Kirkersville Suspect Got Early Release From Jail Before Shooting

May 17, 2017

A Licking County court is reviewing how and why a domestic violence suspect was released early from jail weeks before fatally shooting three people, including a woman he was accused of assaulting and a police chief.

Investigators say gunman Thomas Hartless, 43, killed himself after the slayings Friday at the Pine Kirk Care Center, a small nursing home in Kirkersville, about 25 miles east of Columbus.

Hartless was freed in April after his latest domestic violence case. Judge Michael Higgins says Licking County Municipal Court is reviewing how the case was handled. Higgins says apparently "mistakes were made" and that understanding what happened is important.

Funerals are scheduled Friday for 46-year-old nurse Marlina Medrano, and Saturday for Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric DiSario. A memorial service was planned Wednesday for 48-year-old nurse's aide Cindy Krantz.

Medrano, who previously dated Hartless, had obtained a civil protection order against him after his latest release from jail. In her request, she wrote "I am afraid to be alone with him."

Medrado also reportedly told police that Hartless had previously showed her to a hole he had dug, and said he would put her in it if she ever left him.

Another woman obtained a protection order against Hartless in 2009. Hartless was convicted of assault in the incident that led to that protection order. The victim claimed Hartless beat and choked her, bound her with duct tape, and held her captive for several hours in a wooded area.

For that conviction, Hartless served eight months in prison and was released in February 2014.