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'Me. It was me.' video of Strongsville man confessing to teachers murder released

Posted at 6:04 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 18:36:42-04

In court, Jeffery Scullin repeatedly denied having anything to do with the murder of his future mother-in-law, even at his Monday sentencing.

RELATED: Man sentenced to life in prison for killing beloved Strongsville teacher

Videos of his Strongsville police interrogations tell another story.  

Scullin's on-camera confessions were recorded during Strongsville Police interrogations a week and a half after 49-year-old Melinda Pleskovic was shot and stabbed in her kitchen. 

His attorneys argued the confession and interrogations recorded by police were coerced. He wanted the videos deemed inadmissible. Judge Pamela Barker reviewed the hours of interrogation video and allowed them to be included in the trial. The videos were finally released to News 5 by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office Wednesday.

"Everything after the first shot is almost like a dream I guess," Scullin eventually said to investigator Ron Stolz on November 1, 2017. 

"I don't remember stabbing her. I don't remember doing that," Scullin said. "Jeff, you stabbed her a lot," Stolz said. "I don't remember doing that," Scullin said, with his head in his hands. 

"I'm sick to my stomach," Scullin said in one video. "You're sick to your stomach, why is that?" Stolz said. "Because I've never hurt anybody before. I should have just drove away," Scullin says.

A year later, in court, Scullin's tune changed. No remorse. No apology to the Pleskovic family. At his sentencing, or beforehand. 

Convicted on charges of aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence, making false alarms and endangering children.

After pleading no contest, Scullin and his attorney maintained his innocence. 

Joseph Patituce, Scullin's attorney told News 5 he has plans to appeal, after Scullin's plea hearing and before his sentencing.

"So he maintains he's innocent, but he's willing to serve time for the sake of the family?" News 5 asked Patituce.

"Well yes, there's a lot of very sensitive material that could be coming out at trial. A lot of material that could be embarrassing to multiple people, not just my client. He does have a young child with the victim's family and he's not interested in inflicting pain when he believes he has solid legal issues that clear him," he said. 

Those legal issues, still unclear. 

But Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley brought up Patituce plans to appeal after Scullin's sentencing. 

"The fact that he's maintained his innocence, not only disturbing to the court, but to the family. He's shown no remorse," News 5 asked O'Malley.

"As we know, the evidence that was obtained through the diligent work of the Strongsville police department was overwhelming. Weapons were found in his vehicle. He can continue and appeal this case, we have a very solid conviction, we are very comfortable going forward that conviction will be upheld," he said. 

Scullin repeatedly denied he did anything in the videos. Changing stories, losing track of his stories, and eventually breaking down to Stolz.

"I remember shooting her," Scullin said. 

"Once Melinda was dead, I'm sure your mind was racing, do you remember?" Stolz asks. "I went downstairs, that's it. I went downstairs, came up and walked out," Scullin said.

Scullin told police where he put the gun. 

"I put it in the bag. I don't know if you guys found it or not. I hope you did," Scullin said. 

"It shows his mindset that he could not, at any point, look back at that family he is destroyed and at least apologize," O'Malley said after the sentence. 

News 5 requested a statement from O'Malley with the videos released Wednesday: 

"The evidence is clear: He is incapable of showing remorse and won’t take responsibility for this brutal act he committed against his soon to be mother-in-law. We are confident that the Judge’s ruling will be upheld and commend Law Enforcement for following the proper procedures in investigating and solving this heinous crime. We will continue to fight for the Pleskovic family every step of the way." - Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O'Malley