentence investigation.