Former Sandusky County detective sentenced to prison

PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE Former detective Sean O’Connell prepares to the leave the courtroom Thursday afternoon.

FREMONT — A former Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office detective who admitted he tampered with evidence during the Heather Bogle death investigation was sentenced to prison Thursday afternoon.

Sean O’Connell, 54, of Fremont, had been charged with three counts of tampering with evidence, third-degree felonies; one count of unauthorized use of Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway, a fifth-degree felony; one count of falsification, a first-degree misdemeanor; and one count each of coercion, dereliction of duty and obstructing official business, all second-degree misdemeanors.

He had pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, in July. The rest of the charges were being dismissed.

Visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove sentenced O’Connell to two years in prison, with credit for five days served, during a hearing in Sandusky County Common Pleas Court Thursday. O’Connell not only dishonored himself, but all of the thousands of police officers across the country, Cosgrove said.

O’Connell apologized to Bogle’s family and three people who had been accused of being involved in the crime.

“I have been remorseful,” he said.

O’Connell had been the lead investigator for the death of Heather Bogle, 28, of Fremont and formerly of Tiffin, whose body was found in the trunk of her vehicle at Somerton Apartments in Clyde in April 2015. She last was seen leaving work at Whirlpool, and her mother reported her missing.

In June 2017, Daniel R. Myers, 49, of Fremont, was indicted by a Sandusky County grand jury in connection to Bogle’s death.

Keyona Bor, who had been identified as a “person of interest,” spoke before O’Connell’s sentencing and said O’Connell had destroyed her life, her children’s lives and the lives of Bogle’s family. She said she and her children had received death threats, and she had to keep her children out of school.

“I have to see myself labeled as a murder suspect. My kids have to see that,” she said.

Jennifer Bogle, Bogle’s sister, said O’Connell was a “disgrace” to law enforcement everywhere. He thought he was above the law, she said.

Christopher Fiegl, O’Connell’s attorney, said O’Connell is a husband, father, grandfather and decorated veteran who has led an “outstanding” life. O’Connell took responsibility, he said.

Fiegl told Cosgrove there were alternatives to incarceration.

“His life will never be the same. … People make mistakes,” he said.

Myers was charged with two counts of aggravated murder, unclassified felonies; aggravated robbery and kidnapping, both first-degree felonies; and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

The grand jury had specified Myers had a firearm while allegedly committing the crimes. It also specified he had a sexual motivation while allegedly committing aggravated robbery and found him to be a sexually violent predator, according to his indictment.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The aggravated murder charge carries a maximum sentence of the death penalty.