"It has been almost five years since Officer Josh Miktarian was murdered in the line of duty by Ashford Thompson. The members of the Twinsburg Police Department are reminded daily of this when we see our tribute to Josh hung on a wall in the station; when we pass by the monument next to City Hall erected in his memory; when we see a civilian vehicle displaying a decal of Josh’s badge number, 45; and especially when we drive by the residence at 2454 Glenwood Drive in Twinsburg where Josh was shot and killed in cold blood.
Many would have been satisfied that justice was served when Ashford Thompson after two years of delay tactics was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to death. We were not, as we knew that two others who each played a role in Officer Miktarian’s death were still free members of society and had not yet been held accountable for their actions in this murder. I want to thank Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty who, from his first day in office, made resolving this case a priority. Today is the day that Danielle Roberson and Bridget Robinson will be held accountable for their individual actions on that terrible, terrible night.
Ms. Roberson was in the vehicle the night of the murder. By her own account, she exited the car while Officer Miktarian was attempting to take control of an intoxicated and belligerent Thompson who, unbeknownst to Officer Miktarian, was concealing a loaded handgun on his person. Her presence outside of the vehicle created another threat for Officer Miktarian and it was this moment of divided attention that enabled Ashford Thompson to draw his pistol, put it to the head of Officer Miktarian and pull the trigger, not once, but five times. She saw Ashford Thompson execute a police officer in cold blood and did nothing to stop it or to assist Officer Miktarian. Instead, Ms. Roberson and Thompson fled the scene while Officer Miktarian lay dying on the driveway. She has never been completely truthful as to what she saw happen that night. She has never demonstrated true remorse for her role in the killing of Officer Miktarian. She has only attempted to minimize and rationalize not only her role, but that of Ashford Thompson by placing blame on Officer Miktarian who was only doing his job legally and lawfully.
Ms. Robinson also bears significant responsibility. By her own accounting, her brother called her before arriving at her residence, and told her that he had just shot a police officer. When Thompson and Ms. Roberson arrived, Ms. Robinson did not contact law enforcement. Instead she attempted to help Thompson flee and attempted to help destroy evidence of this murder. Had law enforcement not worked together to identify where Thompson was possibly heading, Bedford Heights police would never have been able to apprehend him quickly and recover a potential piece of crucial evidence, Officer Miktarian’s handcuffs engraved with his badge number and attached to one of Thompson’s wrists, evidence that would have most likely been destroyed by Ms Robinson, Ms. Roberson or Thompson.
There are persons in our society that believe those who are involved in the murder of police officers are subject to a different system of justice than a regular citizen - that police officers receive a special brand of justice because of our position in society. While the murder of one who is sworn to protect and keep the peace is always a significant loss for our society, your honor, I am here on behalf of the people of the City of Twinsburg and the men and women of the Twinsburg Police Department to ask for nothing other than equal justice under the law. Ms. Roberson and Ms. Robinson participated in a heinous crime – the most heinous crime in our society – the murder of a human being. We lost a great police officer on July 13, 2008 but, more importantly, we lost a great husband, father, son, colleague and friend and we never want to lose sight of that. As a chief I still mourn for the loss of an officer, but I miss the friend I started with on the Twinsburg Police Department in 1997. I miss the way he could always make me laugh and the way he helped me not take things too seriously all the time, especially after I was promoted to chief of police. I saw the life in his eyes when he and his wife, Holly brought their newborn daughter to the station shortly after she was born and a few short months later, I saw the absence of life in his eyes as his body lay dead on a gurney in the emergency room of Metro General. I will remain haunted by both of those memories for the rest of my life, but I choose to remember Josh alive, happy and complete as on the day he and Holly brought baby Thea to visit. Your honor, I ask you to keep that Joshua Miktarian in mind as you hand down sentences today."