Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The bizarre case of Duane Hurley and Daniel Kovarbasich

Probation Violation

According to Sheriff's Sgt. Donald Barker, a search of an area that Danny and his cellmate shared turned up two other pencil "shivs," each of which was more than six inches long. Both purportedly belonged to Danny's cellmate.

Both teenagers denied intending to attack the guard in question, or any other guard, and claimed they were "just joking around," according to Hammond.

Pencil point
Pencil point

In view of the incident, Danny and his cellmate were found guilty of disrupting jail operations, failure to comply with the orders of a corrections officer, threatening an officer, and possession of contraband. Privileges were revoked, and each was given 40 days of isolation. Jail officials forwarded the case to prosecutors and recommended that intimidation charges be filed against both young men as well as a tampering with evidence charge against Danny. The tampering with evidence violation stemmed from the two pencils that had been placed together with an adhesive formed from melted plastic of a shaving cream container. The pencils in their original size were short, about three inches in length, similar to those used by golfers.

"Daniel admitted to having two altered pencils in his possession, but disassembled them before they could be found," Hammond said.

Danny also purportedly confessed to assembling the two pencils, and to taking them apart.

Bradley said that he did not have a problem with the punishment Danny received for the jail rules violation, but said that he did not believe that Danny had committed a crime in relation to the jail incident.

"I think they were disciplined properly, and I think this happens probably on a weekly basis in every jail in the country," Bradley said. "When those pencils get pretty small, it's a pretty common thing that they tape two pencils together so you have something to write with."

The Ohio Adult Parole Authority asked the Lorain County Common Pleas Court to rule that Danny had violated the terms of his probation with regard to the jail incident.


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