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Ex-jail director does not testify at his own trial

Defense rests without calling Ken Mills as witness
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Posted at 4:31 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 18:58:30-04

CLEVELAND — Attorneys for former Cuyahoga County Regional Director of Corrections Ken Mills rested their case their defense Wednesday without calling the ex-jail director to the witness stand to defend himself.

Mills is accused of depriving inmates of basic needs thereby making the jail unsafe and of lying to county council about his role in blocking the hiring of nurses at the jail just weeks before the first in a string of eight inmate deaths in the last six months of 2018.

On the witness stand, former jail warden Eric Ivey agreed with prosecutors that depriving inmates of the ability to take a shower, flush a toilet, and drinking water would be inhumane.

However, Ivey also told jurors that he didn't believe inmates were denied those things.

"Were there times when those things broke," said defense attorney Kevin Spellacy.

"Yes sir," said Ivey.

"And would you guys make accommodations for these things if they weren't working," said Spellacy.

"Yes sir," said Ivey.

But prosecutors pointed out Ivey's own legal troubles.

He resigned his job at the jail as part of a plea agreement after investigators said Ivey ordered a corrections officer to turn off his body camera following the death of an inmate and then lied about that to investigators.

Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled to begin Thursday morning.

It's not clear if there will be an empty seat at the prosecution table. During Wednesday's lunch break, Assistant Attorney General Linda Powers was hit by a car while crossing the street and was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.

RELATED: Prosecution rests in trial of ex-jail director

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