Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Rick Bombik won what he called the "Super Bowl" in the trial of Anthony Sowell, the convicted serial killer who was sentenced to death just last Friday.
As the PD's Michael McIntyre points out in a brief article, Bombik was planning on retiring before the Sowell case came to light. Now that the monster is behind bars awaiting a date with the needle, Bombik has a few things he'd like to tackle, including the case of Jason Smith.
Smith was the star witness in a 1997 murder case that sent two innocent men to prison for the beating of Alice Zolkowski. Bombik was the prosecutor on the case. As we reported in our cover story earlier this year, Tom Siller and Walter Zimmer were pegged with the murder by no evidence except the testimony of Smith, a drug-using and dealing career criminal who lied throughout two trials.
New DNA testing on Smith's clothing last year showed he and he alone had the victim's blood on his pants; Siller and Zimmer were both given deals to be released from prison and the murder charges dropped, though each had to plead to felony theft charges.
After the DNA tests, Smith was extradited from Atlanta and charged with multiple counts of perjury and obstruction of justice. It is unknown yet whether the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office will pursue murder charges, but perhaps that is one wrong that Bombik now wants to right. Lord knows he should.
A pre-trial for Smith is scheduled for September 6.